As you may already know, I am one of the coaches for the 300 swings a day challenge.(For more information on this awesome challenge that has changed lives and physiques click here.)You also may be aware that we have been holding this challenge for three months now and have been encountering some of the same issues for that same period of time.  Things such as: tendonitis, low back pain, torn up hands and a few other prevalent and preventable issues.  In light of those problems I decided to write this post with the goal of addressing these difficulties and if you follow its suggestions.  You will have a happy healthy uninterrupted kettlebell slinging and swinging life!

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In addition to dealing with those problems it will also help those who have not joined this challenge because of  the fear of over-training, due to the high volume and high frequency of swings. I can understand that fear,  because I realize that this type of person knows that over doing it will screw up their results. However, this fear is unfounded and shows  a lack of understanding when it comes to the nature of kettlebell swing and this challenge. Which is okay they just need to be educated on how to swing safely and need to know themselves well enough to properly  approach the month (or longer) of swings. This fear will also be addressed in this post as well, by showing you how not to go too far and get continual results through swinging well!

ImageThe kettlebell swing when done with the right loading for that indivual and with the proper technique is a very good high volume-/high frequency exercise.  If and when all of the perceived little nuances of the move are paid close attention to and constantly applied. The few that I want to cover in this post are: Grip/arms, bell height on the swing for low back reasons , tension and consistent technique. So strap in friends this post will be a bumpy but productive ride!

 

1. Grip/ arms
Too often do  well-intentioned people over grip the bell as they swing.  (I think it is a fear motivated thing) In other words the swinger feels like they will somehow launch the bell off in the depths of the stratosphere, if they grip the bell properly. All jokes aside- the way that you grip the bell is important for your performance and for your safety/longevity. Many overuse injuries like tendonitis come as a result of not gripping the bell appropriately.  So instead of over gripping the bell and keeping it in the palms of your hands. Loosely grip and let it sit in your fingers or hook grip it as shown in the video below. The second part of this point is how you keep your arms while swinging. For the same reasons as your hands keep your arms nice and relaxed throughout your reps and sets. In order to do this relax your arms on your set up and use your rear to drive the bell out , then your lats to hike it back. Don’t lift with your arms: swing! It is called a kettlebell swing and not a lift for reason! Which bring me to my next point:

 

2. Bell height on your swings for low back and tension reasons:

Everyone’s bell height on the top of their swing may be different. As you  may have noticed Pat Flynn  tends to get the bell up pretty high when he swings . To me that is ok as long as you can engage your core and don’t  “gangsta lean” back on the top of your swing. However, I dare say that most of us cannot accomplish that feat as Pat does without leaning back . So as a general guideline: it is better to swing chest height to make sure that you are not screwing up your back. (unless you really like your chiropractor!:p). Another great thing about swinging this way is that you will be able to generate some good tension on the top of your swing.( make yourself like a statue) Which makes the swing safer and helps you burn more calories while working out.  Just don’t put total tension into them, remember you are doing 300 swings. So pace yourself friends!

 

moses juggle

(no gangsta lean here)

3. Consistent technique:

This may be the hardest part of the swing, but it is the one holds it all together. That is  you will need to have an intentional focus on your form and on making every rep look the same. Your swing needs to be a hinge, in order to keep putting out high output. The bell has to stay close to you as you hinge back in order to be efficient and to keep your low back safe. You will also want to clench your glutes on top as well and practice bracing your abs in that position. (the top) Lastly, you will want to play chicken with the bell as you hinge back. You will simply want to wait till the bell is about to collide with your private area and right at that second hinge  then stand back up explosively. All of these points make up a safe and efficient swing, which will give you the ability to not only endure 300 swings a day but to conquer it!

Watch the video below for a demonstration and pointers on the swing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These three points ( ok, 2 and a half) are needed if you want to really enjoy and get the most out of the kettlebell swing workouts. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the nuances. Just simply pick one thing per workout and or set to get better at. Then as you get the feeling for all of the components,  you will be getting much better results and be able to keep swinging for the long haul. (if you should choose to) In addition to this great feature, you will also find it easier to learn moves like the clean and snatch. So get to it and get better!

 

If you need more help with your kettlebell technique or training in general, click here for my online coaching programs. But hurry I am almost out of spots!
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