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Two-Arm Kettlebell Swing

by Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training, 3rd Edition With Online Video
Kinetic Select May 2017

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Read a step-by-step description of how to perform the two-arm kettlebell swing, in this exclusive excerpt from the book Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training-3rd Edition With Online Video, published by Human Kinetics.

The following is an exclusive excerpt from the book Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training-3rd Edition With Online Video, published by Human Kinetics. All text and images provided by Human Kinetics.

Starting Position

» Stand straddling a kettlebell with the feet flat between hip- and shoulder-width apart and the toes pointed straight ahead.

» Squat down with the hips lower than the shoulders and the elbows fully extended; grasp the kettlebell handle with both hands using a closed, pronated grip.

» Stand up to lift the kettlebell off the floor, then position the body with the back in a neutral spine position, the shoulders retracted and depressed, the heels in contact with the floor, and the eyes focused ahead (not seen in the photos). The hands are holding the kettlebell between the thighs with the elbows fully extended.

» While keeping the back in a neutral spine position, flex the hips and knees to approximately a quarter-squat position with the kettlebell hanging at arm’s length between the thighs (not seen in the photos).

» All repetitions begin from this position.

Backward Movement

The portion of the upward movement phase from liftoff to where the bar is just above the knees is termed the first pull.

» Begin the exercise by flexing at the hips (with the knees held in the same starting position) and swinging the kettlebell between the legs.

» Keep the knees in a moderately flexed position with the back neutral and the elbows extended during the backward movement.

» Keep swinging the kettlebell between the legs until the torso is nearly parallel to the floor and the kettlebell is past the vertical line of the body.

Forward/Upward Movement

» When the backward swing reaches its end point, reverse the movement of the kettlebell by extending the hips and knees to move the kettlebell forward in an upward arc.

» Allow momentum to raise the kettlebell to approximately eye level. Keep the elbows extended and the back in a neutral spine position.

Downward/Backward Movement

» Allow the kettlebell to drop into the downswing; when the upper arms come into contact with the torso, flex the hips and knees to absorb the weight of the kettlebell.

» Keep the elbows fully extended and the back in a neutral position.

» Continue the downward-then-backward movement of the kettlebell by flexing the hips and knees until the kettlebell passes under and then behind the vertical line of the body.

» At the completion of the set, slow and then stop the momentum of the kettlebell and set it down on the floor.

Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training, Third Edition With Online Video, explains 70 resistance training exercises with step-by-step instructions, photos, and online video demonstrations.

The book is available in bookstores everywhere, as well as online at the NSCA Store.

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