Review of Mastering the HardStyle Kettlebell Swing

Mastering the HardStyle Kettlebell Swing

When I was in the NBA, for some players, I had an In & Out In-Season program.  What that was was a list of lifts of which they could choose from and go 5×5 or 10×3.  These were big “go-to” lifts like the box squat, rack pull, DB Curl to Press, Split Squats, loaded push-ups, Hang Cleans.  I imagine there were others in this plan of getting some fair strength work in and giving in (more than) a little bit to the whims of the players.
The reason I recall this plan was had I been skilled in or even aware of the Kettlebell Swing, it most certainly would have been part of that package of go-to moves.

I have enjoyed practicing the Swing as well as using in rehab and training programs ever since I learned it from one of my very best friends, Thomas Phillips Sr RKC in the winter of 06-07.
It has become one of my favorite moves in all of training, and I am very comfortable suggesting that it would fit the list, similar to the NBA list above, of moves that if you did this 1 move for every single workout for the rest of your life, you would probably be okay.  Sure, you could be better, but I think there is so much bang for your buck with the swing that it fits that bill.

Trending on the KB Swing, I recently viewed Mastering the HardStyle Kettlebell Swing by Mark and Tracy Reifkind.
Here are my thoughts after watching the DVD.

1.  There is no need to call it a HardStyle Swing.  This is how you do a swing.

2.  I am on the heels of just finishing the RKC in late May, so much of the topic is a review, so my initial impression is that this DVD is not completely for someone that has some background.
However, I picked up more than a few teaching variations, particularly the hover drills, which I have not used before for more than 1 rep.
Another value is just hearing different verbiages and cues from other people.

3.  For any non-RKC, this has start to finish everything you need to start exploring the swing except for 1 thing.  I would suggest clearing ASLR symmetry before moving towards the swing.  If you have 2 different flexion patterns of the hips, tethering them to the floor and asking them to play nice with an aggressive move is probably asking for torque somewhere else.
I don’t think every product or exercise has to ask permission from the FMS gods to move forward, but it is something to consider when putting powerful tools into the hands of folks training themselves.

4.  Overall recommended more for folks new to the Swing, but plenty of subtleties for the experienced.  Maybe one day I’ll be experienced.

  • July 31, 2011

Leave a Reply 4 comments

Nick Efthimiou Reply

I think it gets labelled the hardstyle swing to different the one arm swing used by kettlebell sport lifters.

But it’s kind of like saying low bar wide stance powerlifting squat and high bar Olympic squat each time you want to describe what is in both circumstnaces, after all, a squat.

Charlie Reply

I have a feeling there are many that would not consider wide stance, low bar a “squat.” 🙂

Billy Meyer Reply

I’ve been doing the KB swing for quite a while. I was a baseball player all my life through part of college. I do have torque in my body. It’s clear when I do one legged squats. Also manifests itself in my upper thoracic/lower cervical spine. What exactly do you mean by “ASLR symmetry”? Thanks for your time.

Charlie Reply

If your Active Straight Leg Raise in the FMS is asymmetrical.

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