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Teaching the Kettlebell Swing- The Imaginary Swing

Teaching the Kettlebell Swing- The Imaginary Swing
guest post by Forest Vance, MS, RKC II 

The kettlebell swing is the foundational HardStyle kettlebell movement. It’s CRITICAL that you master it before you move on to more advanced ballistic moves like the clean, snatch, etc.

Thing is – it can also be a tricky exercise to master. There are a lot of moving parts to a swing – the hip hinge, the hip snap, the shoulder pack, tensing and relaxing the muscles at the proper times, etc.

So – we need a quick and easy way to teach or learn the basics of the movement.

The solution we use at FVT is the imaginary swing.

The imaginary swing is a great move to help clients master the exercise before you do it with a load.

Take five or ten minutes to make sure you’re doing this movement perfectly – and you’ll be well on your way to a killer kettlebell swing …

The Imaginary Swing

The first compontent of learning the kettlebell swing is by practicing the exercise WITHOUT the kettlebell. We need to “grove the move” and get you into correct body position before we load the exercise.

Get set up with your feet shoulder width apart and your weight set back into your heels.










Initiate a deadlift movement by driving the hips back – like you’re pushing your butt through a piece of glass.

Keep the shoulders locked and the back FLAT. There should be a straight line from the hip to the shoulder.








Now, move to a swing-type movement. You’re going to hike pass the weight back like you’re snapping a football. Keep the hands close to the body. Do NOT swing the weight close to the ground. This is a huge cause of lower back pain.







Next, snap the weight up to chest height. Tense the glutes, quads, and abs as you do so. This is like the finish position of the swing.











Without hesitating, snap the weight back down.Repeat for about 10 reps.

Also – one more thing about breathing. You should be taking a breath in as the weight comes down, to brace the abs and protect the lower back … and out as it snaps up and reaches the peak of its arc.

So … in conclusion … the kettlebell swing is the “king” of kettlebell exercises. It’s key that you learn it right from the get-go. But it’s also tricky to master. The imaginary swing is a great move to help your clients quickly get a feel for the move in a safe and controlled fashion.
Train hard, and talk soon –

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS – Forest has a full 12 week program he’s designed to take you from kb newb to swing ninja – and it’s on sale at 50% off this week ONLY. Check it out here => http://georgettepann.com/kbswing
The Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual 50% off sale


About Forest Vance

Forest Vance holds a Master’s degree in Human Movement and personal training certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

He is also a level II Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor, Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Performance Enhancement Specialist, and Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach.

Over the last 8 years, Forest has experience as a personal trainer, group fitness/boot camp instructor, fitness manager, and health club general manager. He currently works as the owner and head trainer at his Sacramento functional training gym.

He also maintains a network of fitness-related websites, makes regular guest appearances on many others, has been featured in national newspaper, radio, television, and other media, and is the creator/author of numerous books, DVD’s, and digitally delivered workout programs/systems.

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