Kettlebell swing progressions

The kettlebell is probably one of the most enduring fitness crazes in the last decade within the fitness industry. It is well-known for a variety of key exercises such the swing, clean, long cycle, snatch and the infamous Turkish get up. However, within each exercise type there is a vast range of tweaks and variables that can make the kettlebell even more fun and innovative to train with. However, rather than just jumping in the deep end with some crazy 5 stage functional, multi-planar kettlebell exercise it may be important to master the basics and progress step by step up the ladder.

In this video blog I have put together a series of kettlebell swing exercises from the basic 2 hand swing up through to some much more complex swing variations that really ramp up the intensity…well it will if you don’t lower the weight you are swinging as the exercise gets more challenging. These progressions look to emphasise the primarily the sagittal (forward/backward) plane of motion, but there is a little leeway in that. I have ordered them in the video so as to get just a little be more challenging each time, rather than just going from basic to beasting in one exercise change. Hopefully this will give you a few ideas, some you may have seen before, some will likely be new. Hopefully you can master all of them and include them in your training – especially the jumping versions!

The exercises in order are:

1. Two hand sagittal kettlebell swing

2. 180 high sagittal kettlebell swing

3. Sagittal kettlebell swing with squat

4. One hand alternating sagittal kettlebell swing

5. Alternating split jump 1 hand alternating sagittal kettlebell swing

6. Double split jump two hand sagittal kettlebell swing

NB. Watch out for progression 5 – there is ground reaction, bending, lumbar rotation and flexion forces all hitting the spine at the same time. It is an exercise for those who know their back is conditioned appropriately. This is a nightmare exercise for anyone with low back problems – please avoid it if this is you.

Anyway there are 6 progressive versions of the humble kettlebell swing. Get swinging!

By the way if you like the competition kettlebell I am swinging you can pick them up from my friends at Wolverson Fitness!

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