learn the kettlebell swing part 4/4

In part one, we learned to hinge, and also learned to keep a big chest. In addition, we should've worked consistently on our elbow plank.

In part two, we built on it and added the BGBS and sumo deadlift. By continuing to pattern our hinge, and build strength in the pattern, we were getting ready to create some powerful swings.

In part three, we learned to hike and park the bell. And work on the dead swing.

Photo courtesy: Rahul Sadagopan and The Quad

Now, we are ready to put it all together!


Honestly, if you've gone through those progressions slowly, you don't need much instructions. Here's what you can do.

  • hike and park
  • hike - 1 swing - park
  • hike - 2 swings - park
  • hike - 3 swings - park
  • hike - 4 swings - park
  • hike - 5 swings - park
  • take a walk. come back. repeat 5 times.

Here's a video of the swing itself.


Here's a step-by-step guide to your setup and what all you need to focus on.

  1. feet a bit wider than shoulder width, toes pointed out a wee bit
  2. grip the floor, pull the kneecaps up and hinge
  3. maintain a back angle above parallel, preferably closer to 70 degrees. But this varies from person to person
  4. hook the bell, and do not grip it too hard
  5. stay braced throughout the swing - at the bottom and at the top, and during the movement itself
  6. finish tall, with no lean - gripping the floor, pulling the kneecaps up, butt tight, stomach braced and arms at chest level and long.

There's a lot more to the swing but this gets you at least 80% of the way. The rest are subtleties, and while they will add a lot, you will get there over the next few years and over thousands of quality repetitions on the swing. That's the journey you will be on, as you figure it out for yourself.


The most important thing to remember on the swing is that each repetition is all-out! Do not hold back. This is not a jog, this is not a grind to the finish line. This is a maximum effort (with perfect quality) each rep. Whenever you cannot generate the power you were generating, or when your technique slips up, or your breathing pattern is disrupted - park the bell.

It is a sprint!

Shot during 34th international Elite athletics meeting in Montgeron-Essonne (France), Sunday, May 13th, 2018
Photo by Nicolas Hoizey / Unsplash

I suggest doing 75-150 swings a day, 3-5 days of the week. Nail your form and technique. A good goal is to be capable of doing swings with the 24kg for ladies and 32kg for men.

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