Double hand swing form critique


Level 1 Valued Member
Hello all,

I've had a kettlebell for a while but only recently have I started to consistently train with it.

I was wondering if any of you could do me the courtesy of giving me a kb swing form critique?

Any pointers or areas to improve on would be hugely appreciated.



Jason Paul

Level 3 Valued Member
I think your form is a bit too squatty, and needs more hinge. Your overall force seems projected more upward than forward (note the kettlebell's little flip-up at the top and bottom of the swing).

The force should be more back-forward, which will come from a stronger hinge pattern, rather than a squatty up-down pattern.

Also, I believe you are bending at the hips too soon. Wait until your forearms touch your sides before popping back into a hinge.

Remember, it's not a flowing up-down-up-down pattern. It's more of a up-float-downup-float-downup-float. The "downup" is a quick, popping down-up motion. It's quick and snappy, not a flowing, fluid up, down, up, down.


Level 6 Valued Member
Try and put your forearms on the inside of your thighs and not let the bell swing back and hit your rear end. I also think hinging more instead of squatting will also help.

Also your breathing doesn't appear to match your hip drive. Your inhale appears to start as the bell hits the furthest point in the backswing and you don't exhale until the bell is starting to fall into the backswing. -You should be inhaling as the bell falls into the backswing and have your forceful exhale as you drive the bell forward finishing the exhale before or at the time it hits the peak of the arc.

Watch Anna

or Karen Smith


Level 6 Valued Member
Here is another good video to watch.


Level 3 Valued Member
"Try and put your forearms on the inside of your thighs and not let the bell swing back and hit your rear end."

Yeah, that's his #1 problem.

Make an effort to really reach back with the kettlebell and wait a little bit more before initiating hip extension.

It looks like you're rushing it. You're extending your hips before the bell has reached as far back as it can.

I believe that's the reason it's hitting your rear end.

IMPORTANT: At the end of your set, park the bell. Don't hold it like that and then walk. That's very bad!

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Nice to be held up as a good example... Thanks, Travis!

Nick, I'd say you're on the right track. Good flat back and good hip snap. The feedback so far sounds on target and will give you some things to work on. My thought is that some of that (like the bell flipping up) will be self-correcting with a heavier bell, when you feel you're ready for it. Good job and keep practicing!


Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks everyone for the constructive and honest criticism, you've given me some good pointers to work on!


Level 1 Valued Member
I have another question

Does the bell flipping up and sometimes tapping me lightly on the backside indicate bad form?

It seems no matter how deep I hinge and how patient I am before extending the bell slightly flips.

Or alternatively could this be to do with the relative lightness of the bell I'm using?

Jason Paul

Level 3 Valued Member
I'd say it could be either or both.

You might start by using a heavier bell if you have one, as it can be self-correcting.

That said, the flipping up, plus the more up/down pattern I see (rather than more forward/back) indicates there's a little issue with your form as well.

To me, it looks like your force is being projected at about a 45-degree angle or steeper. So, it looks more upward than forward. Remember that you're projecting the bell forward, like you're "throwing" it for distance rather than height.

One visualization I use is that of the force being like a rubber band, like a slingshot. It throws the kettlebell forward, then throws it backward in the same path. Imagine a Y-shaped tree, and you've made it into a giant slingshot. Now imagine actually using it to fling a large rock at your enemy. Think about the path of the slingshot's pocket. It shoots forward (forward/slightly upward) throwing the rock, then snaps back in roughly the same path (backward/slightly downward).

Because the force is at a shallow angle, the kettlebell stays roughly in line with the arms (both in the forward-most and backward-most positions), so it doesn't flip up in either position. Not sure if that's helpful since it's hard to describe in text.

By a shallow angle, I'm thinking in terms of around 20 degrees, with the crotch being the horizontal plane. The force travels in that 20-degree line, forward is above the horizontal plane, backward is below the horizontal plane. Again, this is just a visualization of the force - not really the exact path of the kettlebell.

Man, I'm not sure if any of that makes any sense at all in text, but I know what I mean and it's been a helpful visualization for me.

And duh - forgot this earlier - doing towel swings can give you the same idea in a practical hands-on way.


Level 2 Valued Member
Hi Nicholas!

I wouldn't be so hard on your form. Most key points are there as well as hinging from your hips and have your shins as vertical as possible. Good!

However, the hinge starts too soon (as allready mentioned) and the hinge movement is not that deep - that is you explode up when the kettlebell still has got some kinetic energy rearwards. I'm pretty sure that's why you get a slight hit on your glutes.

This can be either impatience or inflexibility in your hamstrings. If you need more flexibility, do "the good morning stretch" or let the swing gradually stretch the hamstrings over time.

Since I have a hard time detecting a "kime" (glute and abdominal contraction following your exhalation) on the top of the swing, I would advice you to add some "hard style breathing" practice (provided you lack heart problems and high blood pressure) to enhance this perticular coordination. If you allready contract as hard as you can, you might have to add hip flexor stretches (if you're not allready follow the S&S program) to enable some posterior tilt of the pelvis (the tailbone-navel-maneuver).

If it's hard to sort out the good points from all the opinions on this thread, you could contact an SF-instructor in your vicinity or contact a specific instructor and ask for help over Internet.

Best regards, Henke in Sweden
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