Thursday, March 15, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell workouts are a nice way to mix up your standard workout. Today I suggest trying the kettlebell swing.

The kettlebell swing is an especially great exercise if you are in a time crunch because it is a total body workout (especially your lower body and abs) and you get some cardio at the same time.

1-Stand with your feet hip width apart and set the kettlebell between your feet in front of you.
2-Come down into a squat. Remember to keep your knees behind your toes and your torso as upright as possible. This means shoulders down away from your ears and actively pressing into your back and keep your chest up. Don't roll your shoulders!!
3-Pick up the kettlebell and bring yourself up out of the squat.

This is super important. You need to use the momentum you create from coming out of the squat to be what drives the kettlebell forward. You want your shoulders to be in control of the kettlebell the entire time, not swinging it about. You could really hurt yourself if you don't maintain control.

4-Raise the kettlebell to the point where the kettlebell and your shoulders are even.
5-Slowly, AND WITH CONTROL!, lower yourself and the kettlebell back into the squat. That's one rep.

Repeat 12-15 more times. Rest for about 1 minute. Do another set of 12-15.

Again, I cannot say enough that CONTROL is KEY to a kettlebell workout. By maintaining control, you avoid injury and make sure that the exercise truly works the muscles properly. Plus, whenever you work to maintain control, you work your core, and we all want that!


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