Overhead Swing

Exercise of the week!

Kettlebells are also called dramas  because they have a particular shape, the shape of iron cannonball with a handle. They have been used at weight lifting many years ago but the were introduced to fitness area the last 16 years. Each exercise engages the whole body. The exercises vary depending on the purpose of training.

The most well-known exercise is SWING. Swing engages the while body, especially the posterior chain. It strengthens and prepares the muscles so they can handle much more in any evolved exercise.

The kettlebell is swung in an elliptical orbit from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders with arms nearly straight. If you increase the range of motion, the swing variation ends with the kettlebell directly overhead (with extended trunk).

Start the exercise following the below steps:

Feet shoulder width apart ( or a bit more) and slightly diagonal.

Keep knees in the same direction as your toes

overhead 1

Place the kettlebell in front of you holding the handle with your fingers

Bend your knees and push your hips back

Inhale and prepare

Exhale and swing it just below the groin area. You will gain the necessary momentum to complete the exercise

overhead 2

Extend your knees and push your arms with a thrust of your pelvis. Then the kettlebell moves upwards with arms nearly straight

overhead 3

The movement ends with the kettlebell directly overhead (or diagonally for those who are not familiar to this exercise)

overhead 4

On the way down, arms follow the same orbit.

Bend your knees and hinge at hips driving the kettlebell towards the groin


-Keep the trunk straight and the chest “open” throughout the whole exercise

-Move the arms in an elliptical orbit keeping thus your body weight over your legs

-On the way down, reduce the speed by bending the knees and hinging at hips

-Start every new repetition by thrusting your pelvis. This thrust gives assistance to the arms to start moving upwards

-You must always think of kettlebell as an extension of your arm and hand

-When the kettlebell is over your head, its base faces upwards

-Keep the palms close to your pelvis when the kettlebell is driven towards the groin

-Pay spacial attention in proper breathing. Inhale in the upward movement and exhale in the downward

-You have to be familiar to the simple swing. Proper execution allows you to increase the weight of the kettlebell and then to try the overhead swing(an exercise for intermediate and advanced trainees)

You can incorporate the exercise to your training program executing sets with reps or sets based on time, depending to the type of your training

Grogoris Dogas, Prsonal Trainer, Seminar lecturer, AthensTrainers Associate