You can say I’ve been a swinger and advocate of Kettlebells for a long time.
When I started a decade ago, there were only a few big name authorities on kettlebell training. Namely Steve Cotter, Ken Blackburn, Mike Mahler, Steve Maxwell, Valery Fedorenko and Pavel come to my mind.
Instruction was good but still limited in its scope as far as individualizing programming and exercises focused to certain builds, body types and goals. As with everything, people gravitated towards “styles ” and Ideas that they could get behind or were marketed heavily to .
Nowadays everyone is a so called expert with kettlebells if they have a KB in their brand or gym emblem. Videos are everywhere in 59 second clips teaching complex movements on Instagram or highly paid sponsored videos on Youtube that are putting subpar instruction in front of the eyes of millions at the top of the search results.
My goal in the kettlebell training field is to put out instruction that you can understand and not have a “one size fits all” mentality. Sure I recommend kettlebells for most people as I feel they have the most to offer in a condensed amount of time for the general public and athlete. But that doesn’t mean that every exercise is going to benefit you. I aim to find modifications and adjustments or exercises that are optimal for people.
A couple of the instructional videos I have made on my over 1000+ video youtube channel have very high organic views each day as I feel they speak to a broad audience on safety at the same time to individuals. This recent video on Changing your kettlebell swing has the potential to be one of my most popular videos of all time.
Kettlebell training is mostly touted for Strength Endurance not maximal strength.
Strength endurance is enhanced by you guessed it, lots of repetitions. At the same time, loads of repetitions even with proper form can cause RSI or Repetitious Strain Injuries. These could be anything from diminishing grip strength to tendonitis or even bursitis.
The Kettlebell Swing is probably the reason you first touched a kettlebell. Some people are hooked into doing hundreds (I’ve even seen over thousand) of kettlebell swings a day. It seems to be falling into the “more is better” ideology much the same as running and other endurance activities.
This article and accompanying video will give you a few reasons why I think that if you change your normal two handed kettlebell swing to an outside the leg double kettlebell swing ( and use it possibly for 50% of your total kettlebell swing volume ) you will see much more change and gains in your exercise program .
Here are SEVERAL REASONS to try and OUTSIDE THE LEGS DOUBLE KETTLEBELL SWING :
- Kettlebells were meant for one hand on the handle. Its a fact! Like it or not, two adult sized hands will always have a finger or two hanging off the handle much like drinking tea from a dainty cup. Using two KB for swings will give you a proper balanced grip.
- When you are ready for heavier kettlebell to swing, buy a matching weight kettlebell instead of a very large one that you will only swing or deadlift. Remember 2x 16 Kbs = 1x 32kg if swung at the same time between or outside the legs. Also this opens the door to several other exercises, coordination and control. Its Mathematics!!!! (See this VID)
- Kettlebells WILL fit outside of your legs if you are shorter or have very big legs. Many people have trouble swinging and cleaning two kettlebells between their legs due to the size of the weights.
- Swings, Cleans and Snatches all have similar hip to shoulder width placement of the feet and therefore knees. This causes the hamstrings, adductors and quads to get very similar activation. Close stance varieties such as the outside of the leg swing etc, (and lunges as seen in this video) activate those muscles much differently. If you have been swinging in the same stance for years without trying close stance kettlebell exercises, prepare to be lit up like you haven’t felt in a long time. Its Biomechanically proven……
- Less Lateral pressure on your medial meniscus /knee Legs close together keeps the knee extension as evenly balanced pressure during hinging . This is good to employ to keep from repetitious strain. (Foot placement outside hips is is similar to running a long distance on a cambered surface in the same direction)
- Flexibility issues Some people can use their hips and glutes better hinging in a close stance vs, wanting to use their spinal erectors to lift the weight. Perhaps due to balance experience or faults.
So now, watch this video and lets discuss how and why to add a new variation of the kettlebell swing for big gains!!