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Demystifying the Kettlebell Swing: Part One - Unveiling Misconceptions and Mastering Set-Up - Agatsu Fitness

Demystifying the Kettlebell Swing: Part One - Unveiling Misconceptions and Mastering Set-Up

Welcome to the first part of our four part series on the Kettlebell Swing. In this segment, we'll debunk prevalent misconceptions surrounding the Russian Swing and emphasize the pivotal role of a precise set-up for optimal swing execution.

  1. The Russian Swing: Unveiling the Truth Contrary to popular belief, what's commonly referred to as the "Russian Swing" in many fitness circles diverges significantly from the classical approach embraced by Russian kettlebell training. The "Russian Swing" popularized in North America by a Russian luminary embodies a high-tension methodology that aligns more with powerlifting than the traditional essence of kettlebell training. This style emphasizes brute force and muscle tension over the finesse and fluidity intrinsic to the original Russian technique. Now before you start having a panic attack and hyperventilating read this paragraph again....... Feel better, nope? You should feel better because you might have noticed that I didn't say that this High Tension Swing was bad or useless I simply pointed out that it isn't the classical method and that calling it the "Russian Swing" is possibly a misnomer. (For more on this please watch our instagram video below) 

  2. The Criticality of a good Set-Up: Top Down Bottoms Up Checklist Mastery of the kettlebell swinging begins with an impeccable set-up. Without a comprehensive understanding and execution of the foundational stance, progress becomes erratic and injuries become a looming threat. Embrace the "Top Down Bottoms Up" checklist for the High Tension Swing to establish a robust foundation:

    • Eyes Forward: Maintain focus ahead to align posture and concentration.
    • Shoulders Back and Down: Establish a strong and stable shoulder position.
    • Hips Crease: Initiate the swing with a proper hip hinge for effective movement.
    • Soft Knees: Maintain a slight bend in the knees, your hamstrings should load in the belly of the muscles like two giant springs.
    • Sharp Inhale: Breathe in sharply through the nose as you descend.
    • Ground Contact: As you move out of the back swing returning to standing you press your feet into the ground as if leaving an impression in wet cement.
    • Powerful Lock: Vigorously lock your legs, open your hips, and engage glutes and core. Don't thrust your hips!!!! (See video for more details on this)
    • Eyes Forward, Shoulders Back and Down: Maintain focus and shoulder stability throughout the swing.
A meticulous adherence to this checklist ensures a strong, consistent foundation for executing the High Tension Swing, paving the way for progress and minimizing the risk of injury.


Understanding the disparity between the "Russian Swing" and classical kettlebell training and implementing a precise set-up are fundamental pillars in mastering the art of the Kettlebell Swing. Stay tuned for the next part, where we delve deeper into the mechanics and variations of this versatile exercise.

Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel & hit the bell so you don't miss any of the episodes in this series. If you want to learn more check out our online Kettlebell Foundations and or join us at a Kettlebell Certification Seminar.


Previous article Demystifying the Kettlebell Swing: Part Two - Safeguarding Your Back and Mastering Breathing Techniques
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