The Hinge describes the body’s most central, powerful, and (arguably) important movement pattern: hip and leg flexion and extension.
The goal with Swings is to learn how to load and unload the hips like powerful springs (primarily butt and hammies), and how to align and brace the rest of the body around this nexus of power.
The Swing is a singular means of mastering how to move from the center outward. With the KB discipline, lifting and lowering becomes accelerating and decelerating or: throwing and catching. This means not just strength, but power. This is why some people refer to throwing KBs rather than just lifting them.
Most bodies–even some highly capable ones–move primarily from the limbs, the core /center is an afterthought — like something a fitness instructor throws in at the end of a workout. But once you learn to direct power from your center, your limbs will become conduits of effortless awesome, a posterior “wave” of power. What’s more, because you accelerate and decelerate the weight at speed, effectively throwing and catching in every rep, you build ninja dexterity and therapeutic armor to boot.
Swings can also be used as a soreness flush or for building Endurance (this author has swung a 16kg for over two hours). The Swing will build Stamina, Power and Strength.
We are of the growing camp that believes the KB Swing is not just the king of hinges, but the King of all exercises. It’s the answer to the “one exercise” question. The value of mastering this movement is hard to overstate. No other exercise can do so much, simultaneously.
- Bang-for-buck: Improves strength, power, and stamina. At once. Burns more calories than just about anything else you can do including cross-country skiing uphill according to one study. Plus, the caloric expenditure continues long after the session is over (some studies show up to 3 days).
- Transformation: There are countless stories of folks making amazing body transformations just by swinging and it’s hard to imagine a better thing for lean muscle and joint healthy cardio
- Ability: They help you run faster, jump higher, and lift heavier things easier.
- Movement: They teach you how to perform the body’s most powerful, fundamental, and under-practiced movement pattern
- Therapy: Active eccentric contraction through deceleration though this Pattern programs proper posture and alignment, fixes broken backs (including the author’s), wipes out future back injuries (12 years of injury-free ninja go-time!).
- A cure all: If you could take a single pill to combat Modern Body Syndrome, it would have a handle and you would swing it
- Mastery: the more you swing, the more you learn about your body, movement, and yourself. It can be a fury of power and strength; it can be a quiet and therapeutic meditation; it can be fun and playful.
All the dots connect. And they draw a KB. Just waiting for you to swing it.