When I teach the kettlebell swing to a newbie, I break it down into 5 progressive steps. If you want to learn the proper form, go through each step thoroughly. Each step builds up to the foundation of the next. You will master the swing!
Step One: The Short Stop
This position is the foundation of your swing.
Place your hands on your thighs, right above your knees. Lock out your arms so that your elbows are straight, not bent.
Push your chest out, like a proud puppy. Your back should be a straight line.
In the shortstop position, the position of your back, chest and butt, is the bottom part of a kettlebell swing.
Notice how my upper and lower back are flat. Not a single rounded shape.
Step 2 of 5: The Deadlift
Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Place the kettlebell between your big toes.
Get in that short stop position we did in Step 1.
Reach down to grab the kettlebell handle with boy hands. Your butt should be sticking out behind you like Beyoncé. your back should remain flat as your chest is pushed out like a proud puppy,
Stand up with the kettlebell. That motion picking up the bell is what the kettlebell swing looks like.
Step 3: Hike and Park
Stand with feet about shoulder distance apart.
Place the kettlebell centered and a foot in front of you.
Grasp the kettlebell handle with both hands, tilting the handle toward you. The kettlebell will be at an angle and not on its flat bottom. Who wants a flat bottom?
Hike the bell between your legs like a quarterback would. Let it swing back in front and park it gently. I repeat, park it gently as if it’s a basket of baby duckies.
You’ll need to find that balance with your feet when you Hike and Park. This movement practices the beginning and end of a full kettlebell swing.
Step 4: Singles
Almost there! The fourth step I take newbies through when learning the kettlebell swing, are singles.
You will now combine the previous 3 steps to an actual swing.
Get into position, as we have in the previous step.
You will hike it behind you, like a quarterback, let it swing forward and up, then park it gently.
Practice the swing one perfect one at a time.
Remember that the hips are what generate the energy to push the bell forward and up.
Step 5: 10 Swings
You’ve made it!
It’s your final step to a healthy kettlebell swing. In step 4, you worked on single swings. Now, it’s time to go into a consecutive 10 swings.
Remember that a kettlebell swing is always a work in progress. Even the experienced instructors need finetuning.
You know what a healthy swing looks like. Use your phone to video your swing in profile. You’ll be able to see what changes you need.
Swing, baby, swing!