The Huge Mistake You're Making During Kettlebell Exercises

The kettlebell swing is a good and easy exercise that needs just one piece of equipment — the kettlebell. But if you're squatting during your kettlebell swings, you're doing it wrong. It's not your fault, though. Training in sports or martial arts often teaches certain stances, making you assume that you should be squatting during this exercise. It can seem like you would otherwise hit yourself in the groin if you didn't squat, but if you bend at the waist and lower your upper body, you will be just fine.

The kettlebell swing is a whole-body exercise that works your lower back, hips, glutes, and hamstrings. These muscle groups may not get the attention they need with other exercises, so the kettlebell swing is a great addition to your workout. It can also improve your posture and provide you with a good anaerobic workout (via Harvard Health Publishing). But if you're not doing the exercise properly, you won't reap these benefits. 

How to do a proper kettlebell swing

Instead of squatting during a kettlebell exercise, you need to use your hips during the upward movement. This will demand more power from you, is more explosive, and works your glutes and hamstrings more than if you were to squat. Just because you're not squatting doesn't mean you shouldn't bend your knees at all. A slight bend is beneficial. 

Here's how to do a proper kettlebell swing in three easy steps (via and Men's Health):

Use a light kettlebell to start with. Keeping your knees bent slightly, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your kettlebell in an overhand grip with both hands. Keep your arms down in front of you. 

Engage your core muscles and bend at your waist, lowering the kettlebell so it's in between and behind your legs. Straighten your body while thrusting your hips forward to swing the kettlebell up. Keep your arms straight out in front of you with your elbows slightly bent. Stop when the kettlebell is in line with your chest.

Repeat this motion for the full kettlebell swing. Try doing 10 swings if you're a beginner with this exercise, or go for 30 seconds of swinging followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat three to five times.