The kettlebell swing is a simple exercise for the hip explosiveness and isometric back arch strength and stamina.
Stand with a shoulder-width or slightly wider stance and hold a kettlebell in both hands. Push it back through the legs by hinging at the hips with the back arched tightly and bending the knees slightly. At the end of the motion, extend the hips and knees forcefully to open back to a standing position as quickly as possible and allowing the kettlebell to swing forward and up at the end of long, relaxed arms. As the kettlebell reaches the top of the swing, allow it to change directions and swing back down, hinging at the hips again to allow it to swing back between the legs and then repeating the motion.
The kettlebell swing is a simple way to train explosive hip extension, and also provides good glute and isometric back work. Its use by weightlifters should be cautious, however, as the hip extension is isolated from leg drive against the ground and consequently oriented horizontally—this can create bad habits and interfere with proper snatch and clean technique if that technique isn’t yet well-established in a given lifter.
The kettlebell swing should be done toward the end of a training session along with other trunk and accessory work. It can be done for huge ranges of reps, from heavy sets of 5-10, to lighter sets as high as 100. Generally, at least for weightlifters, sets of 10-20 are appropriate.
The two primary variations of the swing are the tradition/Russian and overhead/American. The traditional swing is appropriate for most applications. The overhead style can be employed if the swing is being used for conditioning.