Form check

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Gary Wilson, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Hi guys, im doing S&S all sets with the 24 at the moment, i keep getting a bad lower back, not every time but every now and then.

    I know its my swings, im having real trouble timing my hinge to a point i feel like just giving them up.

    This is with a 16kg just because my back is still tender from the swings this morning

  2. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    Not bad.

    Sit back into the hinge, load your hamstrings and use your glutes.

    Stay tight -- more tension, both hinge and plank. Practice without the kettlebell - moving from hinge to plank and being TIGHT in both positions.

    Be more mindful when you set the bell down... good tight hinge position whenever you're loaded, i.e. until the bell is parked.
    advtracer and Gary Wilson like this.
  3. advtracer

    advtracer Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    +1 to what @Anna C stated. Can you post a video of your KB deadlift?
  4. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Ok so i done a couple more shots this morning, this is after my s&s training and using a 24kg
    I really tried sitting back more, not sure i managed it though

    Thought i better get my getups checked too although i "feel" they are ok while doing them.

  5. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    I'm not an SFG but I was a kinesiologist in what now seems like a past life. So take what I say with a grain of salt.

    As @Anna C said you need to drill that hinge unloaded to get the movement pattern down. If your hinge isn't perfect you have to compensate with the lumbar spine. Aim for a deep unweighted hinge before you load it too much You seem to be moving your legs independently too ie they lockout at different times so there's a slight pelvic twist happening on the upswing. Those two factors could be what's causing your back trouble. You seem strong enough but you just need to refine that hinge and learn to keep your abs tighter as you do it.

    Yout TGU is OK but when you plant your arm keep it locked tight and try to imagine a straight line drawn from the hand on the floor all the way up to the bell and keep your shoulders fixed to that line throughout the movement. For a tall guy like you that may not be possible but try to get as close to that as possible.
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  6. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    I really struggle with sitting back more in the hinge, tight hams have always been a problem for me even with daily stretching, due to my job driving 500 or miles a week its a never ending battle of stiffness.

    I actually felt i was sitting into it more than i was watching it back.

    I will keep practicing unloaded, i think i have been in a bit of a rush with the swings to go from 16 to 24 as i feel like my getups are far stronger than my swings, thinking of going to 28kg in the next month for getups.
    Probably got a bit lazy with my form.
    Tarzan likes this.
  7. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    All that sitting will take its toll as you know. If it's possible visiting an SFG could be one of the best investments you could make. They'll sort out your movement patterns and give some advice on your mobility. A bit of guidance in that respect now could make the difference between being tight for the rest of your life and being more mobile so you can avoid any unnecessary pain in later life.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  8. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    Swings look better, yes, but could still be improved a lot -- which is definitely worth it, for your back.

    A good way to practice/drill the hinge is to do kettlebell deadlifts before your swings. Kettlebell between heels, hinge hips back, grab bell, stand... like this:
    KAREN SMITH on Instagram: “#mondaymotivation KICKING this week off with BEAST DEADLIFTs x 10/5 ## 1. Place the bell between your ankles and then slightly turn toes…”

    Then seek that same hinge position for your swings.

    It should feel like a jump. You need to get a lot more power from your legs -- right now you're getting all the swing momentum from hip extension which affects the back more.

    When you get the leg power going, the timing will feel a little different. You won't be pushing forward with the hips to make the bell move, it will be moving forward by lever action of your body moving upwards and the bell being connected to your torso by your arm and packed shoulder.

    Get-ups look fine. Keep seeking precision in each position, and graceful transitions. Add a pause at the elbow position on the way down and keep the shoulder packed from there to the floor.
  9. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Ok thanks, yes i do push the bell forward with my hips, i thought thats what i was suposed to be doing lol

    I will try focusing on hinging more and using my legs more
  10. Brett Jones

    Brett Jones StrongFirst Director of Education Staff Member Master Instructor

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  11. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Im in Edenbridge uk

    I have messaged 2 SFGs a couple days ago to find out cost not heard back as of yet

    I will do a deadlift film and post it up here soon as i can

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  12. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    It's a little pet peeve of mine... You will not find many instructors that say it's wrong to do so (some even teach that you are supposed to), but in my opinion, it is an incorrect application of force transfer.

    The best kettlebell swings do not use the hips directly.

    Check out Holly and Arryn:
    Holly Myers + Arryn Grogan on Instagram: “Some say that timing is everything. In the #kettlebellswing , that’s pretty much it.⁣ ⁣ It takes #discipline and #patience to move a heavy…”

    You'll see with their EXCELLENT and HEAVY one-arm swings, there is no direct contact between forearm and hips/legs. You can also see, from that slow-mo video, how the force transfer chain goes from the ground, up the chain (where all links have maximum/adequate tension) from knees and hips extending and shoulders moving up, to the bell.
  13. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Yes i can definitely understand how using the legs for the power would help

    I think now that you have explained that i should be able to do it, i will do deadlift film and also have another go at swings and post that too.

    You guys are awesome!
    Anna C likes this.
  14. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Right, my attempt at deadlift...

    Ive never been good at deadlift, put it down to being tall always felt uncomfortable

    I feel like thats more of a squat than a deadlift, ill try having the bell evevated and try again.

    Not the best film my 4 yr old was filming lol

    I feel like this is more of a deadlift...
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  15. Stu

    Stu Double-Digit Post Count

    @Gary Wilson I don't feel I have enough experience to critique your form yet as I am still working on my own quite a bit. However I was doing mine very similarly to you in your first video. I had read so many swing form guides that went along the lines of 'a swing is a hinge and not a squat' that I removed all aspect of knee bend and sitting back and was focussing solely on snapping forward with the hips.

    Long story short, I went to see my local SFG @Colin Stewart who immediately spotted my error. I'm now sitting back a good bit more and I can feel the swings being substantially more powerful (and harder work). I highly recommend going to see an SFG, it is well worth the money. Just unfortunate I broke my finger the day after my session and I have only been able to practice my left handed swing and roll to elbow on the get up.

    Good luck and happy practicing.
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  16. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    Yes, you've got it, in that second video. Hips back, less knee bend than the first video. Keep working on that movement pattern and work the bell lower and lower.
  17. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Ok great, I'll work on that and try and transfer that movement over to my swing
  18. Colin Stewart

    Colin Stewart Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Hey @Stu , glad to have helped. Sorry to hear you broke your finger, hope you recover well. Pistol and zercher squats can be your friends.

    @Gary Wilson I know the Edinburgh SFGs, good guys. If they don't get back to you soon, let me know and I'll give them a poke. It might be something as simple as the query email we get from the SF site going into their spam mail.
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  19. Molson

    Molson Double-Digit Post Count

    Hi Gary.

    Great advice from everyone so far. I would also just add to really focus on that basic goblet squat and hip bridge warm-ups to open your hips more. A lot of people are advised to do specific psoas stretch when they sit a lot, I would leave his to judgement of an instructor, but just have a read about it.

    As a relatively tall guy I also have problems with bendy knees. Pavel’s trouble shooting recommendations for DL in PTTPP are quite useful - focus on pushing the ground with your feet away but not downright but actually to the front.

    Good luck
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  20. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Triple-Digit Post Count

    Tried my swings with more knee bend this morning, backs been aching all day, must have done something wrong!

    Ive literally always struggled with any form of forward bend exercise and low back pain :(

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