In this lift what is known as a “kettle bell” should be used, with fixed, not swinging or loose, handle. The instructions below may be used for either, however.

The bell should be placed between the feet, with handle parallel with feet, not longways on as shown in the sketch.


In swinging up overhead, the left hand should be used in pressing on the knee, a vigorous thrust which will materially aid the lifter. When the bell is three parts up the right foot (if lifting with right hand) should be thrust forward and weight allowed to swing round to the back of the arm, the eyes watching the movement closely.

Few notes:

  • Kettlebell was spelled as “kettle bell” or a “kettle-bell” back in the old days.
  • The terminology was not fixed yet. If there was a pre-swing (hike pass), and the lift was performed with a straight arm, the lift was called usually “a swing” – doesn’t matter if it goes forward or (as the old-timers usually did) overhead and flips over like in today’s SFG snatch. If there was no pre-swing, and the weight was pulled straight overhead with a bend arm to a straight arm, it was called snatch.
  • Notice the assistance of the other hand, used especially with low rep/heavy lifts.
  • The lifter on the drawing has also stepped forward with the corresponding leg, which was a common technique.

Yours in Health & Strength 

Pavel Macek


One-Arm Dumbbell Swing Tutorial - Free Video & .pdf Manual