Master the kettlebell 1-arm swing, and then check out my Kettlebell Moves page for a lot more exercises!
The 1-arm swing is a great exercise for introducing unilateral work into your training. Unilateral training is single-side training, or using the left and right sides of the body independent of each other. It forces your core to engage in a different way than bilateral training (training both sides at the same time). This kind of exercise translates into real life rather effectively (functional fitness), since many of the activities you might engage in on a daily basis don’t involve having equally balanced loads. Carrying children, suitcases, or groceries, are just a few examples that are quickly thought of.
- Set your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider with toes slightly pointed out. Scoot your butt back as if you’re going to sit on a stool, keep your back flat instead of curved, and grasp the kettlebell with one hand. Keep your head up and eyes out in front of you. Swing the kettlebell back between your legs, and with one smooth motion, squeeze the glutes and snap the hips forward. Project the kettlebell out in front of you. Keep your core tight and engaged.
- Maintain your grip as the power of your hip thrust projects the kettlebell forward and up. Depending on the weight of the kettlebell and the force of your thrust, you may need to rock back on your heels to prevent yourself from leaning or falling forward.
- Limit the power of your swing so that the upward momentum of the kettlebell stops about chest height. Allow it to swing back down between your legs while maintaining a tight core, with head up. Repeat the move on the other side.
- It’s important to time your breathing with the movement.
- Keep your chest squared forward.
- Let your free hand join in the movement. Let it swing behind you as the kettlebell lowers between your legs, and reach up towards the kettlebell on the upswing.
- Whether you are working this exercise for reps or for time, make sure you challenge yourself!