A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet up with my old friend from Houston, Richard. It is always good to meet up with old friends and get some good strength practice in. A bonus is when we can fine tune skill & technique.
I am writing this blog:
Your starting position is very important because it sets up your potential for a good movement. Plus it keeps you safe. I believe your starting set-up is important for all movements; but for our purposes we were focusing on the kettlebell swing, clean, and snatch. Because I believe it will set us up for the others, we will focus on the swing today.
The swing can look simple. However, if you study it, especially as an SFG or RKC - you know there are many technical cue-worthy things to talk about.
I want to do my best to keep this blog/language simple while hitting some good talking points/reminders. When you enjoy and are excited about something you have learned, I think it can be easy to overflow with enthusiasm and blurt out every tip/cue/detail to those you are trying to help. Have you heard this, seen this? It sounds like an auctioneer. But as a student I think that can feel overwhelming and the wrong details can be emphasized or overload causes none to happen.
I am not going to say my swing is perfect. That would be hubris. I know I can get better, and practice to get better. In fact to be completely honest, most times I take a picture or video I am often reluctant to post or upload it because I can pick 5+ things out that I could have done better. There is a time and place for everything. I am not discounting details. They are of utmost importance. I have discovered it helpful to make sure a movement is safe, then progressively dial in the details. Of course if it is unsafe, we must stop and make safe before progressing.
Public Service Announcement:
Practice inhale on hike (&) backswing
"Hiss" breathe out on swing
Brace your body at the top of the swing, as if bracing for impact
Wait to push your but back (hip hinge) until inside of arm hits the ribs.. think brave heart, "HOLD..."
Bell handle is always above the knees on the back swing
Shins vertical should be your "north-star"
This series of pictures shows the progression of improving our starting position. These 3 are sort of the "Before"/during.
This is the after. I like this much better!
I like to do Dead-stop swings:
Below is a video I did for my online clients about Deadstop swings.
Note: You could debate that my hips are a little high (at :44 seconds) on the video. For me it matches up with my deadlift stance. Where I get my hips at the :43 seconds is where I'd aim for my clients.
To cap off our weekend - we finished with a Kettlebell deadlift gauntlet. Because its fun, and we get to use the 68KG bell.