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Kettlebell Help fix my swings

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Anna C, you're right - that is a very nice, and very heavy, kettlebell swing that @Jeffery Sokol is doing there. (He's not been on the forum much, but I thought I'd tag him, anyway.)

-S-
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Did a set with the 32kg bell. It's not great, but it seems better than some of my videos with the 24, probably partly because of the practice, partly because the heavy load demands greater technique, and I've spent a lot more time with this bell recently.
I've only had time to do this, since I've been hanging out with family all afternoon. I will try to do towel swings tomorrow.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Looking strong! Mostly has the same issues, but you'll be working on it.

I have a feeling you would do better with a 40 or a 48 kg with those 2H swings. Heavy weight can be instructive... But with your back issues, better to take the more deliberate corrective approach and work your way to it with a solid technique.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Not sure I could handle 40, definitely not 48, because I've only been swinging the 32kg for 5x5. Thanks though!
 

Gypsyplumber

Level 5 Valued Member
As others have mentioned you don’t want to rush through the timing of the swing imagine going from the hike position hinging to a standing plank and pause a little bit. Let that bell float at the top of the plank then as the bell comes back down let the bell dictate when you hinge to “catch the bell” back at the groin. Try not to let the bell whip around so much.

Also as I’m giving out advice I had flashbacks to me trying to learn and my number one regret at the beginning was not seeking out a coach for some 1 on one training. All it took me was one paid session from a sfg coach and I had my basics dialed enough to start really progressing. Sometimes the best solution is to seek a professional.
 

Coach Louie

Level 1 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Go back to your deadlift set up.

1. Hinge back.
2. Broad chest.
3. Neutral spine.
4. Squeeze the bell and try to bend it. (This will pack the shoulders away from your ears and activate your lats.)
5. Squeeze your glutes and core.
6. Spread your toes into the ground.
7. Now stand up with the weight and place it back down towards your heels.

Practice all this in your set up. Then revisit the swing when your back feels better.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Today, I did the towel swing, then some naked/air swings (practicing having a straight back and timing the hinge without worrying about timing or weight), then more towel swings. I posted the second towel swing set here. I think I see improvement in my form when swinging the towel, my back posture and hinge timing seems generally better than it has been before. It's a little frustrating to see my upper back often round forward just before I pull into the hinge, even though I'm not using weight.

Should I try tying a stick to my back? It's an idea that just occurred to me.
 
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Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
The towel swing look GREAT! You did the exactly right. And yes, bring that timing back to your regular swing.

Your upper back looks fine to me.... Just keep a "big chest."

You can do a broomstick on your back to pattern the hinge with no kettlebell. This helps cure neck overextension too, which you have a bit of. Get the stick to 3 points of contact -- back of the head, upper back, and sacrum, and practice moving in and out of the hinge while keeping all 3 points in contact with the stick. With this, your head with stay perfectly in line with your spine. Try to keep your gaze on the horizon by looking up through your eyebrows as you come down, and then looking straight ahead as you come up. With swings you don't have to keep quite this much alignment -- the neck can extend some, with no problem -- but the drill helps to keep the amount of extension in check.
 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
Great improvement on the towel swings.

The first thing that jumps out to me on the naked swings is how your hinge is squatty. Think about pushing the butt back more.

You should try the same drill with a wall behind you and aim to touch your butt to the wall. Trying to get your feet as far from the wall as you can.

Here you have both the broomstick and wall drill in one. Just make sure you are in your swing stance when practicing these.

 
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Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Today, I did the towel swing, then some naked/air swings (practicing having a straight back and timing the hinge without worrying about timing or weight), then more towel swings. I posted the second towel swing set here. I think I see improvement in my form when swinging the towel, my back posture and hinge timing seems generally better than it has been before. It's a little frustrating to see my upper back often round forward just before I pull into the hinge, even though I'm not using weight.

Should I try tying a stick to my back? It's an idea that just occurred to me.
Much better..

Try looking forward rather than up. I believe that will fix some of the rounding
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
I did the broomstick hinge drill (with a classy cane), then the version where I hinge into a wall. I did a few sets of that, then a couple of sets of towel swings followed by a few sets of regular swings with 16kg. I think the towel swings were good, but I think I was doing back-extension swings again when I did the normal swings.
I posted video of the first set of hinges, as I couldn't find a good spot for the camera for the wall version. These are the last set of towel swings and the last set of 35lbs swings.

 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
I find that your hinge looks much better than before in your 16kg swings. Your timing is getting better too.

As @Mark Limbaga pointed out, try to look forward and slightly down, less up. Your gaze could be aimed at the top of the red bin in front of you. Usually something like where the floor and wall meet in a big room is a good place too look at. Since your wall is a bit close I'd gaze slightly higher than that.

Keep working the drills before your swings, you're on the right track.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
I find that your hinge looks much better than before in your 16kg swings. Your timing is getting better too.

As @Mark Limbaga pointed out, try to look forward and slightly down, less up. Your gaze could be aimed at the top of the red bin in front of you. Usually something like where the floor and wall meet in a big room is a good place too look at. Since your wall is a bit close I'd gaze slightly higher than that.

Keep working the drills before your swings, you're on the right track.
Thanks. I was thinking about that on some of the sets, but I think I'll do better if I focus on a few of the details at a time. Right now I'm mainly focusing on the hinge: Timing, eliminating back flexion, sitting back more.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
The hinge drill looks good. Add a bracing of the abs anytime you come into the standing plank -- even with the kettlebell-less drills.

The towel swings look good.

35 lb swings are still a bit rushed... Think of reaching both your hips and the kettlebell a bit more down than back, in the back swing. Whereas you are currently at 9:00, you want to be at 8:00 on the "SFG Clock" from this article: The SFG Clock—A Guide for the Swing, Clean, and Snatch | StrongFirst

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Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
The hinge drill looks good. Add a bracing of the abs anytime you come into the standing plank -- even with the kettlebell-less drills.

The towel swings look good.

35 lb swings are still a bit rushed... Think of reaching both your hips and the kettlebell a bit more down than back, in the back swing. Whereas you are currently at 9:00, you want to be at 8:00 on the "SFG Clock" from this article: The SFG Clock—A Guide for the Swing, Clean, and Snatch | StrongFirst

View attachment 15858
Thanks for the tip! The article was helpful as well. I guess I took the sitting back thing too far lmao.

Just wanted to say to everybody who has contributed to this thread, I feel you have all helped me dial in my form a bit better as well as Stephen B. Once again, I find myself in debt to the Strongfirst community, thank you very much one and all!
Glad this is helping you too!
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Did the hinge drill again, then two sets of towel swings (second one is posted), and 3 sets with 35lbs, (2nd and 3rd are posted). The first two sets with 35lbs were pretty similar to my swings yesterday, with the back flexing and the hips going back too far and the torso too horizontal. The third set I focused on hinging down until the torso was at a 45 degree angle of elevation from the floor, and I think it worked pretty well.

 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
3rd set looks good! I see the improvement. Time to go back to 24kg, I think...
 
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