The Kettlebell Swing (1 Arm) Exercise is one of the very best ways to build your endurance and increase your total body strength and power while challenging your stability.
The Kettlebell Swing (1 Arm) Exercise forms part of the Golf Power series of innovative and dynamic exercises that are designed to efficiently build explosive power in your golf swing, increasing club head speed and shot distance.
This exercise requires a kettlebell. Alternatively, you could use a dumbbell.
This is a power training exercise. Use a moderate to heavy weight that enables you to move fast, in an explosive (plyometric) movement, while always maintaining control and proper form.
Quality of movement is more important than how heavy a weight you are lifting.
For power exercises, the end of the set shouldn’t necessarily feel harder. Your effort level should remain relatively high throughout the set.
See How Much Weight Should I Lift? for more information.
Figure 1. Kettlebell Swing (1 Arm) Exercise Video.
The kettlebell swing is probably the best total body exercise there is, but hardly anyone does it right, so please read these instructions carefully.
- Start by standing tall in perfect posture, your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and legs slightly bent, with a kettlebell on the floor in front of you at arms length.
- Bend forwards, hinging at the hips and dropping them back, bending your knees as needed and keeping your back straight, to grip the kettlebell with both hands.
- Pull your shoulder blades down, away from your ears, to tilt the kettlebell towards you.
- Keeping your shoulders square to the kettlebell, let go with your left hand and bring your arm away to your side.
- “Hike pass” the kettlebell between your legs to begin the movement.
- Once the kettlebell reaches its furthest point back, forcefully extend your hips to stand up, causing the kettlebell to swing forwards and up to chest height.
- As the kettlebell starts to descend, hinge at your hips and drop them back once more, keeping your back flat, and “hike pass” it back between your knees.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- Repeat with the other arm.
Don’t actively flex or extend your back to swing the kettlebell – the movement is powered by your hips.
Don’t let the kettlebell pull your shoulder out of alignment. Keep your lat engaged and your shoulder blade back.
At the top of the movement, you are trying to stand up straight, not lean back. Many people have a tendency to hyperextend their lumbar spine (lower back), leading to back injury.
As you “hike pass” the kettlebell between your legs, feel your hamstrings loading and storing the energy from the kettlebell, ready to explode it forwards with your hips.
As you stand up, you are directing the energy of the kettlebell horizontally.
Keep your back flat, chest up, shoulder blades pulled back and down, and your abdominal muscles engaged throughout.
You should feel it working your hips, legs, back, lats and obliques.
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There are a number of other golf-specific power exercises in the Golf Loopy Train like a Champion System.
Introduction to the Swing like a Champion System.
Golf Anatomy and Kinesiology, a collection of articles describing the roles of the muscles involved in the golf swing.
» Train like a Champion home page.