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Kettlebell Squat / Swing ratio

Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
I have seen a lot the Squat:Swing ratio of 1:5. 1 squat - 5 swings. Where does that come from?
Also what is the reasonable goal for goblet squats with the kettlebell? With the swing - we have a benefit of acceleration / deceleration, so we can get away with using a lighter weight.
With the squat - let's say I am pressing a 24kg bell, what would be the benefit of squatting with the bell that light?
This question concerns single kettlebell use / programs. I know that there is an option of a double front squat, barbell front squat and ultimately low bar back squat - and I have done them. I am wondering if I should just do prying goblet squats as a mobility drill, or are they actually worth training.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Worth training, yes. More ROM than strength, sure. Not much more than 32kg needed for a Goblet Squat IMO. If you want to push the squat pattern for strength, try something else.

1:3-5 seems common yes, not sure why but the swing requires many more reps than a heavy DL so that's partly why. Just comes from tons of experience.
 

jayjo

Level 2 Valued Member
I thought I could get away with only doing Swings but my knees & quads were getting small and week like a little girl. Without a barbell set up I am doing Goblet Squats also some days Overhead Lunges with KB.
 

Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
but my knees & quads were getting small and week
Yes, I am a bit afraid of that after barbell squats 3 days a week for 3 years...
But - then again, those did not make me happy at the end of the day.
 

Francisco

Level 4 Valued Member
I have seen a lot the Squat:Swing ratio of 1:5. 1 squat - 5 swings. Where does that come from?
Also what is the reasonable goal for goblet squats with the kettlebell? With the swing - we have a benefit of acceleration / deceleration, so we can get away with using a lighter weight.
With the squat - let's say I am pressing a 24kg bell, what would be the benefit of squatting with the bell that light?
This question concerns single kettlebell use / programs. I know that there is an option of a double front squat, barbell front squat and ultimately low bar back squat - and I have done them. I am wondering if I should just do prying goblet squats as a mobility drill, or are they actually worth training.
A man once said: “Not everyone needs to squat heavy, but everyone needs to squat”. So If you want you can delve into heavier GSQ, no need though.
On a slight tangent, some - Pavel Macek and others that have followed S&S for several years - have found benefit with this template:
1) one set of five light prying reps - provided you have adequate mobility this is all you need to maintain it
2) two sets of five “heavy” reps (around your swing weight)
This is still the 3x5 advised in S&S, with a slight twist.

Edit: GSQ always make me happier…
 

Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
Yes, I have done that. The thing was - I did not understand why am I doing 5 reps with 32 when I could do 20 with pauses...
So, I just do prying with 16 now - but this is also questionable, my flexibility for the squat is extremely good.
 

jozko

Level 5 Valued Member
Yes, I have done that. The thing was - I did not understand why am I doing 5 reps with 32 when I could do 20 with pauses...
So, I just do prying with 16 now - but this is also questionable, my flexibility for the squat is extremely good.
Because Goblet squat, esp. the rep scheme in S&S, is rather "therapeutic" tool, instead of strength building tool. Your joints, and particularly knees and hips, need to be exercised in full ROM in order to stay healthy. Use it or lose it, and I find the frequency of this much more important than the volume or intensity.
 

TedM

Level 5 Valued Member
Helpful discussion. Answered some questions I had.
Thanks for opening the thread.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
I am wondering if I should just do prying goblet squats as a mobility drill, or are they actually worth training.

I think they're useful for newbies and as a warm up / mobility drill.

But I don't get much out of them these days.

In KB land, I get a lot more out of double KB front squats as a leg builder.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
I thought I could get away with only doing Swings but my knees & quads were getting small and week like a little girl.

Ditto -- when I did S&S by the book, my knee health and quad strength regressed until I added in more squatting than S&S proscribes.
 

Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
Yeah, I know - but that requires double bells. And - after owning a squat rack and 180kg weight plates - I just don't want to go further than 16-24-32 set yet. That was the idea - a smaller footprint.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
Yeah, I know - but that requires double bells. And - after owning a squat rack and 180kg weight plates - I just don't want to go further than 16-24-32 set yet. That was the idea - a smaller footprint.

You can only do so much for the lower body with a single 32 kg bell.

The reality is that for most normal size adult males, that's a ridiculous light weight for lower body grinds (deadlifts, squats).

Single KB pause front squats / split squats / lunges is what I would do if I was trying to maximize leg building potential and only had 1 KB.
 
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Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
Ditto -- when I did S&S by the book, my knee health and quad strength regressed until I added in more squatting than S&S proscribes.
What did you end up doing?
As far as I get it - the best option would be to add some squats at the end of the workout. This would per-exhaust the quads, and will not interfere with the main program. Maybe, one ladder: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 and to the infinity till the speed slows down.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Single KB pause front squats / split squats / lunges is what I would do if I was trying to maximize leg building potential and only had 1 KB.
May I add... if one can work up to a 32 KG Skater Squat/Airborne Lunge/insert other name, you're doing pretty darn well with leg strength.
If you can do a 32 kg single leg squat, strength is probably not your problem.
 

Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
I thought I could get away with only doing Swings but my knees & quads were getting small and week like a little girl.

Kettlebell Swing Frog Squats for Quads

 

Xcal

Level 5 Valued Member
I thought I could get away with only doing Swings but my knees & quads were getting small and week like a little girl. Without a barbell set up I am doing Goblet Squats also some days Overhead Lunges with KB.
Pavel_T says something like: 'fighting men ride on chicken legs' in Enter the kettlebell :)

Would KB lunges help with the knee/quad issue? my TGU progres is stuck because I've not put in the effort on standing up from the lunge position. I'm not personally after body-size gains, just want to progress up to heavier KB's (in my own time)
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
May I add... if one can work up to a 32 KG Skater Squat/Airborne Lunge/insert other name, you're doing pretty darn well with leg strength.
If you can do a 32 kg single leg squat, strength is probably not your problem.

If we're going hardcore, 32 kg sissy squats.
 
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