The Proper Two-Arm Swing Technique

Mastering The Most Basic Kettlebell Movement

If you are reading this article, you have probably heard about the increasingly popular kettlebell workout routines and exercises that a wide variety of people are incorporating into their fitness regimen.  Perhaps you’ve even started using kettlebells to burn fat, build muscle and increase stamina.  If so, good for you!  Kettlebell exercises are rewarding and fun, and you can do them from the comfort of your living room or back yard.

Muscular Back

The most basic kettlebell movement is the swing, which can be done with one or two arms.  The swing exercises the glutes, thighs, hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and back – all with one repeated fluid movement.

If you are brand new to kettlebells, start with two arms.  Here’s how to perform a proper two-arm kettlebell swing:

  1. With your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, lower yourself into a squat position (knees bent, back straight, butt out, chest open, head forward).  Place the kettlebell a few inches behind your heels to build momentum when you pick it up.
  2. Grab the kettlebell with both hands and stand up, squeezing your glutes, tightening your abs, and snapping your hips.  The power comes from your legs, not your arms.  Your arms simply hold the bell.  Keep them straight and locked.
  3. Keeping your arms loose and core locked, let the bell swing back down between your legs.  Make sure it swings behind your legs, just under your groin.  It does NOT have to be close to the ground.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, increasing the bell’s arc until it is swinging out to forehead level.
  5. To finish, decrease your arc until you can gently place the kettlebell back on the ground.  Never drop the kettlebell!
  6. Do three to five sets of 20 reps, or go to failure.

Tips & Warnings:

  • Make sure you are not arching your back.  This is primarily a lower body workout, and the power should come from your legs and hips.
  • You must snap your hips BEFORE the kettlebell reaches its maximum height.  This snapping motion should provide the force that pushes the bell up and out to the end of its arc.
  • Be careful not to overdo it at the beginning.  It might not feel hard, but I can guarantee that you will feel it in your back and legs he next day!
  • Pay attention to form.  Watch videos and use light kettlebells until you’ve perfected your technique.