The other day, I was working out with my good friend Eric Chasko at his studio, Redemption Kettlebell Gym in East Windsor, NJ. After our training session, we were discussing the mechanics of a basic kettlebell swing and Eric had me demo a few swings. As I began demonstrating the basic kettlebell swing that I had been taught almost 10 years ago, he noticed a hitch in my movement during the back swing. Instead of keeping my back flat, I was raising it slightly as the bell moved into back position. This was something I had never noticed previously. Initially, it would not cause a problem, but over time, and with some serious volume, it would begin to stress my low back and contribute to pain in that area if not addressed.
Eric picked up another kettlebell and showed me the difference between what I was doing on my back swing and how it should be done correctly. We then worked on keeping my back flat while bringing the bell back and then driving with the hips to swing the bell upwards. After a practicing for a couple repetitions, I got it. As Eric is fond of saying, “Kettlebell swings are not bad for your back. The way YOU are doing them is bad for your back!” Unless you ask questions and talk to a knowledgeable professional, you never know what you don’t know!
So, although I have done kettlebell swings for years, I still had something to learn from a coach. Never assume you already know how to do something, even something as basic as a kettlebell swing!