Losing form after 3 reps


Level 5 Valued Member
I've realized that I have a tendency to lose form after the first 3 kb swings in a given set.

Based on feedback from instructors and my own video recordings, the first 3 swings are usually strong, "relaxed" and have good hip action. However, after the third rep, things start to deteriorate, and I build up tension and all sorts of compensations, such as trying to use arm strength and leaning backwards etc.

How would you design a swing session in order to adress this kind of problem and break the bad habits? Should I continue to aim for 10 reps, or should I switch to 3 rep sets, or maybe 4 reps, or 3-4-5-4-3, or something else?

Any experiences to share? :)


Level 5 Valued Member
Mostly 16kg and 20kg (2 handed) , but I just did 8kg swings (1 handed and 2 handed) together with my naprapath, and that's when I realized I struggle to keep my form even for very light weights.

Thanks for the link! Maybe 3 reps with 24kg could be a way forward?


Level 4 Valued Member
How long have you been working with that 16kg? Perhaps staying on 2h 16kg only for a week or two would help.


Level 6 Valued Member
I would say, stay with 3 rep sets for now and just accumulate quality volume with it. Occasionally try sets of 5, then 7, then 10. Treat it as practice. Shake it off between sets. Maybe try rest-pause sets: 2 or 3 sets of 3 with only 10 seconds in between to shake a little and reset.


Level 5 Valued Member
Try posting a video here. I’m sure one of the many qualified certified instructors could quickly pinpoint your problem. You mentioned you had instructors in your post. What are their qualifications or certifications? I’m don’t mean to discount their ability but I’ve seen some instructors that didn’t have a clue about teaching proper kb technique. I sat in on a CrossFit class one time and I didn’t see one single person there with a proper hinge. They all squated and then tried to muscle the bell up with their arms. It was hard to watch.


Level 5 Valued Member
@Bauer @Molson @Hasbro

I admit that I provided very little information, so here is the full background data :)

I've already gotten fantastic feedback about my swing form in this thread:

Swing form check (for neck pain)

Before my neck pain issues, I was doing S&S, but after that thread, I've decided that I can't afford doing any swing with poor technique (just dawned upon me that if I do 10 reps, where only the 3 first reps are solid, I'll spend 70 % of my swings enforcing bad habits).

On the other hand: When I go all analytical and do 3 reps at a time with video inspection between each set, I don't get a decent workout, and I feel that my progress has stalled. The A+A idea was new to me, so maybe adding volume through many sets is a good idea?

Since the neck pain thread I've been doing a (surprisingly intense and challenging) rehab programme designed by my naprapath - no swings until now, just building a solid foundation of muscle activation/strength, primarily in my shoulders and back. It has done wonders for my shoulder packing, and my ability to support my neck and staying connected, so I feel I have a better foundation to actually start swinging again.

In his latest training programme, he's now (among other things) prescribing some one-handed swings with very light weights. He didn't have to teach me how to swing though - I've been obsessed at learning a perfect hardstyle Strongfirst swing for 5 years, so he mainly just pointed out when I temporarily lost hip action and other details.

About his credentials: He is a very skilled naprapath and a crossfit trainer. But once again, he's not really teaching me how to swing.

So back to my original question: How would you design a training programme for going from being able to do 3 solid swings to 10 solid swings - preferably both minimizing the number of "bad swings" while maximizing the volume.


Level 5 Valued Member
@4-bit I’m not an instructor or certified but personally I wouldn’t go forward with volume until you iron out the neck pain situation. It looks like to me you’re keeping your head neutral at the bottom of the swing and then when you explode upwards it’s putting a high whipping load on your neck. Have you ever tried focusing on a point out in front of you about 8ft or so? You don’t want to hyperextend your neck backwards but just enough of an uptilt at the bottom of the swing to lesson the weight of your head as you’re transferring into the upswing. I would stick with a 16k until you’ve figured it out.
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