ON THE BENEFITS OF SUBORDINATE EXERCISES
BOTH IN REGARDS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODY AS WELL AS THE WELL-BEING OF THE MIND
BY DONNY SHANKLE CPT
“Familiarity Breeds Contempt.” Anonymous
Heavy Dumbbell/Kettle-bell Swings
Heavy Dumbbell/Kettle-bell swings are a fantastic posterior chain exercise that not only pack on some serious muscle in your hamstrings and back, but the exercise is also great at teaching you to bring your hips through the bar on your “finish.” Controlling the weight throughout the exercise is also demanding on numerous stabilizing muscles. All in all heavy swings are a great exercise for every weightlifter to incorporate in their training. They not only improve your power but, give you an understanding of what your hips are supposed to be doing.
I started swinging with a heavy dumbbell because I was unable to swing the two hundred pound kettle-bell we have in the gym. The next kettle-bell was only sixty pounds so their was a large gap and I needed a way to gradually strengthen my body, so I went to the dumbbell rack. I have not seen anyone swing with dumbbells before but the exercise enabled me after a month or so to finally swing the heavy two hundred pounder at the gym. To swing a dumbbell just stand it up on one end and grab onto one side. You may need a towel or chalk if the dumbbell is slick. Get yourself a fairly wide stance just outside your shoulders and when you pick up the dumbbell do so with your legs and lock in your back arch. Gradually swing the dumbbell up a little at a time until you are swinging it right below chest level. I do not recommend going higher than that. Keep the focus of the exercise on moving the hips powerfully and not on how high you can swing the dumbbell. As you get better at the exercise start rising up on your toes. This increases the difficulty a lot. During each swing down immediately move as powerfully as you can back up. Reacting this way is what trains your power in your hams, butt, and hips. With enough heavy swinging you will begin to notice your hips coming through the bar much harder on a snatch and clean. The more you can hear the hips come into the bar the better. Break the fucking bar with your hips if you want to lift big weights.
While I was up at the Olympic training center preparing for the 2012 Pan-Am championships, I noticed a technique some other weightlifters were using to make their kettle-bell's heavier. They would stand a kettle-bell on top of ten and twenty five pound plates then duct tape everything together to make the KB heavier. While I thought this was a great idea it also proved to be time consuming and I knew their had to be a better way to add weight on the bottom without using duct tape. That is when I thought of using a cargo strap. The cargo strap works great because you can really cinch down the KB to the weights. Also, you can adjust and increase the weights on the bottom much easier. Whether you are using dumbbells or kettle-bell's to swing just remember one thing, be sure no one ever stands in front of you while swinging. You are sure to trim down that persons branch on the family tree if something slips.
ADVANCED WAY: Since your goal is to swing a heavily as possible under control the exercise is already advanced considering the weight being used.
DURATION: 10 minutes
PLACEMENT IN TRAINING: In between maximum days. Open up the days training with this exercise once or twice a week.