Your biceps should be in line with your ears, Extend your knees in the top portion of the swing. Except then, your hamstrings and glutes, the targets of the classic swing, simply don’t get to move as much weight. (And more work is always better; your boss will love that one.) If it was, we’d ditch the deadlift entirely and only do snatches (another exercise that, you know, not all humans can effectively do). The basic swing lets you move a fairly heavy weight, since it relies on two of your body’s most powerful muscle groups, the legs and glutes, to generate the majority of the force. The result? You should not be increasing the amount of knee flexion, nor should you be lifting the kettlebell with your shoulders to assist getting the kettlebell into the top position. It’s a full-body movement which, according to Taylor Race, trainer and owner of Elevate St. Pete, makes it “a great complement to any strength training routine.”. No sales may have occurred at this price. They’re smart and well-thought-out, and they push you towards your fitness goals in the safest ways possible, mirroring the ways the body can move and in many cases, protecting you from yourself. Power. Then you stand up explosively and squeeze your glutes. So the shoulder muscles and smaller upper-body stabilizers take over that large load. The Kettlebell swing works your core, back, shoulders, hamstring, quads, glutes, forearms, and chest. Then skip this overrated version of the classic Russian swing. In this way, it’s a total body exercise, and superior and more “complete” than the Russian kettlebell swing. That can’t happen when both hands are grasping a kettlebell handle with a close grip. In general, you always want to choose exercises that minimize risk and maximize the benefits that’ll push you to your goals. Add a burst of intensity to your gym routine with this overhead kettlebell swing. And there are simply too few benefits (read: none) to the American swing. The American kettlebell swing is often seen being performed in endurance and metabolic conditioning segments, thought to induce greater work capacity than the Russian swing. Treating your swings like squats. I cover the two-handed swing, the single-handed swing would involve a lot more action around the mid-section. Why do any of this, then? Race recommends beginners start with five sets of 10 reps. Keep in mind that the American swing “is a little more advanced because of the extra range of motion and need for more powerful hip extension,” Race says. Most exercises you do have a purpose. Add in sets of 10-20 reps between other exercises, like squats, lunges, ab work and pushups. The 60 Best Black Friday Deals to Check Out Now, My Secret to Navigating COVID-19 Mental Health, 8 Reasons to Quit Your Phone This Holiday Season, No, Vitamin C Supplements Will Not Save Us All, The Hypervolt GO Is the Mini Massage Gun You Need. The key to success with the American Swing is to use the power of your legs to raise the kettlebell overhead. The … In the pursuit of “more work,” the target muscles of the classic move get a less effective chance to do work. Now raise your arms off the ground as high as possible. There’s a smarter, less injury-inducing way to push your glutes and hamstrings to “pop” more than they do on your average Russian swing. In fitness classes, especially HIIT-based ones, you can’t do that. No sales may have occurred at this price. “Extend up explosively to get the kettlebell directly overhead.”. And definitely don’t do it because some trainer preening for Instagram has it in a program, which happens too often in fitness classes, especially if they’re inspired by “functional fitness”. Somewhere along the line, somebody decided the swing somehow wasn’t good enough. ©2020 DICK'S Sporting Goods *Reference prices are past offerings. Or they try to force their shoulder muscles to do the work -- except the shoulder muscles can’t handle the responsibility. And inherent to the American swing is a load that’s frequently too much for the shoulders. Instead, he recommends people “use your hips” to initiate the swing. The American swing is very much like the classic swing in its mechanics, except it has a different end goal: The kettlebell winds up overhead. So why not only train the snatch? That may seem on the heavy side, however, “Most beginners have a tendency to use their upper body too much, trying to control the kettlebell with their arms,” Race says. Do the Russian swing with a heavier kettlebell. Momentum carries the kettlebell upwards and in front of you, and your arms drive forward, typically until they’re parallel to the ground, in the process. Maybe (maybe!) You could go “lighter” on the weight with the American swing, both in a class setting and in your own workouts, focusing on form. Don’t do it because CrossFit. They rely on high rep loads, and, eventually, fatigue piles on. You should evaluate all exercises this way (and not be afraid to question your group fitness trainer either -- it’s their job to answer you). Really think and focus in on the American kettlebell swing, be super-controlled and mindful of your whole body, and you have your best shot. If it’s last, the muscles that govern your shoulder blades may not properly depress and retract them, leading to form breaks when overhead that prime your shoulders for serious injury. BONUS PRO TIP:The power in this swing comes from your legs, Race says. Injuries. When forced to hit a true arms-directly-overhead position, many people compensate with movement in other areas, often arching their upper or (worse!) At the top of the swing, look straight ahead, Keep the kettlebell close to your body as you move — it should be controlled, Use an overhand grip to hold the handle of the kettlebell with both hands, Start with the kettlebell hanging down between your thighs, wrists lightly touching your legs, Lean forward slightly at the hips, then, using the strength of your legs, swing the kettlebell overhead, Lock out your arms for stability. Driving the shoulders into true overhead position isn’t as natural as you may think. Race recommends a 15lb. Did your chest rise off the ground too? (It’s everything that’s wrong with 2019 fitness class culture, too, where poorly equipped trainers push you to do American swings because they don’t really know any better -- and you listen because your trainer should know better.). This content is imported from {embed-name}. It’s a simple move that safely targets the muscles most guys need to work (glutes and hamstrings), keeping the emphasis on those muscles when you chain multiple reps together. Once you’ve mastered the American swing, try the Russian swing and single-arm swing. Men's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. it’s a demonstration of true shoulder flexion at the top of each rep, that your mid- and upper-back muscles will fire. In the American Swing, you allow the force produced on the kettlebell to carry it all the way overhead so that the bottom of the kettlebell is directly in line with the spine. Take the fact that … If you feel wobbly or can’t maintain proper form, drop down in weight. Learning Diaphragmatic Breathing for Strength Training Workouts, Five Upper Body Resistance Band Exercises, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents Only, Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly, Generate force from your legs and glutes — don’t try to generate momentum by swinging the kettlebell more forcefully with your arms, Maintain a neutral neck. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, A Calisthenics Athlete's Guide to Getting Shredded, Watch Rich Froning Skydive With the U.S. Army, 5 Common Pushup Mistakes to Avoid in Your Workouts, This Woman’s Dad Built Her a Peloton Studio, Aaron Yoder Breaks Own Backwards Mile World Record, This Woman Trained Like Lara Croft for 45 Days, These Exercises Will Help You Build Core Strength. Or were you able to do this moving only at your shoulders? The American swing is very much like the classic swing in its mechanics, except it has a different end goal: The kettlebell winds up overhead. The classic kettlebell swing, the Russian swing, is a fundamental exercise that every guy should do. Answer: Because deadlifts and deadlift variants (oh, and Russian swings) target, among other bodyparts, the hamstrings and glutes, driving them to grow and grow more powerful. Then, you can “mix in swings as a conditioning tool,” Race says. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. The American swing crowd might contend that this isn’t all that different from a snatch anyway, hamstrings and glutes firing. 1 Shoulder Issues. The type of kettlebell swing (American vs. Russian) The speed in which you are swinging the kettlebell; And the type of training (Endurance, power, HIIT) Full body workout. The key to success with the American Swing is to use the power of your legs to raise the kettlebell overhead. “Don’t bend your knees excessively,” says Race. Station-to-station randomness makes things worse: if the American swing’s your first move, your mind and your shoulder blades aren’t fatigued. Instead, it’s the kettlebell swing you should never do, a move that has no business in your fitness repertoire.