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kettlebell swings

Kettlebell Swings

Taco Fleur of CavemanTraining.com from Wikimedia

I used to think that squats were the single best overall body strengthening / conditioning exercise that a person could do.  I’ve changed my mind.  One of the secrets of the Cross Fit crowd is the Kettlebell Swing.

Kettlebells (they look like a cannon ball with a small handle) have been around forever.  Unfortunately, they are extremely expensive.  But don’t despair — there is a great way to make your own.  There are many kits on the market to do this.  Forget about them.  Truthfully, most of these type of devices feel unstable (wobbly / loose) and cheap.   Although they are cheaper than buying a set of Kettle Bells, besides being flimsy, most are way overpriced (well over $100).  However, there is a simple way to build a device that you can do Kettlebell swings with — the queen mother of all kettlebell exercises.  Be warned that this device will not in any way take the place of a kettlebell for other exercises.  the device is called the “T-Handle”.

Constructing Your Own T-Handle
Build your own Kettlebell Replacement with $20 worth of supplies you can get from your local hardware store.

  • One 1″ diameter X 8-12″ long pipe nipple for the vertical shaft. (A “pipe nipple” is a short pipe threaded on both ends with male pipe thread).  Shorter people require a shorter pipe nipple
  • Two 1″ diameter X 4″ long pipe nipples for handles.  Make sure that you cover over the exposed threads with tape. 
  • One 1″ diameter pipe “T” fitting
  • One 3/4″ floor flange
  • One spring clamp to keep plates from sliding at the top of the swing
  • HERE ARE SOME PICTURES (near the bottom of the page)



Place one kettlebell between your feet. Push back with your butt and bend your knees to get into the starting position. Make sure that your back is flat (or even slightly arched forward — “swayed”) and look straight ahead. Swing the kettlebell between your legs forcefully as if you are passing a football to someone behind you. Quickly reverse the direction and drive though with your hips explosively taking the kettlebell straight out. Let the kettlebell swing back between your legs and repeat. The Kettlebell Swing is primarily a hamstring / hip / buttock exercise and that is where all of the power is generated.  However, just like the squat, it is a full body exercise as well — particularly working the butt and core.  The really cool thing about Kettlebell Swings is that when combined with a PALEO DIET, people have lost incredible amounts of weight in a short amount of time (HERE).

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