Power Swings

by Al Myers

The top picture shows the starting position of a Power Swing, while the bottom picture shows the finishing position.

Another exercise that I really like to do after my heavy leg/back training is power swings. I have done this exercise “off and on” for many years. Years ago it was one of my favorite training exercises for helping my weight over bar.  The positions are just the same as throwing the WOB (standing style that is!), and builds quick explosive strength in the hips.  This exercise is easy to do.  Take a parallel stance with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Grip the swing implement with both hands and swing it up to 90 degrees, keeping the arms straight. As the weight hits the peak, drive up the hips to a standing position.  Multiple reps can be done by allowing the weight to “sink between the legs” and performing another attempt without setting the implement down. I like sets of 10 reps or so.

This exercise can also be done one handed.  That is the way I use to train it when I was in throwing in the Highland Games. I felt the one-handed training more directly applied to the WOB.  However, now I prefer the two-handed style as I’m using it as a “finishing movement” to my heavy leg/back day.  I  use an adjustable powerstairs handle to add weight to.  Kettlebells also work well but they are more difficult to grip two handed. Years ago I made a full set of what I call SWING WEIGHTS (now swing bells, as that is another type of training implement) to use for training one-handed power swings.  They are fixed weight implements.

The Power Swing pin loader and attached handle.

The handle can easily be removed from this pin loader to add/remove weight.  All it takes is removing one bolt. The total height of this implement is 16 inches, which I feel is the perfect height to allow the weight to swing to a deep position. Performing 4 or 5 sets of 10-20 reps in 15 minutes at the end of your workout is all you need.  You will feel the work in your lower back and hip flexors.  I really do think these type of exercises following a training session of heavy deadlifts and squats “loosens” thing up, and speeds up the recovery process afterwards.  Of course, that is just my opinion.  But it will leave you “feeling good”, as this always works up a sweat and gives my a little cardio training to end a  good heavy workout.