I love kettlebell training. At my gym, we use kettlebells daily to help our clients get leaner, build muscle and improve overall athleticism. I use them in my own training on a weekly basis as well.
Kettlebell swings are one of the foundational movements and are amazing for ramping up your conditioning and building strength in the lower body and core. It’s a simple way to train the hamstrings and glutes without squatting or lunging (sometimes it’s nice to have a break from the typical knee dominant lower body movements).
Today, I wanted to share with you an advanced version of the kettlebell swing—the hand-to-hand swing.
Kettlebell Swing Basics
Before we get into the hand-to-hand swing, here are the important factors of a safe and effective kettlebell swing:
1. Start the movement with the KB in front of you as if you were going to hike a football.
2. Flatten your back and sit back on your heels so that you are in the “hip hinge” position.
3. Tighten your abs and drive the kettlebell back between your knees, treating the bell like a pendulum.
4. Drive your hips forward and visualize yourself throwing the kettlebell forward.
5. As you come to the top of the movement, squeeze your abs, glutes and upper back to stand up in a full body tension position.
6. Continue with this motion for the prescribed number of reps.
How To Hand-To-Hand Swing
Now onto the hand-to-hand swing. Using one hand, you are going to swing the bell up as you do in a regular KB Swing but at the top of the movement you’ll switch hands and lower the bell down with that opposite hand. Continue to swing and switch at the top for the prescribed reps.
Here are the keys to the hand-to-hand swing:
1. Snap the hips forward and “throw” the bell as you would with a two-handed swing.
2. Pack your shoulder tight into the joint so the bell doesn’t pull you down.
3. Keep your hips and shoulders square and straight ahead so you have zero core rotation.
4. Begin by using a bell about half the weight of your regular swing.
Perform 8-10 reps per hand and anywhere from 3-5 sets depending on the workout. Give this exercise a try and leave a comment about how it went for you.