4 Common Kettlebell Swing Errors Made by CrossFitters

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by ROB EXLINE, RKC II

Meat Head Swing (Front Raise Swing)

Meat Head Swing (Front Raise Swing)

The work of the kettlebell swing is the extension of the hips; once that happens, the bell then floats into place.
Early arms occur when an athlete pulls the bell upward prior to full hip extension. The arms and shoulders become too active trying to pull the bell to a desired height. You can also observe the bell drooping rather than being an extension of the hands. As we say in CrossFit, this creates a core-to-extremity violation. Understand that the hips drive the bell. The goal should be to extend the hips powerfully prior to the arms moving. The work of the kettlebell swing is the extension of the hips; once that happens, the bell then floats into place.

To fix this, delay your arm movement by keeping your elbows on your ribs through the hip extension. Imagine that your arms are tied to your trunk. And again, practice the kettlebell deadlift: place the bell between the heels, hinge hips keeping arms on your trunk, grab the bell and stand up without letting your arms come off your trunk.

Uncommitted Swing

All the power from the swings should come from the hips, making the full extension of the hips and knees critical. The hips and knees should not be soft at the top of the swing. Think of it as a vertical plank.

To fix, stand up hard by driving feet into the ground. Make certain that at the standup position the knees are pulled up, abs are braced for a punch and butt is pinching a penny. To help train this, do a kettlebell deadlift, making sure that you are standing tall and all the above are engaged. Commit to standing tall and strong.

Video yourself and see if you are doing any of these things in your swings. Apply these corrections and you will see that you can become more efficient and powerful, and you may just find that you could apply some of these tips to other movements as well. Remember that movements are an inch wide and a mile deep! Swing away!

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