Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Kettlebell Swing: Building the Perfect Posterior or Losing 100+ lbs.

The Kettlebell Swing: Building the Perfect Posterior or Losing 100+ lbs.
Everyone in the fitness/strength & conditioning industry knows about the posterior chain.  The chain of muscles that runs from your achilles tendon up the back of your legs, your back and up to your neck.  There are programs out there that target each of these areas individually but only one exercise that will work the chain from top to bottom (as well as hit your abdominals at the same time).  The two-arm kettlebell swing is an exercise that will do just that.  Start out using this exercise just one or two times a week as you build your way into it, doing on average 75 swings.  Attempt as many as you can and if you fail to reach 75 take a minute to relax and then continue again until you hit your mark.    Typically females should start with 20-25 lbs until they can hit 75 swings with no rest and males should aim for 45-50 lbs to start.
This exercise is a great start up for the new fitness nut or a great addition to an already established routine.  Give them a try and see the results that follow.  Below are the basic instructions on how to perform the swing and be sure to look up videos or comment if they are unclear and you need more detail.  Happy Swinging.  
See directions and video below:

The Two-Arm Kettlebell Swing:
-Take a stance with your feet six to twelve inches wider than your shoulders.  You want your feet to point slightly out (think 1 o-clock and 11 o-clock).
-Shoulders should always be pulled back as if you're trying to pinch a wallet between your shoulder blades.  This will also assist you in not rounding your back during the exercise.
-The lowering movement is that of sitting back in a chair, but remember to keep your back flat.  Be careful not to lean forward too much and put your shoulders in front of your knees.  This move should not stress your lower back too greatly.

-The drive of the motion should pop the kettlebell forward as you drive your hips forward and squeeze your butt cheeks tight as if you're pinching a penny between them.  You should not be able to contract your cheeks anymore than you already have.  Avoid using your shoulders too much to raise the weight.

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