I am in the middle of a workout plan that calls for 10,000 kettlebell swings! Needless to say I am thinking a lot about proper KB technique these days. I have seen them go wrong so many times and want to share the biggest mistakes we see people make as they try out this fun movement.
Here are the top five mistakes:
The kettlebell swing doesn’t include a squat at any point. Instead of dropping your hips straight down as the bell descends send them backwards. Your knees will only slightly bend as your hips go back and your chest will lower toward the floor. This is a hinging motion and you should do it with every swing.
2. Rocking Forward and Back
Often athletes will lift their heels off the floor as they swing the bell forwards. Then as it comes back their toes with lift. Keep your feet flat on the floor with your weight in the middle of your feet at all times.
3. Straight Arms
There is no need to keep your arms perfectly straight during each repetition. Try relaxing your arms on the way up and only let them straighten at the bottom of each swing.
4. Breath Holding
It is (usually) not a good idea to hold your breath while exercising. During each swing exhale as you pop the KB up and inhale as it descends.
5. Going All the Way Overhead
The “American KB Swing” gained popularity over the past few years, but avoid this trend. Instead, only raise the bell to eye level with each swing. Using this range of motion lowers the likelihood of lower back pain. You won’t overarch your back with the kettlebell overhead and you will be able to more acutely engage your glutes and hamstrings for each rep.