Kettlebell swings work; of that there is no question. But the best kept secret for improving your swing technique, building volume, and supporting your conditioning isn't just to keep swinging away and hope something happens. Pairing heavy dead swings with over-speed eccentric work will improve those areas far more efficiently, and with greater skill transfer to other kettlebell movements.

 

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Treat your training like practice and watch your results and performance skyrocket. [Photo courtesy of Knuckles via Wikimedia Commons]

 

Two New Ways to Swing

Dead swings are done using a heavier bell than you would normally snatch. To do a dead swing, you start from a hinged position, hike the bell, swing it to eye level, and park it again after each rep. Hence the name of the program: “Hike, Swing, Park”. It is thought that this method requires you to expend somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% more energy.

 

In an over-speed eccentric swing, you actively throw the bell back through the legs during the backswing to add eccentric load to the hamstrings and hips, i.e. posterior chain. This technique teaches the body to brace for a load and maintains tension through the entirety of the movement.

 

The Hike, Swing, and Park Program

On the minute for 10 minutes, you will pair heavy dead swings with 2-handed, over-speed eccentric swings. Tension is good: tension means strength. But tension can also mean stiff and immobile. Mobilize and move during rest periods. Do not sit down or be idle. I recommend you do this program 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days.

 

Week 1

  • Minute 1: 5 dead swings (2 sizes up from your snatch size bell)
  • Minute 2: 10 two-handed swings (snatch size bell)

Complete these 2 sequences on the minute for 10 minutes to total 75 reps.

 

Week 2

  • Minute 1: 6 dead swings (2 sizes up from your snatch size bell)
  • Minute 2: 12 two-handed swings (snatch size bell)

Complete these 2 sequences on the minute for 10 minutes to total 90 reps.

 

Week 3

  • Minute 1: 7 dead swings (2 sizes up from your snatch size bell)
  • Minute 2: 14 two-handed swings (snatch size bell)

Complete these 2 sequences on the minute for 10 minutes to total 105 reps. 

 

Week 4

  • Minute 1: 8 dead swings (2 sizes up from your snatch size bell)
  • Minute 2: 16 two-handed swings (snatch size bell)

Complete these 2 sequences on the minute for 10 minutes to total 120 reps.

 

Week 5

  • Minute 1: 9 dead swings (2 sizes up from your snatch size bell)
  • Minute 2: 18 two-handed swings (snatch size bell)

Complete these 2 sequences on the minute for 10 minutes to total 135 reps.

 

Week 6

  • Minute 1: 10 dead swings (2 sizes up from your snatch size bell)
  • Minute 2: 20 two-handed swings (snatch size bell)

Complete these 2 sequences on the minute for 10 minutes to total 150 reps.

 

Increase Your Power

Why does this develop more swing power? It's because you’re doing more work in the same span of time each session. And that’s one of the definitions of power – more work in same or less time. Because your technique and form will also be dialed in, you won’t suffer from “crappy swing syndrome” that generally results from doing too many reps with too little rest. Treat your training like practice and watch your results and performance skyrocket.

 

More on kettlebell technique:

The Kettlebell Snatch: A Simple Tool for Complex Benefits

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