Question arms during swing

John Locke

Double-Digit Post Count
Hi all.
This is my first post after a month of lurking. You have to excuse my bad english as I'm not a native speaker.

I've begun S&S with a light 12kg as I'm on the weak side (only running and mountain biking over the last years).
After a while I switched to the 16kg as I'm getting better and stronger.

The area where I have more problems is when going plank. I'm not able to "pop" the pelvis so I'm quite lifting the ball with my arms. Also, because of the exagerate movement I try to make with the pelvis, I lean back.
So my question is: with a perfect technique, how much the arms do have to carry the ball to get it to the chest level, or all the force has to come exclusively from the "pop" from the pelvis?

Also, to avoid the leaning back I'm trying to push forward with my arms while going plank, but I'm not sure this is a good idea for my shoulders.

I've already read a lot about common mistakes and I'm trying to arrange a band for blocking my shoulder from going too far back but in the mean time I'm continuing practicing.

Thanks
Andrea
 

Timmer C

Triple-Digit Post Count
The area where I have more problems is when going plank. I'm not able to "pop" the pelvis so I'm quite lifting the ball with my arms. Also, because of the exagerate movement I try to make with the pelvis, I lean back.
So my question is: with a perfect technique, how much the arms do have to carry the ball to get it to the chest level, or all the force has to come exclusively from the "pop" from the pelvis?
Welcome. Lifting with the arms makes the action closer to a front raise than a swing. While it’s possible that you may find benefits from doing front raises, it’s better to keep front raises as front raises and swings as swings. The front raise is best done with light weights and difficult to scale to the increasing weights that one faces as they go deeper into S & S. The hip hinge, when that skill is acquired, is better able to scale to heavier weights. Someone like
@Anna C might be able to offer tips on hip hinge issues.
 
Last edited:

Tim Randolph

Triple-Digit Post Count
“Memorize this: In the swing, the arms work on the negative, the hips on the positive.”

— Kettlebell Simple & Sinister: Revised and Updated Edition by Pavel Tsatsouline

I am not qualified to give you particular coaching but if your arms are working to raise the bell, you need to focus on getting the acceleration from the hips. And welcome! You will get there and it is very much worth the effort.
 

crazycanuck

> 2k Posts

The video midway through this article has some good tips about the swing, and you may find with this technique you are able to have the bell seem to float at the top rather than lifting it with the arms. I've had luck patterning this motion without a bell, as well as closing my eyes for some sets when swinging, so as to better without visual distractions feel the arms and even the wrist against the body then hinging back at that last second. For me at least it gives the feeling of the swing being more efficient as you are not fighting the motion of the bell with the arms having it further from your center of gravity by hinging too soon.
 

Mark Limbaga

> 2k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I also would not be too quick to say weaker.

It also requires a level of strength when you're going uphill on a bike, especially a very steep incline
 

John Locke

Double-Digit Post Count
Thanks all for the kind replies.
I'll work on the technique with and without the weight but the point is that, even after reading and watching a lot (S&S 2.0 of course), the movement is deceptively easy, but it isn't, so I'll have to put a lot of effort to improve it.

Also, I foud out that maybe I'm keeping the arms too tensed and straight; so, is it better to keep the elbow a bit unlocked (just a few degrees)? I would not say relaxed, but just not completely extended?

@Mark Limbaga : you're too kind but I've focused too much only in aerobic activities so I've to buid up a more strenght before being too old (50 are next :)).
 

Tim Randolph

Triple-Digit Post Count
Pavel’s earlier book, Enter the Kettlebell has a drill to teach you to not use your arms called the towel swing. Basically you loop a towel over the handle of the bell and swing from the towel. At that point your arms can’t provide any assistance, so you have to use the hips. I am not sure why this drill isn’t part of S&S now. It helped me years ago, but maybe it is better to just learn by leaving a bit of slack in your arms.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@John Locke, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

It would be great if you could post a video of your swing so that we could see what you're talking about.

-S-
 
Top Bottom