One of the best, but most poorly performed exercises in the gym. It tells us a lot about how a person moves, their posture, and ability to generate power. That's why we have it in our Movement Fitness Test.
It's also still a great way to get some explosive work, if you are otherwise unable to perform other power exercises for any reason, eg. injury or limited mobility.
This video has some great set up cues. Don't be put off by the guy who looks like he's never lifted a kettle-bell before ;)
There are a couple of key cues to understand when performing this movement:
1. Hinge at the hips - don't squat.
The kettle-bell swing is a hinge exercise, with the same movement as a deadlift - not a squat. They may look similar but they are completely different recruitment of your hips, knees and torso.
Warming up with some KB deadlifts is a great intro to the movement required for swings. Become proficient with this movement before progressing to the KB swing.
2. Do not lift through your shoulders
For the swing that we use in our Movement Fitness Test, that bell should only come to shoulder height (or just below). There is no need to use your arms and shoulder strength to lift the bell, if you are correctly generating force at your hips by hinging powerfully. Stay braced but relaxed through your arms and shoulders.
And also a couple of common mistakes as shared here by Tony Gentilcore...
We hope this helps you get the most from your swings. Build good movements now, and you'll have less re-learning to do later.
Once you've mastered this basic double grip swing, you can then move on to single arm swings, and alternating swings, and other advanced exercises with the kettle-bells. Enjoy.