• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Shrilaraune

Kettlebell Form Check

Recommended Posts

Hi all!
As you can see from my signature, I'm a total newbie. I'm starting my second challenge and the kettlebell swing (hardstyle) is integral to that challenge. I know I should find an RKC or strongfist instructor, but there are literally two in my state and they are both pretty far from me. So I'm attempting the next best thing! If you would be so kind, critique my form so I can get the most out of this challenge! Just by looking at this video, I can tell something is off...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's actually not too shabby!

 

What I like:

- Your back seems to stay in a good neutral position. Make sure you keep this up by bracing your core throughout the movement.

- You initiate the movement from the hips, so you bend minimally at the knees and more in the hips. This is very good!

 

What you can work on:

- It looks a little bit like your using your arms to lift the kettlebell up. Envision your arms as if they are merely the "ropes" from which the kettlebell is dangling. Shooting up the kettlebell to shoulder height should come from an explosive hip movement (squeeze your butt as hard as you can during the upswing).

- There should be a moment when the KB "floats" for half a second or so at shoulder height. This "zero gravity" moment should be possible without using arm strength (there can even be a slight bend at your elbows). Again, arms should only work as if they're ropes.

- Work on getting more explosive. There should be a "hip snap" at the end of the upswing.

 

You know you're doing it right when your butt cheeks feel tired.

 

But generally speaking, this looks better than 90% of what I saw in commercial gyms.

 

Have a look at this video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zAkYWo_4ts

 

The guy is not a kettlebell professional, but the explanations and demonstrations are still very solid. Notice that there is a slight bend in his elbows and he has a very nice explosive hip snap. Try the drills that he demonstrates to lead up to the swing. It works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all!

As you can see from my signature, I'm a total newbie. I'm starting my second challenge and the kettlebell swing (hardstyle) is integral to that challenge. I know I should find an RKC or strongfist instructor, but there are literally two in my state and they are both pretty far from me. So I'm attempting the next best thing! If you would be so kind, critique my form so I can get the most out of this challenge! Just by looking at this video, I can tell something is off...

 

It's all good, a lot of people started out on their own also. It's just a longer learning curve, and you'd have to constantly keep learning for the long term. Swing perfection is a lifelong journey.

 

Females seem to be able to pick up the proper swing mechanics a lot faster than males, probably from just generally not strong-arming stuff all their lives. Might be why there are quite a lot of women utilizing swings these days.

 

For one, use less arms. Towel swings would definitely help with learning that.

 

Also, face-the-wall squats teach you to push the hips back.

face-wall-squat.png

 

Master SFG Karen Smith has a fantastic series on learning the concepts of the Hardstyle Swing.

 

Tracy Reifkind also has a great series on learning the hip snap.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all good, a lot of people started out on their own also. It's just a longer learning curve, and you'd have to constantly keep learning for the long term. Swing perfection is a lifelong journey.

 

Females seem to be able to pick up the proper swing mechanics a lot faster than males, probably from just generally not strong-arming stuff all their lives. Might be why there are quite a lot of women utilizing swings these days.

 

For one, use less arms. Towel swings would definitely help with learning that.

 

Also, face-the-wall squats teach you to push the hips back.

face-wall-squat.png

 

Master SFG Karen Smith has a fantastic series on learning the concepts of the Hardstyle Swing.

 

Tracy Reifkind also has a great series on learning the hip snap.

 

The towel swings are genius! Thanks for posting that Machete!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all good, a lot of people started out on their own also. It's just a longer learning curve, and you'd have to constantly keep learning for the long term. Swing perfection is a lifelong journey.

 

Females seem to be able to pick up the proper swing mechanics a lot faster than males, probably from just generally not strong-arming stuff all their lives. Might be why there are quite a lot of women utilizing swings these days.

 

For one, use less arms. Towel swings would definitely help with learning that.

 

Also, face-the-wall squats teach you to push the hips back.

face-wall-squat.png

 

Master SFG Karen Smith has a fantastic series on learning the concepts of the Hardstyle Swing.

 

Tracy Reifkind also has a great series on learning the hip snap.

 

tumblr_m5kqyyL1hG1qbluopo3_250.gif

Master. You do me great honor. But seriously, this is a wealth of knowledge! Thank you so much!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's actually not too shabby!

 

What I like:

- Your back seems to stay in a good neutral position. Make sure you keep this up by bracing your core throughout the movement.

- You initiate the movement from the hips, so you bend minimally at the knees and more in the hips. This is very good!

 

What you can work on:

- It looks a little bit like your using your arms to lift the kettlebell up. Envision your arms as if they are merely the "ropes" from which the kettlebell is dangling. Shooting up the kettlebell to shoulder height should come from an explosive hip movement (squeeze your butt as hard as you can during the upswing).

- There should be a moment when the KB "floats" for half a second or so at shoulder height. This "zero gravity" moment should be possible without using arm strength (there can even be a slight bend at your elbows). Again, arms should only work as if they're ropes.

- Work on getting more explosive. There should be a "hip snap" at the end of the upswing.

 

You know you're doing it right when your butt cheeks feel tired.

 

But generally speaking, this looks better than 90% of what I saw in commercial gyms.

 

Have a look at this video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zAkYWo_4ts

 

The guy is not a kettlebell professional, but the explanations and demonstrations are still very solid. Notice that there is a slight bend in his elbows and he has a very nice explosive hip snap. Try the drills that he demonstrates to lead up to the swing. It works.

Z2DPU4i.gif

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I'm using a 35 lbs kettlebell. Is that...reasonable?

 

As pretty much everything, "it depends". :) 

 

At the moment,  I use 16 kg (about 35 lbs) as my "working weight" for two-handed swings (for volume, 10 sets x 10 reps or so...) 

 

For one-handed, I'm currently working my way up from 12 kg to 14 kg. 

 

For heavy swings (fewer sets of 5 reps), I usually use 20 - 24 kg. 

 

For your reference: 

I'm a 41 yo female, 5'5".

 

But your mileage can and most probably will vary. :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I'm using a 35 lbs kettlebell. Is that...reasonable?

 

35 lbs is normally the starting weight for women, so yeah, totally reasonable ;)

 

But if you swing 2-3 times a week, you're going to outgrow this one quickly. When the swings start to feel easy, I'd suggest you get a 53 lbs.

 

Why the big jump? You want a weight that you can "grow into", so your first few sessions with the heavier bell will be heavy swings (5 reps with more rest in between), and then slowly add a rep per set and shorten the resting period.

 

With the 35 lbs, try 15:15 x 10 intervals (15 seconds swing, 15 seconds rest, repeat 10 times = 5 minutes). Aim for 9-10 swings per interval (it is okay if you can't hit that in the beginning). Do this for 2-3 times a week.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I'm using a 35 lbs kettlebell. Is that...reasonable?

 

35 is the typical female weight that you would want to work towards and be able to get comfortable with eventually. That is the weight most women test with at the SFG. Female "Simple Goals" (the reasonable, achievable goal) from Simple & Sinister call for 100 one-arm swings with a 53 in 5 minutes and 10 getups with a 35 in 10 minutes).

 

Here's the recommendation from Enter The Kettlebell:

pavel2.jpg

This includes upper body exercises, which start out and progress a lot slower than swings, particularly two-handed. (For reference, I know females who can swing a 44 but cannot lock out an 18 overhead.)

 

Tracy Reifkind also has her recommendations:

 

And she actually has the workouts and progressions she did from her book on Youtube:

 

I'm thinking try out the first 5 workouts and see how it feels for you. (She actually walks you through the entire thing in the video, and even does it with you.) You may just opt to stick with two-handed swings for a while, or choose to get a lighter one and eventually work on one-arm swings. Definitely get something lighter if you're going for Simple & Sinister. Buying a quality kettlebell for that will pay off in the long run since S&S can keep you occupied for a solid 6 months to a year.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both so much! I got a bit caught up in my 6WC and forgot to check this thread, but once things slow down I will definitely try some of your suggestions out! As predicted, the 35lbs is feeling a little light when I two hand swing (which is all I do). I'll start seeing if I can manage a single with it (and will look into a heavier bell). Any company suggestions??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried a few in different gyms. I like the ones from DragonDoor the most. They've got a really nice touch, they don't chip (meaning no paint will come off if they bounce against something), they have no weld seam at the handle.

 

They're pricier than most, but these will last you a lifetime and you can easily resell them on ebay once they get too light (they'll be basically as good as new).

 

You can get them here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also have DragonDoor, both at the gym and at home. 

I like them for the reasons BaconHunter gave, but I have never had the opportunity to test other brands. I believe there are other brands available in the US with a comparable quality, though not so much in our neck of the woods (Germany). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DragonDoor is the gold standard. If you manage to break one of their kettlebells they will give you a new one. They are, of course, very expensive.

I believe Kettlebells USA found DD's manufacturer and had the same ones made, selling them for a cheaper price. It looks and feels exactly the same.

The most affordable high-quality I know of is the Rogue kettlebell. It also has a nice texture for better grip.

Wright Equipment is in the same price range, cheaper when they have free shipping sales. Also a high-quality one, with a smoother finish.

Ader is a bit more expensive, but it's my favorite out of the ones I have. Solid construction smooth finish, and I like the shape, particularly for snatching.

CAP kettlebells are pretty cheap. I believe they sell them in Walmart. Slick finish that some people prefer, though they might get slippery once sweat gets to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.