Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
by Sam Franklin
How to Master The Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing: The Dynamic Leg Maximiser
A hybrid of the classic kettlebell deadlift and kettlebell swing, the dead stop swing is a powerful cardio-boosting, fat-burning, and leg conditioning exercise.
Offering a magic mix of muscle toning, strength cultivation, and core conditioning in one dynamic movement, the kettlebell dead stop swing is a move that you should weave into your regular workout routine.
Intrigued? Here’s everything you need to know to get started with the dead stop kettlebell swing.
How to do a kettlebell dead stop swing: video tutorial
Before we dive into the benefits of kettlebell dead stop swing, watch our quick tutorial video by Luke Baden, Kettlebell Master Trainer.
Luke will take you step by step through the entire movement, ensuring your form is correct and you get the absolute maximum out of the exercise.
Step by Step guide to the Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
Step 1: The Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
This movement builds on the Hike Pass, so make sure you watch and learn that video first. To set up, first put tiptoes on the bell.
Step 2: The Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
Turn one foot 90 degrees, then back to straight. Repeat with the other foot. You should now be one foot distance away from the bell with your legs at the right width.
Step 3: The Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
Chop and drop the hips, find you hip hinge position and put both hands on the horn. Squeeze the shoulder blades back and down.
Step 4: The Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
Lift the bell and throw back between the legs. This is the Hike Pass. Ensure you do not stand up, stay in the hip hinge position.
Step 5: The Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
Drive up, stand tall and swing the kettlebell up in front of you. When you drive forward, squeeze your glutes, quads and abs as hard as possible. Keep the upper body completely passive with just the fingers holding the bell.
Step 6: The Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing
On the way back down, try to get the forearms back to the body. The kettlebell should travel back between the legs above the knee line. Rebound off the hips, re-centre and park the bell. For each rep, re-pack the shoulders, hike pass, drive up, stand tall then back down and park the bell.
The body-boosting benefits of kettlebell dead stop swings
A combination of heart-pumping movement and big-hitting power generation, the kettlebell dead stop swing boasts a wealth of body-boosting benefits, including:
- Improved static strength: By boosting your static strength, you will enhance your muscle tone while gaining more ability to generate lifting power while improving your performance with kettlebell exercises. The dead stop swing is an excellent static strength booster.
- Fat-burning cardio: As a big, dynamic movement, the kettlebell dead stop swing is an amazing cardio-boosting fat burner—incredible for accelerating your fitness levels while burning plenty of calories.
- Balance & flexibility: The dead stop swing is proven to enhance general balance, posture, and flexibility. Strengthening the core while conditioning your joints, and encouraging solid posture, adding the dead swing to your workout will make a wise investment.
- Muscle activation: By activating and stimulating many major muscle groups throughout the body, the kettlebell dead stop swing is most effective for muscle conditioning and strength training, particularly in the legs and glutes.
What muscle groups do kettlebell dead stop swings work?
As a big-hitting exercise, the kettlebell dead stop swing engages a balanced mix of muscles throughout the body, primarily in the lower section. An excellent leg, core, back, and shoulder movement, here are the main muscle groups worked by the dead stop swing:
- Hips and pelvis
- Erector spinae
Kettlebell dead stop swing form tips
What to do
We’ve covered the fitness-enhancing perks of the kettlebell dead stop swing, now it’s time to tell you how to do it the right way with our essential form tips:
- Starting stance: With your kettlebell on the floor in front of you, plant your feet a little over shoulder-width apart and point your toes forwards. Push your hips backwards, keeping you back straight and your shoulders squared. Flex your knees and extend your arms towards the floor.
- Engaging the kettlebell: Remaining in your starting stance, squat down and grip your kettlebell, keeping your arms straight. Push up with your legs, placing some weight in your heels and lift the kettlebell off the floor.
- The swing: With the kettlebell slightly off the floor, swing the kettlebell back between your legs to gain momentum, keeping your back straight. Swing the kettlebell up to chest height until your extended arms are parallel with the floor.
- The dead stop: As your kettlebell starts to swing back down, hinge your hips forward keeping your back straight and allow the kettlebell to travel between your legs. At this point, pull it in front of you slightly as the momentum slows and squat to the floor, placing the kettlebell down to a complete stop. Repeat at your leisure.
- Select the right kettlebell size: You should always select your kettlebell size based on your strength, and fitness level. If you’re new to weight training a 12kg kettlebell might be your best option, but if you have a little strength training experience, a 16kg or 20kg kettlebell should do the trick.
What to avoid
To prevent injury or any unnecessary strain on your body, here’s what you should avoid when performing the kettlebell dead stop swing:
- Don’t round your shoulders or hunch your back during the swing. Doing so could result in injury—it will also make the exercise far less effective.
- Don’t lean to far back when you engage and lift the kettlebell as you could stumble or strain your back muscles.
- Don’t jump straight into the dead stop swing if you’re not feeling confident. Work on your kettlebell squats and deadlift first.
Related kettlebell dead stop swing exercises
To maximise your kettlebell workouts and complement your dead stop swing efforts, here are three additional exercises you should try:
Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing video transcript
This is the video tutorial for the Kettlebell Dead Stop Swing.
This builds up on the Hike Pass video that you should have watched already.
So, what’s going to happen now is we learn how to set up for a kettlebell swing.
We learnt the Hike Pass, which is how we generate the back swing and then we perform a single, 2 hand on one bell swing.
From there, we’re going to park the bell, catch it, return to the start, do everything over again.
This is the kettlebell dead stop swing.
So first up, we set up mindfully, putting the tiptoes on bell. Ding Ding.
One foot out to 90 degrees, back to straight. Same thing on other leg. Here.
Puts you one foot in distance away from the bell and puts your legs at the right width.
Here we’re going to chop and drop the hips.
Hands on horn. We’re going to squeeze shoulder blades back and down.
Hike pass. Drive up, stand tall, single rep and park the bell.
Every rep pack the shoulders.
Hike pass, drive up, stand tall and then park the bell.
When we drive forward, I want you to squeeze your glutes and your quads and your abs as hard as possible.
The hips are the engine that generates the movement and the upper body stays completely passive, just the fingers holding on the bell.
On the way back down, try to get the forearm back to the body, and the kettlebell wants to travel between the legs above the knee line.
Rebounds off the hips and recentres.
So here, pack, hike pass, drive, stand tall and park.
That is the tutorial video for the kettlebell dead stop swing.