… without doing Swings…
(You’ll have to click “enable images” so see the picture demos in here.)
Yeah, I know – today’s Wednesday.
Wanted to get this to you yesterday, but was shoveling out from under 19 inches of snow.
Plus – I took my son sledding.
As we were walking up the hill to the park, one of the other dads was busy shoveling out his driveway.
Funny thing was, he looked younger than me, but he was huffing and puffing like a steam engine.
I smiled, looked at him, and said, “Cardio?”
He looked back, stuck his tongue out and said, “Tired.”
Funny… I wasn’t huffing and puffing when I was shoveling our driveway.
Must be all that strength-dominant conditioning I do.
Which brings me to the main point of today:
Here’s a great “technique tip” for you Swing.
And coincidentally it’s “strength-based” and surprisingly –
It has nothing to do with the Swing directly.
Is this some kind of zen riddle?
One of the coolest things about teaching at the SFG and RKC certs for 7 years was watching the “a-ha” moments on candidates faces when we introduced a certain exercise.
Their Swings would clean up almost instantly.
You’re not going to believe it.
The Goblet Squat.
Now, you may THINK you’re doing the Goblet Squat correctly.
However, I’m betting your not.
Because so much is lost in interpretation over YouTube and through the rest of the ol’ Interwebz – kinda like that “telephone game” we played as kids.
You know the one – you sit in a circle and the girl who starts off whispers a phrase in the girl’s ear on her left and then she whispers the same phrase into the ear of the boy on her left and so on until it comes back around to the girl who started it all.
So what started as “I like peanut butter and jelly” turns into “Your mom is fat and smelly.”
(Hey, you know how kids are….)
So, here’s how to do the Goblet Squat CORRECTLY so not only does your Swing improve, but so will your Clean and your Snatch.
(I’m assuming you know the you hold the KB by the “horns” to start at chest level.)
1. DO NOT sit back.
Do not initiate the Goblet Squat by pushing your butt back and out.
This is a S
QUAT not a deadlift or some other “hinge” based motion.
2. Push your knees FORWARD and slightly OUT.
Initiate by pushing the knees forward?
It might feel awkward.
You’ll get over it.
This allows you to load your whole foot instead of just the heel.
It also allows you to maintain the arches in your feet, which in turn allows your ankles to “glide” forward and backward properly.
This in turn allows you to load your hips properly.
And all that in turn allows you to –
3. Sit DOWN between your legs.
To do this, you must find a comfortable position with your feet –
Put them just outside shoulder width with your feet pointing however you like them – straight ahead to pointing out.
(No more than 30 degrees though – that’s indicative of some kind of hip dysplasia –
You know like German Shepherds get? Then we have to take you to the vet and put you to sleep. Kidding…)
4. Use the KB as a counterbalance to keep from falling over and to find your optimal position.
This allows you to “steer” your descent so you don’t sit too far forward or too far back.
It also allows you to keep your back flat and your weight over the center of your feet.
5. Place your elbows inside your knees once in the “hole.”
The “hole” is what we fondly refer to as the bottom position of the squat.
This allows you to push your chest out and up, which in turn helps you maintain proper spinal alignment, so that you don’t ever hurt your back squatting.
Plus – it allows you to “grease” open your hips, which is one of the things that improves your Swing.
6. Pause in the bottom and B-R-E-A-T-H-E-E-E-E…
That’s right – Breathe.
Breathe in and out through your nose and into your belly.
This engages, stretches, and strengthens your pelvic floor (not just for the women, guys…).
Your pelvic floor is the “bottom” of the cylinder that forms your Inner Unit – or the part of your “core” that protects your spine and makes sure your abs work correctly.
7. Inhale and hold your breath (or grunt) to stand up.
To get out of the hole, take a sharp breath through your nose, and hold it.
This pressurizes your abdomen, which properly stabilizes your spine, pelvis, and hips, and allows you to stand up with more force.
Exhale behind pursed lips through the toughest part of your lift.
Alternately, you can use the method taught in the SFG, which is to grunt as you stand up out of the hole.
Either way generates force and protects your parts.
(That sounds kinda dirty – it’s not meant to be. You get what I mean though – spine, hips, etc…)
8. Rinse and Repeat for Reps.
Yup, it’s that simple.
Having a solid Goblet Squat is not only essential for fine-tuning your Swing (and other ballistics) –
It’s also essential for having a solid double KB Front Squat.
And the double KB Front Squat is essential to learn and use as the foundation for all your more advanced KB training –
Like double KB training.
To learn how to do the double KB Front Squat correctly, go here.
PS – You know, it seems to me there’s not a solid, in-depth resource you can review for the basic 6 KB lifts.
If you’re interested in me making one for you, just let me know.
Send me an email with the subject line “Basic Videos” to email@example.com.
If I get enough of them, I’ll make some in-depth, workshop-style videos for you so you have a resource at your fingertips.