Don’t cringe from the hinge.

Second in this series of what to do with the newborn kettlebell in your life. In the first, you got a handle on (see what I did there?) the value and simplicity of the shoulder press.

Now you need to get your head, or bum, round the hinge. The hinge is the fundamental element of the kettlebell swing (and the deadlift), and the kettlebell swing is the fundamental element of your new relationship with this quirky blob of iron. So learn it, and learn it good.

The hinge takes place at your hips. Your hips ARE the hinge, goddammit. Stand straight, bend by hinging at the hips. Stick your bum out behind you. Keep your back straight, shoulders up, head up. Your knees will flex slightly. Your shins should stay more or less vertical. That’s about it.

If you want to incorporate your kettlebell into your hinge, try a deadlift. A single bell is usually very easy to deadlift, which makes it easy to focus on this vital movement: start hinging, bum out, back straight, let your arms dangle (yes, you will start to look like a gorilla), hook your fingers under the handle of the bell and, driving your heels into the ground, straighten up. The power to lift the weight comes from your behind, your posterior chain, your hamstrings, glutes and back. DO NOT LIFT WITH YOUR ARMS. Ignore the bell. Pretend it’s not there. Give it the silent treatment.

Practise this loads. Every day, many times a day. When you have a good hinge going on, you have a very strong tool in your strength training and kettlebell locker.

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