all posts post new thread

Kettlebell Swing/getup form check please

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I've decided that I want to give the old swings and getups combination a more solid try. I would like to know if there are any gaping holes in my form before I get too far along though. There are two sets of swings and one get up each side at the beginning of the video, the rest is just me doing different kind of pushups so I can watch my own form on them.

On the second get up, where the kettlebell is in my left hand, I noticed that my right leg came off the ground when rolling to elbow, so I reset and tried again. I'm well aware that my left side has issues pressing (which come down to postural things that I have been addressing) so I wouldn't be surprised if any of the issues I have in these stem from the left side. Thanks in advance!

 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Leaning back a bit. Looks like you have a few monster bands. See if you can rig something like Mr. Jones has set up in the vid. Maybe back off the pull with the arms a bit.
Tall sit position ( going up and down ) with bell in left hand, lock out your right arm. Eyes on the horizon during the up and down lunge should help your balance.
Keep your left foot planted when you windshield with your right leg.
All easy to correct.

 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
Great work, your get ups look awesome.

If I may add to what Don said, your swings look just a bit shallow, both going into the hinge and at the top. On the downswing you could get a slightly deeper hinge (think clip board drill - pushing butt back more resulting in slightly more knee bend) and on the upswing it seemed as if you could let the bell float a bit more/higher, relaxing the arms a bit more (ropes).

But this is all just nitpicking at details, overall it looks very solid.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
@bluejeff
Basically safe and solid.

But a few things I notice that could be refined:
I agree about overextending the low back at the top. And I agree about sitting back into a deeper hinge, which would require more knee bend (but with the focus on getting hips back further, with the knee bend as a consequence of that).

Your knees are also very snappy. You don't want to be slamming your knees back into a locked out position. Fully extend smoothly and then contract the quads ("pull up the knee caps") and glutes as you hit full extension.

You also look like you might be trying to push your arms forward with your hips. You want your arms and torso to move together. You don't want any sort of collision or pressure between them. The hip drive transfers power through the shoulders and down the arms to the bell, not by the hips pushing on the arms.

Enjoy the float. You seem so concerned with keeping your shoulders packed down that you don't let your arms come up with the bell. There's a rhythm of tightness and relaxation, not just relaxed or tight overall, but relaxed where and when you need to be and tight where and when you need to be. Once you finish your hip drive, let the bell float. You can let your arms come up freely without shrugging your shoulders up or letting them roll forward. This might also be contributing to the lumbar extension because if you're aiming for the bell to get to chest height, but you're restricting it from getting there by keeping your arms locked down, the natural tendency is to get the bell height back by leaning back further.

You have some bell flipping at the end of the backswing, which indicates that you're driving your hips forward while the bell is still moving backward (and is also a consequence of a shallow hinge). This wastes a lot of power because you're using forward hip drive to brake and reverse the backward movement of the bell. A deeper hinge and more patience out the hole will help. Wait until the backswing is fully complete and the bell is about to passively pendulum forward before initiating your hip drive.

Have you spent a lot of time with the touch the wall drill and especially the KB deadlift?

To get the feel for sitting back into the hinge, use the touch-the-wall drill:
--Stand facing away from a wall with your heels a foot or so from the wall.
--Sit back into your hinge and touch your butt to the wall.
--Move a little further away from the wall and repeat.
As you move away from the wall, if you sink your hips straight down (squat) you won't reach back to the wall. If keep your legs too straight, you also won't reach back to the wall.

To get a feel for coordinating the timing of the hips and shoulders so everything starts and finishes together at the endpoints of the standing plank and full hinge, use the KB DL:

--Do sets of 20. You can use one bell or two, and one or two arms on one bell, but do sets of 20. I found that the second 10 in a 20 rep set is where my brain and body really started to feel things and figure things out, but you have to do the first 10 to get there.

--Start with the bell(s) back between your feet toward your heels, keep the arms in tight to the body and try to lower the weight to the same spot. The bells will want to drift forward, so you will have to really sit back and keep your arms in tight. Avoid any tendency to get squatty to keep the bell back. Do it by sitting back; your hips will move down as well as back, but keep the hips above the knees and the shins relatively vertical.

--Focus on your timing. The tendency is to start lowering the bells by sitting back as far as possible and THEN continue to fold forward and bend the knees to reach the floor. So it ends up being a two-part movement. See if you can adjust your timing so that your hips, knees, shoulders, and the bell all start and finish together. This tends to happen naturally on the positive part of the movement, so see if you can reverse engineer the timing of the positive and apply it to lowering the bell.

--Focus on your rooting. Keep your weight evenly balanced over your whole foot and try to maintain that same weight distribution throughout the range of motion. I visualize the soles of my feet extending straight down into the ground, as if I were wearing tall flat platform shoes that are sunk below the surface of the ground. In the actual ballistic swing, just focusing on maintaining even balance over the whole foot throughout the whole movement can often automatically fix a lot of timing problems.

--Get a feel for the endpoints of the lift (the zipped up standing plank and the deep hinge) and use those as targets in your swing. When I was recovering from a shoulder surgery (rotator cuff repair after injuring it playing basketball), I did a LOT of KB deadlifts because I could do them long before I could do ballistics, and I developed a new appreciation for them. I found that they were actually very valuable in helping refine my hinge pattern, even after deadlifting and doing KB ballistics for decades, and had a lot of carry over to my KB ballistics when I returned to them. By grooving the pattern at slow speed, I could naturally and smoothly transition from plank to hinge and back at ballistic speed, with everything starting and finishing together.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks everyone!
I was definitely wondering about the lean.
Leaning back a bit. Looks like you have a few monster bands. See if you can rig something like Mr. Jones has set up in the vid. Maybe back off the pull with the arms a bit.
Tall sit position ( going up and down ) with bell in left hand, lock out your right arm. Eyes on the horizon during the up and down lunge should help your balance.
Keep your left foot planted when you windshield with your right leg.
All easy to correct.

I was wondering about whether you’re supposed to “pull” with the arms by retracting shoulders at the top, but is it better to “relax” them and let arms be “more like ropes, as @Benjamin Renaud said?
I did see the bent right arm. I did not notice myself resetting my foot though!
Definitely safe to start.

I agree there's a bit of excess lean so that's what I'd address

The getup looks good. I'd recommend a heavier weight to get your attention
I can do them with my 24kg but I want the form to be a bit more practiced before I jump to it. I was considering adding a little weight to my 16kg with small plates to make it just a biiiiit heavier.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Thanks everyone!
I was definitely wondering about the lean.

I was wondering about whether you’re supposed to “pull” with the arms by retracting shoulders at the top, but is it better to “relax” them and let arms be “more like ropes, as @Benjamin Renaud said?
I did see the bent right arm. I did not notice myself resetting my foot though!

I can do them with my 24kg but I want the form to be a bit more practiced before I jump to it. I was considering adding a little weight to my 16kg with small plates to make it just a biiiiit heavier.

Go for the 24 the weight will give you the feedback needed to adjust your form
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Thanks everyone!
I was definitely wondering about the lean.

I was wondering about whether you’re supposed to “pull” with the arms by retracting shoulders at the top, but is it better to “relax” them and let arms be “more like ropes, as @Benjamin Renaud said?
I did see the bent right arm. I did not notice myself resetting my foot though!

I can do them with my 24kg but I want the form to be a bit more practiced before I jump to it. I was considering adding a little weight to my 16kg with small plates to make it just a biiiiit heavier.
Yes, you pack the shoulders prior to the hike. Hips are the motor, steer with the hands/arms. Relax a bit after the drive. Power usually increases when you back off a bit. You know the drill, throwing a punch or driving a golf ball at 75% effort often leads to greater force, distance than trying to smash it.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I filmed one set of KB DLs today, and a handful of swings. I swear it doesn't feel like I'm snapping my knees. Trying to stand tall and engage glutes some more to try and keep the lower back extension under better control.

End of the video is some TGU, first with the 16kg again and then with the 24. The 24 feels a biiiiit heavy; my opposite leg tends to flop when I roll to elbow. Trying to push it down into the floor but I feel like I'm missing something. I also am not sure why I end up having to "reset" my forward leg during the windshield wiper movement. It feels too far forward to lunge from where it's at, so I end up pulling it in closer. Thoughts on that one?

After today I'll take at least a week or two to practice everything before submitting more footage.
 

BJJ Shawn

Level 6 Valued Member
I filmed one set of KB DLs today, and a handful of swings. I swear it doesn't feel like I'm snapping my knees. Trying to stand tall and engage glutes some more to try and keep the lower back extension under better control.

End of the video is some TGU, first with the 16kg again and then with the 24. The 24 feels a biiiiit heavy; my opposite leg tends to flop when I roll to elbow. Trying to push it down into the floor but I feel like I'm missing something. I also am not sure why I end up having to "reset" my forward leg during the windshield wiper movement. It feels too far forward to lunge from where it's at, so I end up pulling it in closer. Thoughts on that one?

After today I'll take at least a week or two to practice everything before submitting more footage.
I had never reset my leg after windshield wiper because for whatever reason I read the requirements as not moving that foot from the start to the finish, but after watching many videos here I realized there were only a few times where you can't move that foot and repositioning after the wiper makes the lunge MUCH more manageable when the weight creeps up and is taught in pretty much every StrongFirst video I have seen. I don't think you're doing anything wrong, and should reposition it as necessary.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Swing is looking good! I like the changes since the first video.

I like your explosive snap to standing plank. Doesn't look too hard on the knees, IMO. Looks like you're producing force into the ground, as you're supposed to. I'd still bend the knees just a tiny bit more than you are, reaching the hips back. Also in the backswing -- keep a big chest, don't let the shoulders and arms collapse your chest inwards.

On your setup, have the kettlebell out in front of you. Drag it towards you by packing your shoulders. Then hike it back.
Same thing in reverse on the set-down -- land it softly after the last swing. Ditch the pendulum.

Get-ups are great! Only thing I'd say is curl your toes under on the back leg to more actively use that leg on the lunge to standing.

Hope that helps. Great feedback thus far from all.
 
Top Bottom