Set Up is the First Rep.

Your set up for a lift sets the tone for how the lift will go. e.g. if you have a sloppy clean, you will have a sloppy press, or maybe not even a successful press.

With this, you should always consider your first rep as not the first swing in a set of kettlebell swings, but rather your initial set up before you start the back swing.

When setting up for a kettlebell swing, go through this mental checklist:

  1. Is your head higher than your shoulders?
  2. Shoulders higher than your hips?
  3. Hips higher than your knees?
  4. Is your spine neutral?
  5. What is your head position? Is your cervical spine neutral with a natural extension as you “look out onto the horizon”? Or do you look like an open Pez dispenser?
  6. Is your upper body engaged? Packed shoulders, lats tucked into your back pockets?
  7. Are you sitting far enough back in your hips so your glutes are loaded like a sling shot ready to take the firing load of the kettlebell into a back swing?

Step by step, a mental checklist for any lift sets you up to have a successful, and safe set.

Just like set up is the first rep, your last rep is not number 5 or 10 in a set, but rather when you place the weight down safely on the ground.

Want more coaching feedback, tips, and cues like this?

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