Monday, October 12, 2009

Are you swinging right or wrong?

Funny question I know...could mean several things I suppose. Here though, I'm talking about Kettlebell training. A while back I made a statement that I didn't think certain people had good enough kettlebell training skills to be teaching people how to do them.

Later on I come to find that same person has a DVD for kettlebell training. I assume she's gotten some instruction, I assume she doesn't fly from the hip with kettlebell exercises that aren't performed properly. I also assume her form and teaching cues have gotten better.

I assumed wrong, sorry Dad, sometimes I still don't remember what happens when you assume.

Rather than get in to all the things that are wrong about this person's kettlebell training, I'd rather address the proper way to perform some of these kettlebell exercises.

Watch the video below...

There is a lot more I can hit on going forward, but these are the basics.

-Kettlebell swings are not based off of a squat.
-The kettlebell should become an extension of your arms.
-The Kettlebell swing focuses on your posterior chain, the lower back, the glutes, the hamstrings.
-The Kettlebell swing does not focus on our anterior delts, this is not a front raise.
-You can and should practice Good Morning Stretches and Romanian Deadlifts to understand the idea of hip hinging if it's new to you.
-Hike the kettlebell behind your hips, as you stand make sure your hips and knees come to full extension, think athletic and explosive, the kettlebell should be weightless for a brief second and the top of your swing.
-Allow gravity to assist the kettlebell back down behind your hips.
-Always start and stop in the same safe 'short stop' position.

I believe in being an expert at what you do. Although I love barbell training, and I believe I do it well, I don't specialize in teaching it, so I won't try to sell my coaching skills with the barbell to anyone.

When you step into an industry such as fitness, where everyone has a different opinion on fat loss, strength training, cardio, and the like; I believe you should be sound with your movements and understand the mechanics of what you are doing before you decide to teach it to someone (or demonstrate it on national television, or create an information product based around that type of training, without really having the knowledge.)

If you've never kettlebell trained before, I suggest you give a try, you'll love it for many reasons, but I also suggest you train with someone who's been coaching it and training it themselves for several years. (I know that doesn't weed out all the bad seeds, but it hits most.) I suggest you ask around and get some opinions from people who train and coach regularly. And if there isn't someone close to you, I suggest finding someone who does online coaching.

If you're going to invest the time and the money into a fitness program, shouldn't you be sure that you're getting what you want, not just what you paid for?