Swing improvement

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I am still a work in progress, but I can see I've come a long way with the swing!

9/19/14 1H swings L 28kg https://youtu.be/NAhhUuLkZ3E

7/24/15 1H swings L 28kg https://youtu.be/oI9F-R1pAls

Practice, practice, practice...
 

WxHerk

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Wow! You're popping that bell! I could see the snap when you were dialed in, but then comparing it to last fall certainly shows how much power you have developed and how far you have come.

(full disclosure: I was the cameraman)
 

Harald Motz

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Anna,

to my layman’s eyes the difference is obvious. In the second vid your shoulders are packed, body at the top full extended, your hips very fast and explosive, the hinge starts at the right time and there is almost no twisting in your upper body, considering the weight is not far away from the sinister weight. Strong progress.

If I could I would cut myself a slice off your swing...
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Thank you Harald, and John, yes that shoulder packing is what I'm working on lately... on the downswing my shoulder tends to come up and forward, noticeable in this video from 3 weeks ago https://youtu.be/h1G-W5SIvpw. I have the shoulder pack pretty well on the start, hike, upswing, and top of the swing, but for some reason that downswing I lose it. Slightly better in last few weeks but it's going to take a while to master it. I did notice just this week that if I keep the palm facing back (instead of rotating the thumb to point towards the back) or even keep the thumb slightly forward, the shoulder has less tendency to come up and forward. If anyone has any tips for this issue I'd love to hear them.

I am getting closer to swinging that 32kg, yes! Sinister is definitley a goal, in good time...
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
Anna,
So much more power and much fuller hip extension.

On the hand position issue, Geoff Neupert has been an advocate of the thumb rotated slightly forward (such as to 10 o'clock for the right hand), especially for doubles (inverted V, instead of regular V). Pavel wrote an article a while back discussing the different options and their advantages and drawbacks.

http://www.strongfirst.com/thumbs-up-in-kettlebell-pulls/

My takeaway from the article is that a full thumbs up hammer grip is not advised since it can potentially put a damaging stress on the elbow and shouldn't be necessary to keep the lats engaged and the shoulder packed. However, a neutral grip (which may not allow enough space between the legs when using doubles) or Neupert-style inverted V is a reasonable choice for a more advanced practitioner.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Steve, thanks for the reminder on that article. A great in-depth discussion on this exact thing! And the drill in the article demonstrates that I don't have to (and shouldn't) change my hand position towards a thumbs-up to avoid unpacking the shoulder.

Practicing with a light 12kg (the best way I've found to practice REALLY packing the shoulder throughout the swing -- to the point that you almost feel like a T-rex!) I find that I can keep it packed with the preferred position of thumb slightly back.

I think where I was running into trouble was a diving motion at the apex of the swing and coming back down, trying to turn the bell as it falls. I think a combination of a small adjustment in the timing, slightly less turn, and continuing to focus on that packed shoulder may work.
 

banzaiengr

Level 7 Valued Member
Like they say,"don't ever show up for a race thinking you won't be beat by a girl"! : ) Great work Anna.
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
What influenced you to use your free arm more actively than in the beginning?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Thanks, Chief!

CJ/banzaiengr, we're in this together, just keep swingin' :)

Jeffrey, Pavel told me to :) http://www.strongfirst.com/topic/ss-continuous-swings/page/2/#post-42911
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
Anna,

Thank you for posting the swing videos. I aspire to develop the same form as yourself.

Could you post a video of you swinging with the camera viewing you from the front?
 

crash123

Level 3 Valued Member
great work Anna, your posts always provide inspiration and instruction and show a level of dedication we could all learn from. your efforts to improve are the answer that keeps coming to my mind when post after post on this forum asks, "i've met the Simple goals, what next?". You are showing that what is next is living with that bell until your technique is pure. Continue to hone until you reach that phrase that every loves to say around here, until you "own it", and then stay with it longer and practice practice practice. the need to change is rampant, but sticking with the program is where the real benefits start to surface. As Pavel suggests in ETK and S&S, the Program Minimum is all most of us will need for the rest of our lives. power to you!
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
TY Jeffrey, Marchese. I have had a lot of good instructors, but Al Ciampa above all taught me: Patience... Practice... Mastery. I have only just begun. Still lots of work ahead.

Jeffrey, sure, will try to capture some other views and post a link, though I will do so along with a link to Karen Smith's swings; for that, my friend, is a form to aspire to! I aspire to greatness (may never get there), not perfection -- but I believe that Karen has achieved both!
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
More swings, per Jeffrey's request; 24kg: https://youtu.be/yO_PMAKRUWo
Any critiques welcome and appreciated, as always...

Here is the Garmin HR graph that corresponds to the training session: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/855250080

And, as I mentioned, Karen Smith 1H swings, a nice tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHn5GQGJLfc
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
Anna,

Thanks! I will be sure to study it.

Two things I notice right away. Your kettlebell arm is nearly vertical in the bottom of the swing. I asked about this in another thread but never really got an answer. Also, I notice that your working shoulder is a little lower than your non-working shoulder in the bottom of the swing. Even though everyone coaches to stay square I don't know if anyone truly stays square in the bottom of a one arm swing.

You look very relaxed but still powerful. I think I need to be a bit more relaxed in my swings but still a hard style lock at the top.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Thanks Jeffrey, those are good observations. I am not actually sure either whether those are two things I should work on. Would be interested if anyone has an opinion yea or nay.

Interesting that you noticed "relaxed" - I actually have dialed back in the max tension at the top of the swing since that 7/24 28kg video. Trying to go for a bit more "pop and float" and "relaxed tight" at the top of the swing. But when I get the bell to float, it seems to jerk my biceps a bit on the way down, so I'm either not doing that right or just need to be careful how much. I'm also still working on the shoulder packing on the downswing. Better, but not 100% there yet. I also tried a bit narrower stance this morning, as Karen Smith (Master SFG and Chief SFB, I should add!) recommends in her video.

The swing seems to be kind of like tightening screws... when you tighten one area down, you have to correspondingly tighten the others... or back off on some that are too tight. It's a constant adjusting process. I really love tuning into all the moving parts.
 

Pavel

Founder and Chairman
Master Certified Instructor
"The swing seems to be kind of like tightening screws… when you tighten one area down, you have to correspondingly tighten the others… or back off on some that are too tight. It’s a constant adjusting process. I really love tuning into all the moving parts."

Anna, you have interesting insights! Keep digging.
 
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