Play it straight.

It’s time for you to think about another aspect of your kettlebell swing. As you’ve managed finally to decide what shade of towel best complements the rugged hue of your kettlebell (I usually opt for a powerful dark red, since my power vegetable is the red chilli – fear me), and practised your towel swings. you may have found that your kettlebell waggles around at the end of the towel, either floating above the line of your arms, or dipping a little below that line. Maybe even both – the horror!

Can I just interject a little kettlebell anecdote? Totally off-topic. As I trawl the internet for kettlebell stuff, I just found myself watching a privately filmed (ie not corporate) YouTube clip of a female contestant at a big kettlebell competition in the US. The voice of the person filming was audible as, after the first few reps of the clean and jerk were under way, and the contestant in question was in clear view, impressive physique and all, she said, ‘Has she had her boobs done?”

Anyway, back to your own kettlebell swing. Here’s a picture of a friend of mine doing swings, and I want to point out to you the nice straight lines he or she is achieving.

kbskeletonswing

Yes, I know, he or she needs a good meal, but focus on that spine in position 1, the angle of hinge at the hips, and the line of the arms in position 2. You can see that the hips have to travel a fair distance forward on the horizontal plane in the ‘unhinging’ process, and it is this horizontal snap-through, which engages the Achilles tendon, calves, hamstrings, glutes and low back – the ‘posterior chain’ – that propels the bell on its way.

Straight lines are what you’re aiming for with a kettlebell swing. When you can get straight lines with the towel, chuck it in the washing machine and get going on normal, towel-free swings.

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