Paddle Healthy | One Exercise Workout — Part 4 | Kettlebell Swing

Paddle Healthy | One Exercise Workout — Part 4 | Kettlebell Swing

One Exercise Workout: Kettlebell Swing with Olympian Sean Pangelinan

When it comes to an efficient, total-body workout, the kettlebell swing is arguably the Mac Daddy of all exercises. It combines the power of the deadlift with the explosiveness of plyometrics and Olympic lifts. KB swing competency requires head-to-toe motor control and recruits all the big muscle groups — quads, glutes, lats, etc. — in one dynamic sequence. And rather than wasting your time on all manner of "core" exercises, you'd be better off spending some time getting to know the ins and outs of the KB swing.

More than just a strength training exercise, the kettlebell swing is also analogous to SUP paddling, as you can't have an efficient and powerful stroke without the ability to hip hinge explosively. In this week's video, Olympian, SUP pro and co-founder of San Diego's The FitLab Sean Pangelinan shows you how to get your swing on. As always, start light and get a coach or training partner who knows their stuff to observe and correct your form.

Below are a few additional tips on form from the man credited with popularizing the KB swing, Pavel Tsatsouline. Dive deeper for more information on the KB swing and other exercises like the kettlebell snatch on his website.

  • The back is neutral. The neck is slightly extended or neutral on the bottom of the swing.
  • The heels, toes and balls of the feet are planted and the knees track the toes.
  • The shoulders are packed (connected to the body).
  • The kettlebell handle passes above the knees during the backswing.
  • The arms are straight in the bottom position.
  • There is no forward knee movement on the upswing.
  • The body forms a straight line at the top of the swing: the hips and knees extend fully, the spine is neutral.
  • Sharply inhale through your nose on the way down, exhale with a "Kiai!" on the way up.
  • The abs and glutes visibly contract at the top of the swing.
  • The kettlebell floats momentarily at the top of the swing.

Tip: Add the kettlebell swing to your fitness regiment along with this simple series of exercises from the fitness guide in SUP‘s Summer ’15 issue, on newsstands now. To make sure you have the energy and nutrients to complete your workout, try incorporating some of these healthy high energy foods to your pre-workout diet.

Want more? Check out parts onetwo and three of the One Exercise Workout series.