This exercise is a shoulder assassin! It’ll carve up your front delts with surgical precision. It’ll also sculpt your shoulders into a form Michelangelo would be proud to render into stone.
You may think you’ve seen this one before under another name, but the Kettlebell Swing is a slightly different exercise. (We show you the difference between them in the video, so be sure to check it out.)
This variation hits the shoulders hard because you’re removing most of the leg drive from the bottom of the swing. You’ll only have a small snap with your hips to absorb and decelerate the weight at the bottom of the movement. But you’ll have to drive it back up — to the sky baybee! — with those screaming front delts.
Don’t expect much help from your bulging biceps either… You’re keeping your elbows locked throughout to make it a true swing. Those hands and arms are just hanging on for the ride. Their job is to connect the load directly to your shoulders.
Beastly? Sure. But we did film this one in the octagon after all…
Check out the video and give it a try:
Let’s review the performance cues for this movement:
- Hold your kettlebell by the horns
- Don’t swing back all the way — the kettlebell just breaks the plane of the knees in the bottom position
- Little drive with the legs, but big explosive drive with the shoulders
- Move that weight as quickly as you can!
- Keep your elbows locked to make it a true arm swing
You’ve got several options for this exercise. You can do the Kettlebell Shoulder Swing ballistically, as an activation exercise. You can grab a heavier weight and perform 8 to 10 reps for strength or hypertrophy. Or you can grab a lighter weight and do higher reps for muscular endurance.
That’s a lot of bang for your buck!
Give it a try, and let us know how you did in the comments. And if you have any questions, that’s the place to post ‘em!