Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Swing = The Center of the Universe


Heresy you say!!! Pure Heresy! I'm not talking about the actual universe I am talkling about the exercise and training universe. In the world of the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Master RKC Mark Reifkind said that the kettlebell swing is the "Center of the Universe" and he was right on when he said this. The SWING really is the center of the "movement"  universe followed by the GET UP in a very close second place. Now of course I am not saying that there are no other movements worth doing because there are many movements that I feel are "ESSENTIAL" and worth doing. But when it comes to kettlebell training the SWING is KING of all kettlebell movements because it teaches you how to use your hips in a powerful, explosive and athletic way.

 Ever try swinging a dumbbell?  Feels strange and awkward doesn't it?

Every try swinging a barbell between the legs? Obviously you cannot do this!

So for those people opposed to kettlebell training...blah...blah...blah! Obviously those people have not ever experienced the benefits of what properly done kettlebell training gives you.

It is hard (almost impossible) to find a movement that gives you MUSCULAR, CARDIOVASCULAR and ENDURANCE training all at the same time.  It also teaches you do move from the hips which immediately increases MOBILITY and FLEXIBILITY and give you a rock solid lower back and strong spine.

Running is better? I don't think so (at last not for most people). The impact of running will catch up with most people and I offer swings as a great solution to people looking for some great cardiovascular training who also can't afford to put more mileage on their overworked frames.

I agree with Mark Reifkind that the Swing gets looked over in spite of its foundational properties to all other movements. The Swing is not as fancy or fun like a heavy clean and press or heavy snatch. Some people try and race to TGU a very heavy KB overhead which is an impressive feat of strength for sure. But somehow the Swing seems to get overlooked.

Want to get a better Clean? A better Snatch? A better Deadlift?

By advice for you: GO BACK TO THE SWING!

Here are some Swing tutorial videos I did that can be very helpful if you are new to kettlebells.

Video 1: Breaking down the kettlebell Swing
Video 2: Breaking  down the kettlebell Swing
Video 3: Breaking down the kettlebell Swing

That's doesn't mean you abandon your other training but it does mean that you constantly have a place in your training plan for the "PRACTICE" of swings. That's right PRACTICE!!!

The Swing is an internal requires intention, thought and focus on how and when you move. Invest in the swing.....spend time on it....the investment in time is worth it...and the dividends are tremendous!!!

Anyone can swing a kettlebell............but NOT ALL PEOPLE CAN DO A KETTLEBELL SWING!!!!!

Correct  your form first and then start building a base. It could be as simple as setting the timer for 10 minutes and seeing how many sets of 10 you can get in those 10 minutes. Next workout try and beat the the number. Keep going until you cannot beat that number and then change the program. Perhaps you set it for 15 minutes and do the same thing. The idea is to progressively increase the reps from workout to workout.

For a great DVD on the swing I recommend RCK Tracy Reifkind's PROGRAMMING THE KETTLEBELL SWING.

What has your experience been with the kettlebell swing? Are you even doing swings???

Thoughts and comments??


Mike Perry said...


Great post!!

We call always learn something new about the KB swing. Keep up the good work-Mike

Franz Snideman said...


thanks brother! amazing how people overlook the swing and move on the juggling or more fancy movements. A good swing trumps all other kettlebell movements IMO. IT is the foundation!!

jockeRKC said...

Great post as always Mr Snideman

Swing+TGU and you are set to concur the world =)

Franz Snideman said...

Yes...we will assimilate the world :)

monica sancio said...

I just want to say THANK YOU to you & Yoana for agreeing to help me on my kettlebell skills... Like you say, it takes focus and humility, too! See you tomorrow !!