Now Let Me See Your Hips Swing

Incorrect swinging (as seen in first half of clip) can cause lower back pain and injury. Swing with the hips and not the lower back. Neutral spine (including neck), grounded feet, powered hip hinge, functional breathing.

In the above video I am first demonstrating what I see a lot of people doing when swinging kettlebells, they bend over way too far; have their chins jutting out; initiate the swing by thrusting through their upper back and then hinging through their lower back and hyperextending at the top.  Notice how you can see my lower back activating just after I start to raise my upper body into the swing, that is where you are directing the load if you're swinging incorrectly...hence your lower back is stiff and painful after swings.  This does not need to be the case and I beg you to please seek help if you pull up sore after swings or deadilfts...I am more than happy to do one-off sessions with anyone who would like to work on form or movement efficiency through such movements as kettlebell swings; deadlifts & box jumps (these are my top 3 priority movements that can do the most damage and are the most common to be done with poor form).  To quote one of my mentors, Gray Cook, "first move well, then move often".

So I decided to write a post on this topic after a client of mine that I've been working with only for a few weeks now was stunned at how different his kettlebell swing felt after a quick correction.  He has been using kettlebell swings for the past 10 years in some of his training sessions and had said that they were the one movement that always made him pull up really sore and stiff in his lower back.  Now it is not ok to ever experience lower back pain and stiffness after either kettlebell swings or deadlifts, a lot of people think that they are a lower back exercise but they're actually meant to predominantly utilise your glutes and hamstrings.  

It took me all of about 1 minute with my client to give him a couple of cues during his kettlebell swing in order to get him swinging with a hip hinge and not with his lower back. His face was priceless!  For the first time in the 10 years he has been utilising the kettlebell swing he felt nothing in the lower back and his glutes were firing madly!  This is what you are looking for guys!  It's all in the hips!

Some people might take a whole session to "get" the swing movement but if you are very body aware it won't take much to coach the swing and get you saving your lower back...and an added bonus is developing those glutes ;-)