The swing - how high does the kb really need to go?

Dean

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi everyone,

A common error with the swing is to lean back or 'crunch' the lower back, usually in an (sometimes inadvertent) attempt to ensure that the kb reaches a certain height - such as chest level.

I suspect that this may particularly be the case when one is 'desk bound' and has a case of anterior pelvic tilt (as I do).

What I have found in my case is that (based on a tip from Zack Henderson) focusing on getting the kb to a lesser height - such as the stomach - seems to avoid this problem. Previously I experienced some tightness in my lower back after a set of swings, but now that no longer seems to be an issue.

My question is whether a lower swing height will, in any significant way, diminish the effectiveness of this exercise. In other words - does one need to ensure that the kb reaches a certain height in order to maximise the benefit of the swing?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Hi everyone,

A common error with the swing is to lean back or 'crunch' the lower back, usually in an (sometimes inadvertent) attempt to ensure that the kb reaches a certain height - such as chest level.

I suspect that this may particularly be the case when one is 'desk bound' and has a case of anterior pelvic tilt (as I do).

What I have found in my case is that (based on a tip from Zack Henderson) focusing on getting the kb to a lesser height - such as the stomach - seems to avoid this problem. Previously I experienced some tightness in my lower back after a set of swings, but now that no longer seems to be an issue.

My question is whether a lower swing height will, in any significant way, diminish the effectiveness of this exercise. In other words - does one need to ensure that the kb reaches a certain height in order to maximise the benefit of the swing?
A good, powerful swing will usually reach chest height. You will get the best training effect from powerful, snappy swings with a challenging weight. That said, it's more important to build your practice with good technique. Zack's tips are solid as always! The bell height is not the most important thing in the beginning; in fact, chasing that will often lead to technique errors. Don't be in a rush, but as you get more confident in your swing and get a more explosive hip and knee extension (hinge to plank), the height will increase. I might even go so far as to say that a heavier, lower swing is better than a high, lighter swing... but it's very individual, and that that sort of thing is best coached in person. Anyway, just keep practicing, and your swing will improve. It's a never-ending quest. :)
 

Adachi

Level 5 Valued Member
Yeah I've seen videos of instructors teaching the swing. The way I interpret their guidance on execution is: let the kettlebell swing up as a by product of standing up straight and locking out at the top. Hold lockout as long as you can on the way down. The swing should actually be as short as you can make it. And you should be standing up as tall as you can as fast as you can. And the kettlebells just along for the ride.

I notice a difference in height when I leave my elbows out of it. Like 2to4 inches depending on whether I'm making a mild effort to keep my elbows straight. When I let them bend and act like I'm paralyzed from the shoulder socket down, they don't seem to end up as high.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
A common error with the swing is to lean back...to ensure that the kb reaches a certain height - such as chest level.
Hyperextension

Leaning back is a common error. It places a great deal of stress on the lower back.

As you noted, individual do it so they can swing the Kettlebell higher.

The same hyperextension issue occur with other movement like the Deadlift and Back Raises.

...does one need to ensure that the kb reaches a certain height in order to maximise the benefit of the swing?
The Kettlebell Swing Height

The height of the Kettlebell Swing is determined by the load.

The lighter the load, the higher the height of the Kettlebell Swing.

The heavier the load, the lower the height of the Kettlebell Swing.

Posterior Chain Kettlebell Swings

As with any exercise, optimal training effect is elicited when the movement is performed within the right training percentage of a 1 Repetition Max with the correct technique.

Kettlebells Swings For Power

The Kettlebell Swing is a Power Movement.

This article goes into the loads needed for developing Power with the Kettlebell Swing

Are Heavy Kettlebell Swings Better Than Deadlifts?

Contreras' research determined that Heavy Kettlebell Swings are necessary for developing Power with the Kettlebell Swing.

That means performing Kettlebell Swing with with up you body weight. If you weight 200 lbs, some individual may be able to work up to Kettlebell Swing using a 200 lb Kettlebell.

One individual case study, that was posted on this site, indicted that performing a Kettlebell Swing with around one-third of you body weight was effective.

Base on Contreras's research and my personal experience, it appears that performing the Kettlebell Swing with one-third of your body weight is good starting point, with heavier loads increasing greater Power Output, dependent on your strength level.

The downside is that you'll have to take out a second mortgage on your house to afford a 200 lb Kettlebell.

However, there is a solution...

The Hungarian Core Blaster

Contreras' article provides information on how to make it.

The cost is around $20.00 worth of pipe from Lows and some standard 1 inch weight plates. It takes less than 5 minute to assemble it.

The nice thing about the Hungarian Core Blaster is the it's adjustable. You can increase of decrease the load, as you l

I've Hungarian Core Blaster for about 5 years. At a body weight of 194 lbs, I've worked to Swings with 170 lbs.

Zack Henderson's Stomach Height

Obviously, there is an inverse relationship in regard to the height of a Kettlebell Swing to the Kettlebell weight.

The apex of a good heavy Kettlebell Swing is going to be around the stomach area, as Henderson stated.

If you are able to Swing the Kettlebell any higher, that means the load is too light.

The Banded Alternative Kettlebell Swing

Dr Craig Marker's Banded Kettlebell Swing (video demonstration) shows you to how to increase the top end loading of the Kettlebell Swing with your current Kettlebells.
 
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ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Height of the bell is directly related to the power you generate, yes.
A 20 cm difference, from approx arm parallel, 1.4m, to mid torso, of 1.2m, a difference of 20 cm equates to 14% less work. From approx deadlift position of swing, a 36% difference from parallel arm.
A lighter bell will enable more height, and from a kb perspective, to a fixed position overhead in the snatch.
For work done - the amount needed to overcome gravity - a 24 swing, arm parallel to ground, is approximately the same as a snatch with a 16 bell. A 48 swing is approx equivalent to a 32 snatch...in terms of energy required, technical aspects excluded.
I did a load of numbers a while back looking at the differences in height, energy required etc. Height is absolutely a guide to power output.
Run your own numbers for some lockdown fun with gravity and newtonian physics.
Of course, our swing mechanics differ, our own physical parameters will affect the vector forces of a swing. The first part, from bell height to a break at the hips is the most pendulum-like. At the hip hinge, backswing hike pass to powering up again, it isn't a pendulum swing anymore and here you input energy to return the bell. So if you don't put as much energy into it, it won't swing as high. Or more energy and it swings higher. Once that bell is powered and you do not put any other force into the bell (ie with arms) then at its rest point potential gravitational energy affects it downwards, zero Ek. As it falls, with no other forces acting on it (there will be, more or less via grip and arm mechanics altering its path), Eg is converted to kinetic energy Ek. As Eg is reduced, Ek is increased. Peak Ek is when it hits the ground, as it doesn't hopefully, peak Ek is relative to its height so energy conservation is maintained.
Velocity here is independent of mass (with no other forces acting on the bell).

(Ek is calculated as mass x v squared over 2, as mv^2.
As v is the sq rt of 2 x Ek/mass.
Eg is mg delta h (as above change, delta, conserves total energy. And so mg delta h = mv^2/2.
So m is common to both sides and can be ignored).

So velocity increases downwards, reaching peak velocity, slowing down for you to return the bell back again. So energy is required. So you have to input enough Ek to overcome Eg acting downwards. The amount of Ek is directly observable and measureable....a PUSH band or similar....or the height of the bell.

Moving something fast and or heavy has a cross-over, a sweet spot. And there is a training goal driving how you select that option and physical limitations of the practitioner. Total work done/reps/sets/rest etc. Strength/power endurance etc.

A snatch v swing, technique excluded, illustrates the amount of 'room' there is in deciding on a swing height. As things start getting tough, height isn't maintained and it can still be a swing. A snatch with a defined height, a defined amount of energy is required each time. There is less 'room' before things get horrible. So just you and your height of your arm with a bell overhead is the endpoint.

So there is a degree of, an arc of, uncertainty with swing height.

You could also compare the differences between sprint swings/snatches with a lighter bell in Q&D for instance compared to longer A&A sessions to compare a training outcome, or even S&S. All training modalities have a cross-over favouring one physical attribute over another, or a blend of each. And how each of us interpret each of them.

Bit of a lockdown ramble. Hope all is well with everyone. Stay safe.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
@kennycro@@aol.com has some good information in the post above, but I'll take issue with a few points.

The height of the Kettlebell Swing is determined by the load.

The lighter the load, the higher the height of the Kettlebell Swing.

The heavier the load, the lower the height of the Kettlebell Swing.
The load is a one variable, but it doesn't necessarily determine the height, as I demonstrated in this video.


The apex of a good heavy Kettlebell Swing is going to be around the stomach area, as Henderson stated.
Yes, as he said in this instagram post. But that doesn't mean that's where you're aiming to go with heavy swings.

If you are able to Swing the Kettlebell any higher, that means the load is too light.
That is definitely not true for most purposes.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
The load is a one variable, but it doesn't necessarily determine the height, as I demonstrated in this video
The Load Determines The Height

The load definitely determines the height.

One of the reason that all your swing come to the same height in the video, is that with the lighter bells you are decelerating early in the movement. You are allowing the bell to float up to approximately the height.

If you continued to accelerate all the way through the movement, with one of the lighter bell you are using, you'd end up performing and American Kettlebell Swing. The completing of the swing with the bell over your head.

You are definitely display enough Strength and Power to performed an American Kettlebell Swing with the lighter bells that you used.

For Power to be developed in a greater range of the swing, all movements, you need to apply force all the way through the full range of the movement.

Thus, Power is developed in a much smaller range of the movement, when you decelerate early and allow the bell to float to the top.

"The accompanying deceleration phases result in significantly decreased motor unit recruitment, velocity of movement, power production and compromises the effectiveness of the exercise." Research Source: (Berry et. al., 2001) Free Weight Variable Resistance: Power-Up USA, Inc., 2001.

You definitely had enough Power and Strength to perform an American Kettlebell Swing with the lighter Kettlebells you were using.

Full Range Power Development

To fully develop Power through the full range of a Kettlebell Swing with a light or moderate Kettlebell load...

1) Go Ballistic: Ballistic means the a body or an object needs to go airborne. That allows and mandates that you to continue to accelerate all the way through the movement. Power is developed through the complete range of the movement.

2) Accommodating Resistance: Attaching a band to the Kettlebell, as Dr Craig Maker's video demonstrates, increases the loading of a light and moderately heavy Kettlebell at the top end of the movement.

To increase the height of the swing, it mandates that you continue to exert force due to the increased top loading of the band. The result is ensure that Power is developed through a much greater range of the movement.

The apex of a good heavy Kettlebell Swing is going to be around the stomach area, as Henderson stated.
But that doesn't mean that's where you're aiming to go with heavy swings.
"The Intent"

For Power to be developed in the Kettlebell Swing, any movement, "The Intent" need to be to pull the Kettlebell as high as you can with a heavy Kettlebell.

To reiterate, the determinate factor of how high you height you reach with a with a Heavy Kettlebell Swing is dependent on the load. There is definitely a difference in how high you swing a Kettlebell that is around half your body weight vs one that is the same as your body weight.

If you are able to Swing the Kettlebell any higher, that means the load is too light.
That is definitely not true for most purposes.
Maximizing Power Output

Let me be more specific. My post was geared toward how to increase Power with the Kettlebell Swing.

A Kettlebell Swing that generates the greatest Power Outputs will be when a heavy bell is pulled to the waist area.
 
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Papa Georgio

Level 5 Valued Member
The load definitely determines the height.

One of the reason that all your swing come to the same height in the video, is that with the lighter bells you are decelerating early in the movement. You are allowing the bell to float up to approximately the height.
I'm speaking in terms of heavy bells.

I think this is true only if the same technique and timing is used for all swinging. For instance, if your hip snap is always timed with launching your arms off your crotch then the bell weight will determine height (if same hip snap & timing is used).

Truth be known, when you make the height standard chest high, you will get to a point in weight where you have to delay the hip snap (wait for some arm/crotch separation) to get the bell up to chest height without arm assistance, Most of this is done unconsciously, but it is still a legitimate technique. Doing it this way will develop more power overall because way more bell velocity is created and your body has to develop the tension to control it.

So we are talking 2 different philosophies. You can either maintain the same timing, and let your hip snap alone create the bell height. Or, you can maintain certain height range and adjust your timing. I'm willing to say, that there is more potential for development in the swing technique that maintains a standard height.

JMO
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
One of the reason that all your swing come to the same height in the video, is that with the lighter bells you are decelerating early in the movement.
Yes, some truth to this... there is a slight deceleration at the top with a light weight to maintain a standard swing. But it's more about the "volume knob" concept described in S&S. Less power applied.

If you continued to accelerate all the way through the movement, with one of the lighter bell you are using, you'd end up performing and American Kettlebell Swing. The completing of the swing with the bell over your head.
Yeah... I can do them, but that is never my goal. The StrongFirst style of hardstyle kettlebell swing is an attempt to project power forward, not up.

For Power to be developed in a greater range of the swing, all movements, you need to apply force all the way through the full range of the movement.

Thus, Power is developed in a much smaller range of the movement, when you decelerate early and allow the bell to float to the top.
Yes, I would agree. There is more power application (and for a greater range of motion) when the bell is heavier. But with a good hardstyle swing, there is always an attempt to concentrate the power application to a small portion of the ROM... like a punch. Not slow and constant through the upswing, but explosive and quick concentration of force application in the early part of the upswing.

Ballistic means the a body or an object needs to go airborne. That allows and mandates that you to continue to accelerate all the way through the movement.
I tried to find definitions of "ballistic exercise" the other day and it seems there is not much agreement. I see the value of your definition, but I don't think swings that don't meet this definition are excluded from being "ballistic."
Maximizing Power Output

Let me be more specific. My post was geared toward how to increase Power with the Kettlebell Swing.

A Kettlebell Swing that generates the greatest Power Outputs will be when a heavy bell is pulled to the waist area.
OK...that makes sense. Could be more to explore there as far as total power vs. instantaneous power, but I'm not a physicist so I won't try to dive any deeper. ;)
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Truth be known, when you make the height standard chest high, you will get to a point in weight where you have to delay the hip snap (wait for some arm/crotch separation) to get the bell up to chest height without arm assistance, Most of this is done unconsciously, but it is still a legitimate technique. Doing it this way will develop more power overall because way more bell velocity is created and your body has to develop the tension to control it.
Could you explain this a little further? I think you are onto one of the subtleties of a heavy and powerful swing that I've been struggling to explain.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
Yeah... I can do them, but that is never my goal. The StrongFirst style of hardstyle kettlebell swing is an attempt to project power forward, not up.
American Kettlebell Swing

I am sure they have some value but I am not proponent of them.

I tried to find definitions of "ballistic exercise" the other day and it seems there is not much agreement. I see the value of your definition, but I don't think swings that don't meet this definition are excluded from being "ballistic."
Full Range Power Output

Okay, let's just focus on Full Range Power Output.

It is optimally developed with free weight with low to moderate load by trowing it up in the air.

That ensures you continue to accelerate through the full range of the movement.

The other alternative that ensure Power Output is maintained in Ascending Strength Curve Movements: Squat, Pressing Movements, Deadlift, etc is with Accommodation Resistance (Bands or Chains).
 

Papa Georgio

Level 5 Valued Member
Could you explain this a little further? I think you are onto one of the subtleties of a heavy and powerful swing that I've been struggling to explain.
I don't think I can explain it clearly. To keep it in context, I'll start with the OP's question.

Obviously in the swing, we like to avoid no-no’s that either diminish the effectiveness of the swings or make you prone to injury. So, no rounding the back, no hyperextending the lower back, no lifting bells with arms, etc. As simple as the swing looks, there are a lot of aspects to the swing to ensure that it is effective and safe, and sometimes it’s not easy for teaching or learning because of the difference on people and the size bells they are learning with. In one form or fashion, good instructors will break the swing down into the essential 2 positions: Hinge & standing plank; and then focus on the 2 main movements in-between: hip snap & chambering the hinge. I think Zack Henderson’s tip was meant to focus on these 4 essentials (chambering hinge, hinging, snap hips, standing plank) without any expectation on power so you can focus on technique. Once the proper form is in-grained, you should focus on using your hip snap to generate enough power to get the bell to chest height without compromising your hinge or standing plank. Additionally you should focus on chambering your hinge to load it up like a spring to help your hip snap. So, in essence, Zack’s tip (I think) was to tear down your swing to fix the basics, and then once the basics were fixed, build it back up to chest/face height.

As far as why do you need, or want to swing chest/face high, it all comes down to velocity. Any object moving about an arc (your arm) has a normal acceleration that generates centrifugal force. This is why you can do so much with swings using a relatively light weight. I can’t remember if this is in the book S&S, but I thought I remember Pavel claiming there can be upwards of 10g’s of total force during a kettlebell swing. That very well could have been a lighter bell supplemented with active eccentrics. I did some calculations a few years ago, and 5g’s seem pretty reasonable for an average person with an average swing. So even with 5G’s of acceleration, a 32kg bell can feel like 350lbs pulling at its peak velocity point. If you are not cheating with arms, your peak velocity point on the way up is the millisecond you completed your hip snap to standing plank. At the beginning you can build up to getting enough velocity at the bottom of the swing when your snap is synced up with your arms separating from your crotch. If you’ve developed enough hip power to drive the bell too high, you can either:
  • Go on cruise control, and dial back hip snap to “just enough”
  • Instead of letting the bell float, you brake the bell with the arms. You can either brake the bell and let drop on its own, or brake bell with a downward eccentric in the case of over-speed swings.
When you go up in bell weight, you may get to the point where you can’t generate enough velocity with the hip snap at the arm/crotch separation point to get the bell chest high. To get the bell chest high, you will have to raise the height of the peak velocity point (Where you snap the hips). This is done by delaying the hip snap until the arms have separated from the crotch. I don’t think that this is even done consciously, it just happens if the swing basics have been solidly in-grained in you. You can go out and try to slow down video of experienced swinger doing high, heavy swings. It’s very subtle, but it’s there. You won’t see it as much on 2 hand swings, because the hips can pretty much generate full force. It’s more evident on heavy one hand swings, because your hips don’t like to generate more power then what the rest of the chain can handle.

I’ve rambled on a lot and I don’t feel like I’ve told you anything new. I just wanted to point out that there are valid reasons why hard-style kettlebell maintains a height standard on swings. Swings that only come up to partial height can be used as a teaching tool in the beginning to help in-grain the basics. It’s my opinion that low swings are semi-grinds and you are missing out on much of the total-body tension that the velocity creates. You may make the argument that your hips are still snapping hard, but you’re not hitting your core, upper back, & grip as much as full height swings. Low/heavy swings may have a valid use for some people. I would be curious to learn why they would be advantageous to either doing full height swings or barbell deadlifts.
 

Papa Georgio

Level 5 Valued Member
Contreras' research determined that Heavy Kettlebell Swings are necessary for developing Power with the Kettlebell Swing.

That means performing Kettlebell Swing with with up you body weight. If you weight 200 lbs, some individual may be able to work up to Kettlebell Swing using a 200 lb Kettlebell.
I like Bret, and I agree heavy swings are great. But, like I noted above its not about how heavy the kettlebell is, It's how much centrifugal force you can create which is a combination of weight & velocity.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I don't think I can explain it clearly. To keep it in context, I'll start with the OP's question.

Obviously in the swing, we like to avoid no-no’s that either diminish the effectiveness of the swings or make you prone to injury. So, no rounding the back, no hyperextending the lower back, no lifting bells with arms, etc. As simple as the swing looks, there are a lot of aspects to the swing to ensure that it is effective and safe, and sometimes it’s not easy for teaching or learning because of the difference on people and the size bells they are learning with. In one form or fashion, good instructors will break the swing down into the essential 2 positions: Hinge & standing plank; and then focus on the 2 main movements in-between: hip snap & chambering the hinge. I think Zack Henderson’s tip was meant to focus on these 4 essentials (chambering hinge, hinging, snap hips, standing plank) without any expectation on power so you can focus on technique. Once the proper form is in-grained, you should focus on using your hip snap to generate enough power to get the bell to chest height without compromising your hinge or standing plank. Additionally you should focus on chambering your hinge to load it up like a spring to help your hip snap. So, in essence, Zack’s tip (I think) was to tear down your swing to fix the basics, and then once the basics were fixed, build it back up to chest/face height.

As far as why do you need, or want to swing chest/face high, it all comes down to velocity. Any object moving about an arc (your arm) has a normal acceleration that generates centrifugal force. This is why you can do so much with swings using a relatively light weight. I can’t remember if this is in the book S&S, but I thought I remember Pavel claiming there can be upwards of 10g’s of total force during a kettlebell swing. That very well could have been a lighter bell supplemented with active eccentrics. I did some calculations a few years ago, and 5g’s seem pretty reasonable for an average person with an average swing. So even with 5G’s of acceleration, a 32kg bell can feel like 350lbs pulling at its peak velocity point. If you are not cheating with arms, your peak velocity point on the way up is the millisecond you completed your hip snap to standing plank. At the beginning you can build up to getting enough velocity at the bottom of the swing when your snap is synced up with your arms separating from your crotch. If you’ve developed enough hip power to drive the bell too high, you can either:
  • Go on cruise control, and dial back hip snap to “just enough”
  • Instead of letting the bell float, you brake the bell with the arms. You can either brake the bell and let drop on its own, or brake bell with a downward eccentric in the case of over-speed swings.
When you go up in bell weight, you may get to the point where you can’t generate enough velocity with the hip snap at the arm/crotch separation point to get the bell chest high. To get the bell chest high, you will have to raise the height of the peak velocity point (Where you snap the hips). This is done by delaying the hip snap until the arms have separated from the crotch. I don’t think that this is even done consciously, it just happens if the swing basics have been solidly in-grained in you. You can go out and try to slow down video of experienced swinger doing high, heavy swings. It’s very subtle, but it’s there. You won’t see it as much on 2 hand swings, because the hips can pretty much generate full force. It’s more evident on heavy one hand swings, because your hips don’t like to generate more power then what the rest of the chain can handle.

I’ve rambled on a lot and I don’t feel like I’ve told you anything new. I just wanted to point out that there are valid reasons why hard-style kettlebell maintains a height standard on swings. Swings that only come up to partial height can be used as a teaching tool in the beginning to help in-grain the basics. It’s my opinion that low swings are semi-grinds and you are missing out on much of the total-body tension that the velocity creates. You may make the argument that your hips are still snapping hard, but you’re not hitting your core, upper back, & grip as much as full height swings. Low/heavy swings may have a valid use for some people. I would be curious to learn why they would be advantageous to either doing full height swings or barbell deadlifts.
This is an excellent description of the swing! Thank you. I don't think I've ever heard "chambering" before. But that's perfect.

On the portion of your text that I highlighted in bold, would you say it's what I'm demonstrating in the video below? What I'm trying to show is "don't push directly with the hips" with the swing. Swings 1,2,3 and 7,8,9 are regular swings. 4,5,6 and 10,11,12 are "hips push" swings (not optimal). The last swing (12) is probably the best "worst" example. The first half of the set is regular time and the second half of the set is in slow motion.

I think it may be the same as what you're saying, because in my "good" swings (which are not perfect... no swings ever are), I develop tension in the arms and torso that serves to transfer force to the bell, indirectly. In the "hip push" (not good) swings, I'm using the hip snap direct contact to "push" the arms and bell forward. It is something I often see and is kind of a pet peeve of mine. But I'm not sure if this adequately explains or demonstrates it, so perhaps through this discussion we can get closer to narrowing down what is going on.

Yes, I do love subtleties of the swing.... :)

 

Papa Georgio

Level 5 Valued Member
This is an excellent description of the swing! Thank you. I don't think I've ever heard "chambering" before. But that's perfect.

On the portion of your text that I highlighted in bold, would you say it's what I'm demonstrating in the video below? What I'm trying to show is "don't push directly with the hips" with the swing. Swings 1,2,3 and 7,8,9 are regular swings. 4,5,6 and 10,11,12 are "hips push" swings (not optimal). The last swing (12) is probably the best "worst" example. The first half of the set is regular time and the second half of the set is in slow motion.

I think it may be the same as what you're saying, because in my "good" swings (which are not perfect... no swings ever are), I develop tension in the arms and torso that serves to transfer force to the bell, indirectly. In the "hip push" (not good) swings, I'm using the hip snap direct contact to "push" the arms and bell forward. It is something I often see and is kind of a pet peeve of mine. But I'm not sure if this adequately explains or demonstrates it, so perhaps through this discussion we can get closer to narrowing down what is going on.

Yes, I do love subtleties of the swing.... :)

First off, I don't think your hip pushes are technically wrong, they just aren't as powerful. Hip pushes are probably OK in the early learning of swing technique when you're trying to develop the hinge and plank positions.
Your regular swings are overall more powerful. If you pause the swings the instant you hit full plank, the bell is at a higher point of the arc than when you do the hip push. All the work is done at that point. Once you hit plank, you are just waiting for the float.
You are also chambering your backswing deeper on your regular swings. You can see your fingers appear on the back swing, not on your hip pushes. This extra springing helps launch the bell out of the hinge.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
its not about how heavy the kettlebell is, It's how much centrifugal force you can create which is a combination of weight & velocity.
This is a bit confusing.

The Weight

As you noted, the combination of Weight and Velocity is important.

Based on the information that provided in previous post, Power Output is best achieved with a Kettlebell Load of between one-third to 100% o of you body weight. I define that as heavy.

Going heavier than that is counter productive for Power Output development.

As noted in previous post, the use of certain percentage of a 1 Repetition Max in a movement identifies it as being a Maximum Strength, Power and Speed Movement. The same is true with Kettlebell Swings.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
If you pause the swings the instant you hit full plank, the bell is at a higher point of the arc than when you do the hip push.
Yes, it was this that made me think we were talking about the same thing... In your first post you observed, "you will get to a point in weight where you have to delay the hip snap (wait for some arm/crotch separation) to get the bell up to chest height."
 

Adachi

Level 5 Valued Member
I do remember about this from S&S ...
I can’t remember if this is in the book S&S, but I thought I remember Pavel claiming there can be upwards of 10g’s of total force during a kettlebell swing.
And, I thought this passage from S&S would also be of value in this discussion...
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I think that there can be value in playing with our ability to control a sharp and shortened acceleration with our lighter bells. i know i have a 35 lbs and 55lbs and the 35 is starting to fly very high in the swing . so i've been noting this idea this past week in my practice to play with the idea of not doing too much with the lighter bell.
 

Papa Georgio

Level 5 Valued Member
Yes, it was this that made me think we were talking about the same thing... In your first post you observed, "you will get to a point in weight where you have to delay the hip snap (wait for some arm/crotch separation) to get the bell up to chest height."
"delay" doesn't sound like a good term, but we are definitely syncing the snap later with the arms. I don't know if it can be coached this way or if you would even want to. I think if you hammer home the hinge and plank positions, and make the student focus on using their chambering and hip snap to hit proper height, they'll eventually pick up how to sync up the timing themselves.
 
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