Squat, Swing, Carry for Lean Muscle

The Problem

You’ve finally pulled out a set of your gym’s kettlebells and started experimenting with basic swings, but it seems like a biomechanically disadvantageous move, and you want to make sure you don’t hurt your lower back. Done right, however, this doesn’t have to be the case.

The Solution

Kettlebell exercises aren’t inherently dangerous. It’s performing them using poor technique that’s liable to get you injured, especially when you extend or flex your spine during your range of motion. The following progression will streamline the learning process no matter how experienced you are in the gym.

For Beginners

1. Set Your Base – Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed outward slightly.

2. Be an Athlete – Bend your knees, push your butt back, and put your hands atop your knees to find your stance.

3. Generate Power – To raise the kettlebell, keep your shoulders pulled back and down, and drive your hips forward and up.


The Progression

1. Start – Look straight ahead and make sure your forearms are touching the insides of your thighs.

2. Execution – Allow the power from your hips to swing the kettlebell up without using your arms to provide additional lift.

3. Midpoint – As the kettlebell nears head level, squeeze your glutes. Tighten your abs to avoid injuring your spine.

r4. Finish – From the top position, let the kettlebell swing down through your legs and back to the start position without slowing it down. This should be a continuous motion from one rep to the next.

Kettlebell Circuit Workout

For a great conditioning blast, test your stamina by doing as many rounds of this circuit as you can in 15 minutes.

Kettlebell Swing – 15 reps

Wall Ball – 10 reps

Burpee – 5 reps