What Do We Mean When We Say “Use Your Hips” in the Kettlebell Swing?

When being coached by a kettlebell instructor, you will probably hear the words, “Use your hips!” Lately, I’ve had opportunities to watch groups of people I didn’t know before doing a high volume of swings and towards the end, it can look more like “thrusting” your hips forward instead of standing tall and using your hips to propel your forearms off your thighs when you stand straight up. (I hope I did a better job of explaining this in the video demonstration¬†:))

The swing is basically a hike backward and then getting into a plank, holding that plank until the last second (playing chicken with yourself) and then hiking the bell back again once your triceps re-engage with your rib cage. A swing is, in essence, “hike, plank (hold), hike, plank (hold)…” The “Use your hips” cue is there to tell you to keep from pulling with your arms – not to tell you to thrust the bell forward and lean backward at the top of the swing.

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