We've written about the benefits of adding kettlebells to your workouts and how the kettlebell swing exercise boosts your leg strength. Now the caveat: the kettlebell swing is hard to get right, with people making little mistakes that put them at risk of injury. Learn to avoid a world of hurt by knowing what not to do.
In this video, Pat Flynn goes over these five most common mistakes when people kettlebell swing:
- You swing with a rounded back. This makes you more likely to hurt your lower back. Two fixes here: keep your chest up and proud, like you want to show off your shirt logo, and your back straight by imagining you have to balance a broomstick on your back.
- You squat the kettlebell swing. At its core, the swing is a lot like a deadlift. You want to hinge at your hips, rather than squat down. In other words, butt goes back, not down.
- You use your arms too much. All of the power in a kettlebell swing comes from hinging your hips back and thrusting forward. Your arms only guide and control the kettlebell. Your arms don't actually lift anything.
- Your heels come off the ground. Your feet should stay in contact with the ground the entire time, but you should focus on driving through your heels to push your hips forward.
- Your swing goes too high. Bringing the kettlebell above your head tends to make you overarch your back. Think of the kettlebell swing as a back and forth movement. There should be no "up" unless you're doing a kettlebell snatch.
These mistakes aren't unique to the kettlebell swing. Having a rounded back or letting your heels lift off the ground are never good things in about 99% of exercises. When practicing your kettlebell swing, be sure to use a weight that lets you swing with control but is also heavy enough to let you practice that hip snap.