Training hip extension is of utmost importance for any athlete. If an athlete is not able to properly extend his or hips forcefully or correctly they are going to be weak, slow and may be even wind up injured. So what are some exercises that train hip extension? Squats, deadlifts and Olympic lifts. But trying to get someone to execute these lifts properly can be difficult. Most of the time the back rounds, the weight is distributed in the wrong areas and there is no recruitment of the glutes or the hamstrings (it is turned into a quad dominant movement). It can be frustrating as a trainer to watch. And it must be painful as a client to perform. Well the kettlebell swing is here to save your aching back. If you’re having trouble trying to get your hips back and placing the load on your hamstrings rather than your lower back, give the kettlebell swing a try. It’s easy to learn and will set the foundation for future hamstring/glute exercises. Plus it’s an exercise that can be used for conditioning purposes.
Don’t have a kettlebell available? Try a one-arm swing with a dumbbell. Same idea, just with a lesser load. Now the key to this exercise is getting all the weight back on your heels in the bottom position while keeping your spine in a nice, neutral position (no rounded back). From there, forcefully extend your hips and drive the kettlebell up to about eye level. The momentum generated from the hip drive should carry the kettlebell up. Do not turn it into a front raise.
Work this exercise into your lower body day. Or use it as a conditioning exercise at the end of your workout, performing a high number of reps with little rest between sets. Or use it as part of a total body circuit.