American Kettlebell vs Russian Kettlebell Swing

Hi, this is Al Stockwell. I’m coming to you from Health Targeted Solutions here in Clinton Township, Michigan. Today, we’re going to talk about kettlebell swings. Kettlebells are versatile. Any workout with a kettlebell. We can somewhat duplicate with a dumbbell if needed, but for a lot of people, the kettlebell, the handle on the bell itself, actually is easier for some people to grip. And it’s good for different changes in your stance.  So, you can use a dumbbell if needed, but it would be just a little bit different in the risk movement and your grip.

So, today we’re just talking about kettlebell swings; a power movement that comes through the legs. The force you drive into the earth helps to generate the power that you need in order to get the kettlebell above your head or stop about shoulder high.

So, there are two different variations of kettlebell swings. What we just talked about them, American kettlebell swing will take the kettlebell from about here and will stop just above ahead. And then the Russian kettlebell swing will stop right about shoulder high, no higher than your eyes. Both of those varieties will have of the same basic setup.

When we’re moving, so if we’re looking at my hips, this line right here, we want to make sure that our back is nice and flat. We are not rolled. We are not reaching between our legs. We have the kettlebell in hand, and what we’re going to do is we’re going to explode up and we’re going to explode here and pop the hips at the top. So, when we’re at the top of our kettlebell swing, we want a nice straight line from the ear to hip to ankle. Okay.

So, in the first version, we’ll do the Russian version, which is stopping about the shoulder high. We’re going to go from here up and stop right back up, stopping right there. So we are not reaching. We’re not looking to get the bell through our legs. We’re stopping right at the bottom and snapping up at the top.

The American version, the same movement down below. And it’ll get just above the head. Now, if you’ve had prior shoulder history, any type of shoulder injuries in the past, the American version might not be the best way to go. We would probably want to stop with the Russian version until we can get everything else strong enough to support that. And for some people, you just may not be able to get that movement that range of motion all the way back, but for those that can, we’re coming from here all the way up. So pop the hips and stop at the top, just like that.

So key points, flat feet pushing to the ground, toes, heel, kind of like you’re trying to pinch the floor, pop the hips at the top. That will ensure that we’re exactly where we want to be. We’re not overextending or overreaching. If we’re doing a Russian version prior to shoulder history, we’ll stop right here. If our shoulders are good to go and we have a full range of motion, then we’ll do the American version right up top.

These kettlebell exercises are a couple more ways to engage at the core, develop power, and work a little bit of whole-body muscle. And again, working efficiently, get in, get out, get healthy.

My name’s Al Stockwell. I’m coming from coming to you from Health Targeted Solutions. My phone number is (586) 202-9752. Shoot me a text or give me a call. Let me know if any questions you might have.

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