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Monday, May 3, 2010

A couple tips on head/neck position while swinging kettlebells

A couple tips on head/neck position while swinging

One of my new clients has just dove into Kettlebell training, but she has very little experience with KB's so there is a lot to learn. She had done some "swings" at her other gym with her boot camp trainer. She said that her neck was very sore after swings. I took a quick look and this is what I found.

1. She was shrugging at the top of each swing (bell at shoulder height).

2. Her shoulders were disconnected at the top of the swing.

3. Her C-spine was in full extension at the bottom of the swing and her C-spine was in full flexion at the top of the swing. There was way too much movement in the neck while swinging.

Geez, I wonder why her neck hurt.

Here are a few things to consider - they are some of the finer points of the swing that need to be addressed.

If you shrug, your chances of connecting the shoulders via lats is highly unlikely. If your goal is giant traps do shrugs, not crappy swings. The lats basically shut off when you shrug - sure you can still activate them, but it's not very efficient. Spend some time connecting your shoulders properly and reap the benefits. You may even get stronger at your pull-ups.

Ok, try this ( honestly don't really). Slam your chin to your chest, now look up at the ceiling really fast. Now, do this for 40 minutes....(please don't!!)

I have seen this ROM replicated in some people's swings, pay attention to your neck position during all KB lifts. Video yourself from the side and look at your neck position.

If your neck sore when training with KB's, try to use these tips.

Hope this helps!


  1. nice! I love the slam your chin into your chest example. Good stuff.

  2. I have seen this waaaay too often. Then I hear " my neck is sore"