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Kettlebell Attack: Go Down Swinging

I recently wrote about why your cardio days should contain NO cardio at all- really just a flippant way of saying that the equivalent work can be done through high intensity resistance circuits, which, as fate would have it, is precisely what kettlebells were reintroduced to the mainstream for [and by 'reintroduced', I mean invented by the Soviets in the 1700's, then used by their Army, aaaaand then used competitively by the rest of Europe circa 1940, not 'marketed to western consumers' in 2001].

"Great. So how do I use kettlebells to replace my boring treadmill run?" you ask. Easy: go down swinging.

No, that's not a weird double entendre, it's a reminder you can use to help yourself get through a really tough kettlebell session. First let me tell you what I did today, then I'll let you in on how this little mental reminder helped me succeed:

Warm up:
Jump rope 3 minutes, top-rock 3 minutes, dynamic stretch 3 minutes

Practice sets of swings with 36 kilo, 2x10
Swings - 50/40/30 @ 36 kilo

Mobility work on hip/lower back

Why It Worked:
First off I kept it really simple, and didn't injure myself by doing anything stupid [a few weeks ago I was doing heavy kettlebell swings during a training session, and made an error with my form] That didn't happen today precisely because I reminded myself to 'go down swinging' as each set got to the point of greatest difficulty- I didn't fight against the motion of the kettlebell, I worked with it, by hinging properly at the hips.

To clarify, what I mean by "go down swinging" is to literally bring your upper body forward and carefully let it GO DOWN WITH THE SWING. Remember to hinge at the hips, keeping the spine mostly elongated [erect] as you do this, with shoulders neutral, or retracted backwards, but never slumping forward.

Now, there will always be debate as to whether or not you must keep your back straight, so for the moment we'll just say that you should usually err on the side of more straight. Go deadlift 1,000 lbs, and then you can tell me I'm wrong. Till then, just keep you darn back straight- and go down swinging.

Stay Strong, Friends.

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