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How to kettlebell swing to get amazingly strong [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Nov 23, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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How to kettlebell swing to get amazingly strong

Amazing strength is achieved by simple things done well over a long period of time. The kettlebell fits this bill and has been around for a long time. See for yourself why and how this amazing tool should become part of your daily routine.

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How to grip the kettlebell

When you grip the kettlebell you want your hands to be in control of the weight without squeezing it too hard. Think of an anti shrug when getting ready to perform your swings. Both hands will be placed on the handle symmetrically with a bit of space between them. Chalk and other supporting measures for gripping the kettlebell should be avoided to get the most out of your sessions. Chalk, wraps and other supporting equipment have their place in one repetition maximum attempts. However, that is not the purpose of the kettlebell.

Where to position the kettlebell

When initiating the movement the kettlebell should be one arm's length in front of you. I found that a good distance is that you can reach it with your hands while leaning forward to then have your feet fully planted and spine in neutral position once you tilted the kettlebell towards you. If you still feel overextended after the tilt the kettlebell is too far away from you. If Your arms are not fully extended when tilted the kettlebell is too close to you.

Which muscles should be activated

You drive the kettlebell with your hips, not with your arm and shoulder. Your shoulder and arms should be tight and not be helping in the upward movement of the weight. The weight is being accelerated by straightening your hips and only by doing this. This is achieved by bending the knees to pass the weight between the legs and then explode back to the starting position by straightening the knees and cramping your glutes. Don't forget the glute cramp if you want to train like a beast and see the best results.

How many repetitions and sets

I have had better results on the recommendations of Pavel Tsatsoulin. He prescribes 10 sets by ten repetitions which are to be performed with maximum focus and perfect execution. Pick the weight you use with the mind set of being in full control of each repetition and bringing on the challenge by the minute attention to detail on every repetition rather than the weight itself.

How much rest between sets

Rest should be as much as you need to perfectly execute your next one. This usually takes as long as getting your heart rate down to a level so that you can conveniently speak with another person. The talk test is solid and should be applied independently from any pre scheduled rest periods. If it takes you longer than two minutes to recollect yourself you might want to consider a lower weight.

How often a week 

Ideally every day of the week. Kettlebell exercises are simple and use light weights. Therefore, if done well, the risk of injury is minimal.

How much weight should I use

Women usually start with 16kg while men start with 24kg on the swing. It can, however, be used to scale down initially to learn the ropes and then move up.  

Where can I learn to swing better

Pavel Tsatsoulin's books on the topic are excellent. If you desire to deepen your knowledge even further sign up for one of the Strongfirst kettlebell seminars and certificates.


Kettlebells have been tried and tested by one of the craziest strong people in the world. If they approve of it, it will make you amazingly strong too

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Topics: Lift stronger, Kettlebell