Functional Training Institute

Swings: Get out of the sagittal plane

The kettlebell swing is a great exercise. One of the best even. But the plain old swing which everybody on the internet is talking about is just one manifestation of the concept of generating power with the legs & transferring it to the hands (or an object in your hands). It’s a simple forwards/backwards sagittal plane movement which is fantastic for developing power generation for running. But most sports & activities don’t live in the sagittal plane alone.

Sport is multi-planar & in particular in the transverse plane so why not do your swings in the transverse plane? Sport also mostly happens on one leg rather than firmly grounded on two legs at all times & often requires quick movements of the feet before planting the legs & generating power. Why not do your swings combined with quick foot movement?

Enter the lateral swing. The lateral swing requires you to generate power more sharply, with a rotation of the hips (transverse plane), while shifting weight from leg to leg to propel the kettlebell side to side in the frontal plane. It’s a great way to train aspects of the golf swing – shifting weight, planting on the lead leg & rotating the hips to generate power.

Lateral Kettlebell Swings

The kettlebell uppercut is a multi-planar (sagittal & transverse) power generation to propel the kettlebell upwards & to the side of the body in a figure of “8″. Again it requires you to shift weight from leg to leg to make way for the kettlebell to come up through the midline before your hands guide it down on the side for another swing. It allows you to practice generating transverse forces as well as resisting excessive transverse & sagittal forces. The uppercut is great for martial arts, tennis & other swinging sports.

Kettlebell Uppercuts

The walking swing variations allow you to practice generating force with the legs in a quick movement before shifting foot position before planting again before the kettlebell comes down so that you can stabilise the bell again before propelling it. Walking swings can be done with a forward/backwards movement, as well as side to side & pivoting/rotating. Although the power generation is straight sagittal plane it allows you to practice coordinating power generation & shifting foot position seamlessly. This is great for sports which require cutting & planting, i.e. all of them.

Walking Kettlebell Swings

There you have three kettlebell swing variations which take your sporty clients out of the easy sagittal plane & into the transverse plane, where most athletic movements occur. They also allow your clients to train shifting weight & moving the feet which will result in improved agility on the sports field.

Try them out yourself & with your clients & let us know how it goes on our facebook page

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