Accessory Exercises for WL #1: The Heavy KB Swing.

April 28, 2015

This will be a first installment in a series of posts describing certain accessory exercises we do and my rational for why.  First and foremost, I’d like to say that NONE of these exercises are NECESSARY for improvement of the Olympic lifts.  They do not reinforce technique and they do not provide a primary adaptive stimulus.  That’s why I use them an accessory lift.  If you’re reading this (or any post on the internet like it) thinking that one of these exercises will become the ONE TOOL essential to your progress then you’ve come to the wrong blog, hombre. Also, I am married to none of these exercises so my views on them are subject to change.  These are simply things that I include in bodybuilding style circuits for my competitive lifters on our accessory days to finish up the workout.

Now that I’ve got that over with, lets talk abut the heavy KB swing.

Whenever a coach of a different discipline validates the KB swing as a tool for improving things other than swings or lungs, KB fanboys get immediately overly excited.  Calm down.  I currently am including the two handed version of these in a bodybuilding circuit for the team once a week for 3×12.  So If I had to assign a % of how important this is to our training, it might be like 3%.  I developed a new respect and appreciation for the swing after listening to a presentation on the swing done by Russell Dunning.  When done correctly, the swing will bias the often lacking posterior chain.  Olympic weightlifting by nature is a very quad dominant sport down to the way our shoes are built.  So if I want to build a sexy butt and hamstrings to fill out my Levis, I’m going to have to do some extra work.  So over the past few years I’ve begun including much more posterior chain work for the team including lighter accessory movements such as single leg DB RDLS,  GHR’s, GH bridges with furniture sliders, BB hip thrusters, banded external rotations of the hip, reverse hypers, ETC.

"ASSessory" exercise to build dat ass.

“ASSessory” exercise to build dat ass.

Keep note that much like an RDL, a vertical shin with your weight placed towards your heel is necessary to bias the posterior chain like you’re supposed to.  Hmm . . . is there a position in weightlifting that is similar to this one?  Perhaps as the bar passes the point of our knee?

Are there other ways to swing a kettlebell that are also correct?  Sure, maybe.  I don’t care really.  I’m not a kettlebell expert.  This is how we do them and why.

2 Responses to “Accessory Exercises for WL #1: The Heavy KB Swing.”

  1. Michael said

    Hey mr. Claridad, just what exactly would you consider “heavy” for swings, possibly in relation to bsq? And a couple times a week? I just used some metal pipe and fittings to make an adjustable bell, and was curious as to how you program load. Thanks coach!

    • bclaridad said

      Michael, Sorry it took so long to respond. I’ve been out of town and haven’t had theme to check the ol’ blog. I use KB’s that weigh between 44 and 63lbs. Sometimes single armed and usually done with other exercises that I consider to be accessory bodybuilding stuff. Once or twice a week max. These should be done to compliment the program, not take away from it. My gym has bigger bells but I haven’t felt the need to play with these. From what I understand, even hardcore kettlebell guys will rarely mess around with the heavier stuff. The rest of the team (girls included) will use the 35’s or 44s. Hope I covered your question well enough.-Ben

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