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Kettlebell Swing Tutorial part IV – Personalising the Swing

This is the fourth of 5 articles on the Kettlebell swing, if you missed the previous episodes here are the links: Part I – The Basics Part II – Common Errors Part III – 1 Hand Swing

There's Hard Style and Fluid Style, but only Wild Geese swing so fast the air catches fire!

Today we look at personalising the swing. This lesson consists of two parts, the main styles of swing and the walking swing.

Style of Swing

There are two main styles of kettlebell swing, the so called Hard style and the so called Fluid style. The differences are arbitrary and the constant bickering over the internet about which is best is redundant. Both styles have value and in my own training I employ both but for different reasons.

The Hard style involves a large amount of tension in the body while the fluid style does it’s best to remove tension. It’s like Karate vs Tai Chi, both martial arts capable of causing great damage to a body, but to the layman they look completely different, yet with a bit of digging we see that the similarities outweigh the differences. The same with the schools of kettlebell lifting.

Have a look at this video where I demonstrate both methods and talk about how best to use each for a given outcome:


As I say in the clip, take both methods, play around with them both and figure out which best suits your training goals. Do not ever follow a dogmatic instructor who insists on one way only.

Walking Swings We like walking kettlebell swings, they’re fun and exhausting. They’re a great way to mix up your training as well as add a coordination aspect to your routine. You need to start out carefully with this, the fact that you are moving yourself and the kettle requires a little extra awareness and concentration. Is there any athletic advantage to walking swings? Possibly, after all the swing is one of the finest lifts for posterior chain development, now we add in a directional and timing element. I wouldn’t make this a cornerstone of training, but as part of a conditioning workout or as a warm up it is exceptional. Watch this video then get out and have a go, with caution and common sense, of course: [youtube]

As always, apply common sense to your training and make sure you have a bit of fun as well.

Regards Dave

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