Form check - S&S swings

KimoSabe

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi all,

I've just started with S&S and I want to make sure my form is correct before advancing to 1H or to a heavier weight.

Here I'm swinging 12 kg because 16 seemed a bit too much to do explosively, as I'm fairly detrained. This is the last set.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/drQmhAf5te8Dw9iP9

Brief training background: used to do strength training, some bests include 120x3 dead, BW front squat for reps, 50x1 press, 25x4 48kg kettlebell swings, 10 pullups. That was 3 years ago, and due to more focus first on martial arts, and then on yoga, I've neglected strength. Now I want to build it back up and I got 12, 16 and 20 kg kettlebells for cheap, bought S&S and started getting back to where I once was while maintaining my yoga practice.

All feedback much appreciated! :)
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Form looks great, @KimoSabe ! Setup, hinge, plank, timing, breathing, shoulders, all looks good to me.

As you move up in weight, focus on loading the hinge... sit back or bend the knees just a bit more, feel the hamstrings, quads, and glutes all loaded at the bottom of the swing ready to "jump" into the standing plank providing the power to move the bell.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
Hej @KimoSabe Be careful when parkig the bell that way. Maybe park the bell on a towel or so in front of you and put it down directly. Otherwise you are placing unnecessary stress on you lower back.

Your hips/posterior chain seem pretty mobile and coordinated. And the overall impression is really good, I think :)

You still might want to experiment with different swing types (minor variations). Which stance/knee bend/grip/timing feels more powerful/stable/in control?

I have found a bit more knee bend to be helpful:
An Explanation of the Athletic Hip Hinge | StrongFirst

Some good examples of more knee bend:
Some of my favorite "perfect swing" videos: Tim Almond, Jeff Sokol, Holly & Arryn, Anne Castevens, and here's one of mine (not perfect ;) ).
Personally I like to make a game out of hinging really late but really quick. This makes the swings way more powerful, which is more important for heavier weights.

And some additional work on the plank and power breathing might also serve you well. All of this will get better with practice over time. You will get stronger and more skilled. You will then be able to produce more power.

It is usually advised to practice one-hand swings only after having mastered the two-hand version, but I have found one-hand swings to be easier and safer to learn (escpecially with respect to timing and the plank). According to Mark Reifkind taller people or people with lower back issues sometimes respond better to the 1H version.
 
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Stefan Olsson

Level 6 Valued Member
It is usually advised to practice one-hand swings only after having mastered the two-hand version, but I have found one-hand swings to be easier and safer to learn (escpecially with respect to timing and the plank). According to Mark Reifkind taller people or people with lower back issues sometimes respond better to the 1H version.
Im (relatively) tall (185cm) with a herniated disc diagnosed 2 years back. This might apply to me? Do you have a link or perhaps @Rif can chime in?
 

KimoSabe

Level 6 Valued Member
@Bauer , thank you very much for the tips!

Since @Anna C 's and yours' feedback I've changed my swing technique to more knee bend, but still keeping the shins almost vertical Now my swing looks identical to my broad jump "loaded" position with the feet spread a bit wider - and I can certainly generate more power (not that I need it with a 12 kg bell, but I'm sure it will come in handy in the future).

Focusing on "playing catch" with the bell is also one of the cues I focus on the most - it really does help.

As for the 1H version, I can do it, but I'm taking my sweet time as far as progress goes, at least in the beginning. The plan is to do a December "steady-state" cycle with 12 kg, then progress to 16 in 2020 2H first and then 1H. After that, normal S&S progress as laid out in the book. I should be able to handle the Beast in about 5 years (following my own advice about becoming a beast :)).
 

KimoSabe

Level 6 Valued Member
So I decided to do a session with 16 kg to see how it feels. I've been doing it almost daily with the 12 kg and it seemed too light to get the proper form. Doing it with more actually felt good - I wasn't sore the day after and my power on the swings felt good, as well as my stability during the get-up. I also felt I get a better hinge since I'm forced to put more power into the swing. With the 12, it felt like I could easily do it at 50% effort, but with the 16 it feels like it forces me to be more on point - just a little bit more, but it makes a big difference.

Below are some new form videos, if anyone's in the mood to help a newb out :)

Swing:
- like @Bauer said, 1H swings feel more natural to me than 2H. Could indeed be something about being tall. But I still need to find a better way to park the bell - probably buy some thick cushioning for it.


Get-up:
- my elbow naturally hyperextends a bit, I hope that won't become a problem during heavier get-ups


P. S. Thinking about it, 32 kg is double the weight I'm doing now and it seems totally impossible... But on the other hand, I'm quite liking the pump I get from the sessions. Didn't expect that much honestly, but it seems this program will take care of my muscle quite nicely too.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
So I decided to do a session with 16 kg to see how it feels. I've been doing it almost daily with the 12 kg and it seemed too light to get the proper form. Doing it with more actually felt good - I wasn't sore the day after and my power on the swings felt good, as well as my stability during the get-up. I also felt I get a better hinge since I'm forced to put more power into the swing. With the 12, it felt like I could easily do it at 50% effort, but with the 16 it feels like it forces me to be more on point - just a little bit more, but it makes a big difference.

Below are some new form videos, if anyone's in the mood to help a newb out :)

Swing:
- like @Bauer said, 1H swings feel more natural to me than 2H. Could indeed be something about being tall. But I still need to find a better way to park the bell - probably buy some thick cushioning for it.


Get-up:
- my elbow naturally hyperextends a bit, I hope that won't become a problem during heavier get-ups


P. S. Thinking about it, 32 kg is double the weight I'm doing now and it seems totally impossible... But on the other hand, I'm quite liking the pump I get from the sessions. Didn't expect that much honestly, but it seems this program will take care of my muscle quite nicely too.
Sounds good! The vids are still set on private, though.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
TGU is looking solid to me. Really cool. Very controlled movement and no wobbles. I think you could try a real low sweep with your hip close to the ground. And maybe even tuck in the leg while your butt is still on the floor. And when returning to the windmill position on the way down, try to slide your free arm down your body and to the ground and then slide it out to the windmill position so that you would not fall as deep if you lost control, especially with a heavier bell. Like this:


And I have been told not to worry about hyperextended elbows. Just make sure to squeeze your pinky - this will help stabilizing your elbow (and shoulder).

The swing is looking good to me. I guess the general things to work on are the same: Hinging a bit later and quicker. Maybe with more knee bend. But I guess this stuff develops over time with consistent practice.

And you seem to be a guy for consistent and mindful practice :)
 
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