My clients do swings almost every workout.
It's just like how my clients do some form of squat almost every workout.
They're essential movements for fat loss.
Swings were, until very recently, always considered to be a "kettlebell exercise".
Kettlebells have brought the power of explosive full body movements back to modern workout programs. People tend to attach workout ideas to tools. But the tool is less important than the movement.
But swings can actually be done with anything.
You could do swings with a rock if you could get a decent grip on it.
Most people are going to start doing swings with dumbbells, just because dumbbells are handy.
If you can get your hands on a gripper plate to do swings with, that's a significant step up.
Evenutally you'll want to invest in a kettlebell or two. Or if you're like me, you'll get addicted to kettlebells and buy 16 of them.
But if you've never done swings before, start with a gripper plate.
I start most of my female clients with a 25lb gripper plate. I start my guy clients with a 35lb gripper plate.
Five Tips on Doing Swings Correctly
1.) Make sure the power in your swings come from your hips. It should be all glutes and hamstrings.
2.) If your lower back feels bad-sore the next day, you probably did swings incorrectly. If your butt and hamstrings feel sore, you've done them right.
3.) The hardest part, really, and what you always need to be practicing in your swings, is to not use your arms at all. The best way to do that is to forget about "making the weight go up", and just try to snap your hips hard.
4.) You should snap your hips with power, like jumping, hitting a baseball, a tennis serve, or throwing a punch.
5.) Until you've gotten good at them, treat doing swings like practice. When your form breaks down, stop and rest.
Josh is a fat loss expert, personal trainer, and kettlebell instructor in Denver, Colorado.
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© Joshua Hillis 2008