The T-Handle – Swings Without Kettlebells

The first exercise kettlebell users learn is the kettlebell swing. This is the most useful movement out of the kettlebell arsenal. The swing develops snapping power a.k.a. explosiveness in the hips and is a great tool for conditioning of the posterior chain.

image source: https://coachgoodin.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/diy-strength-t-handle-for-posterior-strength/

image source: https://coachgoodin.wordpress.com/

What happens if you don’t have a kettlebell? 

You can perform kettlebell swings with many other items such as dumbbells, barbell plates, backpacks, bottles of water…However, the most comfortable tool for swings would be the so-called T-Handle.


The T-Handle is made out of metal water pipes and allows the lifter to load regular dumbbell and barbell plates on it. The device has comfortable handles thanks to which you can mimic the two handed kettlebell swing perfectly. The T-Handle swing can be made hard and heavy beyond belief.

Important notice: If you are planning on building a T-Handle, make sure that the construction is really tight and strong. You don’t want plates falling on your toes or furniture.

{for detailed information on how to build your T-Handle go here & here}

FAQ:

What muscles does the T-Handle swing work?

It works your forearms, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors and upper back. The exercises is basically hip extension and the posterior chain muscles are the primary movers.

Can I use the T-Handle for other kettlebell exercises such as military presses?

No. The T-Handle is not a replacement for a kettlebell. You are not supposed to mimic every kettlebell exercise you know by using the T-Handle. Use the T-Hadnle only for swings in order to avoid injuries.

Should I go really heavy on this exercise?

No. Don’t go below 15-20 reps per set. Anything lower than that is way too heavy and due to the ballistic nature of the movement you are risking lower back injuries which is not something you want. Remember – the lower back is one of the slowest body part to recover. That’s why it’s so important to protect it through proper exercise performance.

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