One Similarity Between Single Arm Kettlebell Ballistics

Do you know if I am about to do a kettlebell swing, clean, or snatch in this picture?


NO, you don’t and that’s how it should be.

All single arm kettlebell ballistics, (e.g. one arm swing, single kettlebell clean, single kettlebell snatch), have one thing in common; the body position on the back swing.

Whether you are going to do a single arm kettlebell swing, clean, or snatch the starting body position set up and the back swing to start the movement should all look the same.


  • The start of each of these movements should look exactly the same. You will only find out if it’s going to be a swing, clean, or snatch, after the bell passes past my knees and ends up in front of me in the finish of a swing, in the rack position for a clean, or above my head for a kettlebell snatch. Start your set up with both hands on the kettlebell, like you are going to do a two handed kettlebell swing, in order to set your shoulders and hips square, and then remove the non-working arm. Watch my set up in the video below before I start my set of one arm swings for how to do this:

  • After set up, initiate the movement with a back swing;
  • Sit back into your hip hinge to engage your glutes to power the movement. (Read more in my post “Kettlebell Swing Dos and Don’ts. )
  • Maintain square hips and shoulders as much as possible on the back swing even though your body is unevenly loaded with a single kettlebell on one side of the body.
  • Even though the load is offset, this should not affect the set up of the back swing. You should not excessively open up your shoulders and rotate your torso as this causes rotation at the spine, with a loaded ballistic movement. Repetition of this position, with load, is not good for your back.

Below are videos that demonstrate the one arm kettlebell swing, the single kettlebell clean, and the single kettlebell snatch. You will see in the videos how each movement starts the same:

One Arm Swing

Single Kettlebell Clean (For more direction on the Kettlebell Clean read my post “The Kettlebell Clean: Leave Ed Grimley Out Of It.”)

Single Kettlebell Snatch (For more direction on the Kettlebell Snatch read my post “Do You Have A Sexy Snatch?”)

If you would like to learn more about the kettlebell swing and kettlebell basics, I will be teaching  another  StrongFirst  Kettlebell  User  Course  at Iron Body Studios on June 5, 2016.

This course is perfect for both coaches and fitness enthusiasts who are brand new to kettlebell training or need to brush up on kettlebell basics, OR  it is an excellent pre-requisite if you are preparing to attend your StrongFirst Level I Kettlebell Certification.

I will  teach  the  fundamental  kettlebell  movements*.

  • Deadlift
  • Two  Handed  Swing
  • Turkish  Get  Up
  • Military  Press
  • Single  Leg  Dead  lift

(*Although not part of the Kettlebell User Course set curriculum, if time, I will also cover the one arm kettlebell swing and single kettlebell clean and how a solid clean pertains to the set up of a strong kettlebell military press. I had time to cover these movements at the May 1, 2016 Kettlebell User Course at Iron Body Studios.)

I  will  also  cover  diaphragmatic  breathing  as  it  relates  to  these  kettlebell  movements,  as  well  as  programming  and  two  key  principles  of  programming:

  1. Continuity  of  the  training  process
  2. Waving  the  loads

A  $250  scholarship  toward  the  SFG  Level  I  Kettlebell Certification is  awarded  to  those  who  attend  this  course  and  sign-up  within  90  days  for  any  SFG  Level  I.

You can register for this StrongFirst User Course HERE.

I hope to see you on June 5!

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