Breaking Down the 2 Hand Kettlebell Swing

It's been said that the kettlebell swing is better than 99% of all exercises for strength and conditioning.

And I agree.

Especially for the Minimalist Athlete, nothing delivers like the kettlebell swing.

From building strength and power in your legs...

...to improving your conditioning,

...burning tons of body fat,

....and making you more flexible in the process.

The kettlebell swing checks a lot of boxes.

As Dan John says, "the kettlebell swing is a fat burning, athlete maker."

It's also the foundation for all the other kettlebell lifts.

Mastering the swing will make the rest of your lifts better and will allow you to get so much more out of your training.

Here's a breakdown of how to master the 2 hand kettlebell swing.

The Deadlift

  • 1
    Set up with your feet shoulder width apart, feet slightly flared and the kettlebell handle in line with your ankles.
  • 2
    Keeping your chest tall and your back flat, push your hips back until you can grab the handle with both hands.
  • 3
    Squeeze your armpits and pull your shoulder blades back and down.
  • 4
    Take a big breath into your bell and drive your heels into the floor to stand up.
  • 5
    At the top; pull your kneecaps up to lock out your legs, squeeze your glutes, brace your abs and pull your shoulder blades back and down.
  • 6
    Return the kettlebell between your ankles by reversing the motion - pushing your hips back while keeping your chest up and back flat.

The Hike Pass

  • 1
    Set up 12 inches behind the kettlebell with your feet shoulder width apart, feet slightly flared.
  • 2
    Grab the handle with both hands and angle it towards you.
  • 3
    Hike the bell between your legs, high into your groin and let it swing back to the starting position.
  • 4
    Make sure to keep your chest up and back flat during the hike pass.
  • 5
    Notice how the hike loads the glutes and hamstrings.

The 2 Hand Swing

  • 1
    Set up the same as the hike pass.
  • 2
    Take in a big sniff of air and hike the kettlebell high into the groin. 
  • 3
    Drive your heels into the ground and snap up into a standing plank.
  • 4
    Like the top of the deadlift - pull your kneecaps up to lock out your legs, squeeze your glutes, brace your abs and pull your shoulder blades back and down.
  • 5
    Maintain the standing plank position as the kettlebell comes to a float at the top of the swing.
  • 6
    Keep your arms relaxed, your hips drive and your arms guide.
  • 7
    As the kettlebell falls, guide it with your arms back into the hike pass position.
  • 8
    Make sure the kettlebell handle stays above your knees, keeping the bell high in your groin.

As you can see, there's a lot going on in the 2 hand swing.

Like a punch in the martial arts - it's simple to learn, but takes thousands of reps to master.

Take your time to go through the progressions, owning the steps, and you'll build a strong, powerful kettlebell swing.

In Strength and Health,

Dave

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