Kettlebell Swing Preparation 1.0

kettlebell strength routines by Camilla Silva

Camilla Silva, Master Kettlebell Instructor (and she’s Brazilian)

Belleaza Camilla – ta bom demais eh?

“Warning:  After reading this article, you may may succumb to vigorous outdoors exercise routines that are actually fun, absorbing mood boosting  vitamin D, convening with nature, and become slightly spiritual.  Worse, it may become social and happy.  You may start to actually enjoy working out, and see how it may actually fit into your life.   Eventually, you may start to enjoy working out more than alcohol, shopping and general laziness.  Please be advised.”

The Russian kettlebell swing is one of the three fundamental kettlebell movements, on which all other routines are based. The other two are the getup and the deadlift (as opposed to barbell training, where the three quintessential movements are the pull up, the squat and the bench press).  Now stop right here. All of you who want to work core and but should listen – because the three most fundamental kettlebell moves intensely work the but and core (not simply isolating the chest and back). And kettlebells have greater transference to sports and general athleticism than even the squat, according to at least one in depth study here.

Top three recommendations for learning the sport and the art of Russian Kettlebells:

1. Workout Outside

2. Hire an Instructor with the certificaitons RKC, HKC, or SFG. There are also great instructors under the American school.

3. Order Pavel Tsatsouline’s book, Enter the Kettlebell. Don’t pick up a kettlebell until you’ve read the first chapter and practiced the exercises below, which lead up to learning the swing.

Rules for learning the kettlebell swing:

1. Take off your shoes.  Kettlebells require you have a solid connection to the ground surface, and biomechanical feedback from your feet.  3/4 inch of spongy rubber (shoes) under your feet will allow you to break form, so don’t do it.  Shoes you can wear include canvas shoes such as Converse and Vans.

2. Clear the floor around you.  Never let any other equipment within a large perimeter before each set.

3. Learn how to  properly and consistently perform the kettlebell deadlift first. If you skip this step, call me, I’ve got a great Chiropractor for you to see (haha – but seriously – ignore any of these steps and you’ll be on ice – JUUUUST like the squat, or any complex movement.) The best technique to make sure you’re deadlifting correctly is by doing unloaded squats with a wide stance, facing a wall.  Once you can easily squat with your toes facing the wall, you have started to develop proper mechanics. Here’s a great demostration.

strength training programme

Steve Maxwell, Jiu- Jitsu world champion, and Senior RKC Kettlebell Instructor

4. Practice the Box Squat Jump.  Press your hands into the creases of your hips, and extend your but out.  Do this until you perform the motion easily.  Now place a box behind you just below knee level.  Perform this move again, now lowering your but onto the box.  You may hold a kettlebell in front of you for stability.  Now, unloaded, lower yourself to the box again, until you’re touching the box, with the glutes, hips and core engaged, and explode off of the box into a jump, as high as possible.  Repeat this for 5 sets of 2 jumps.  This is the same explosive movement, the Hip Hinge, that’s used to swing the bell. It’s also the most powerful movement of the human body, with the squat actually coming in second to the hinge.

5. Learn to swing the kettlebell using a towel. Here is a demonstration of the towel swing.  Do this next to a mirror, not facing it.  Once your body creates a straight line, and also your arms…..once these 3 straight lines are created, you will be ready to start practicing the regular swing.

This should keep you busy for awhile, preparing your body for the physical, mental and neuromotor skills to perform the kettlebell basics. In the coming week or two, I will post part II of this tutorial, which should be helpful in your development of a  great Russian Kettlebell swing.

body shaping with kettlebells


Ready to start learning how to use kettlebells correctly? Then, why not book your ONE WEEK FREE TRIAL NOW?

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,

Strength Training at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA







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