The Hard Style Kettlebell Swing

As I’ve talked about a couple of times over on my kettlebell basics blog, there are several ‘styles’, or ways you can perform, the Kettlebell Swing.  The method taught and preferred by the RKC is Hard Style.

A nice demo of the Hard Style Swing:

To understand the Hard Style Swing, let’s start with a quick explanation of what Hard Style is:

According to the RKC, Hard Style strength is exemplified by powerlifting and Okinawan karate. The common theme is compression. One compresses the muscles and maximizes force by tensing in this type of training. You also compress the joints, the breath, the ground, and your focus.

In comparison to, for example, the competition style kettlebell Swing, the RKC version of the Swing employs much higher levels of muscle tension throughout the body. If you’re looking to conserve energy and Swing continuously for ten minutes, competition style Swings may be the way to go. If you’re looking for strength, endurance and fitness benefits, you probably will want to practice the Hard Style Swing.

Personal experience with this method, after having tried literally every training method under the sun over the last 15 years I’ve been heavily involved in sports and physical training, is very positive. I’m a total convert. In many ways, I’ve seen more improvements in the last two years since I’ve been training with this strength training method than I did in the previous 13.

The style you chose is ultimately up to you  - and should be primarily decided by looking at your own individual fitness goals.

P.S. Check out this post on – my kettlebell basics blog – to see a video comparison of three different Swing styles:

Kettlebell Swing Style Comparison

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