Build Power With The Kettlebell Spiked Swing

Build Power With The Kettlebell Spiked Swing

John Odden of Empowered Strength breaks down part of his power training series by explaining and demonstrating a kettlebell spiked swing in this post. The beauty of the Spiked Swing is that it helps you generate more power because of downward pressure on the bell. Normally when trying to build your power you need to use a heavy kettlebell you can swing 4-5 times. The Spiked Swing allows you to use a lighter weight because downward pressure and momentum on the bell makes it act like a heavier weight for you.

Getting started:

  • Try being barefoot or minimalist shoe
  • Be as powerful as possible while being safe
  • Have a solid understanding of kettlebell movements & foundations
  • Work with a partner who is versed in kettlebell movement as well

Do not attempt this movement unless you have built a solid foundation of kettlebell movements and know how to perform a proper kettlebell swing as well as having a healthy lower back. Your partner will apply the appropriate tension you need on the swing.

Set up to perform a kettlebell swing with your partner standing in a position to apply downward pressure on the kettlebell when it reaches the top of your swing ( demo at 1:20)

John Odden of Empowered Strength Demonstrates The Kettlebell Spiked Swing

Why do this movement?

Adding the spike at the top by your partner is designed to increase your hip power. In a normal kettlebell swing, the path of the bell coming down from gravity and momentum has an earlier stopping point from which you have to generate enough power to bring the bell up again. The spike/downward force at the top by your partner pushes the kettlebell further back behind you at the bottom of the swing and you must generate more power than normal to generate the momentum needed to swing the kettlebell back to the same level.

Try this movement in sets of 4-5 reps with a weight that is challenging by the last rep, this is the ideal weight and rep count for movements when you are trying to generate more power.

About John Odden:

Find John at:

As a young athlete I was always fascinated with health and fitness, but nothing came easy.

After getting my first weight set of plastic covered cement weights from Target when I was 12, I became instantly hooked on becoming stronger and learning how to challenge my body to learn new skills. Unfortunately, I was misguided and ended up with chronic low back and shoulder injuries that sidelined my athletic career until recently. Both of these injuries initially started in the gym. I knew there had to be a better way to use resistance training and other forms of training as a way to strengthen my body without re-injuring myself. Unknowingly, these injuries started me down the road on my quest to learn as much as possible about how to help others perform at their best while living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Slowly my pain improved to the point where I could do some reasonable heavy lifting while competing as a Scottish Highland Games athlete. Through the use of carefully designed resistance training programs, metabolic conditioning, mobility/corrective exercises, and proper nutrition, I was able to progress to the professional level in the sport I had grown to love. I have continued to compete for over 10 years while setting three world records and becoming the lightweight national champion in the process. I am now pain free and feel better than ever at age 37!

My background includes 15 years of personal training, strength coaching, and clinical experiences in employee wellness, physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation settings for St. John Hospital in Longview, WA.

During my career with St. John, I successfully created a system wide weight management program, employee group fitness, worked extensively with a clinical team in post rehabilitation and developed a high school strength and conditioning program for Kelso High School. I am currently pursuing my certification SFB – Body weight Certification though StrongFirst in April 2018.

I provide individual personal training (one on one), customized semi-private coaching (small group 2-4 clients), group classes (6-10 clients per class), online coaching and personalized nutritional planning services to a wide variety of clientele, ranging from young athletes to seniors with significant limitations. I want to help you achieve your goals and empower you to become more fit than you ever thought possible, while moving well and training with a clear purpose.


  • Bachelor of Science, Central Washington University

Certifications and Courses

  • Strong First Level 2 Kettlebell Instructor
  • StrongFirst Bodyweight Instructor (April 2018)
  • Rik Brown Mace Certification (February 2018)
  • NSCA - Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer
  • ACE personal trainer
  • ACSM- Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP)
  • FMS Level 2 Practitioner
  • Ed Thomas Indian Club and Movement Course
  • Max Shank Ultimate Athleticism
  • Original Strength User Course
  • Kettlebell Strong - Double Kettlebell Course with Geoff Neupert

Personal Accomplishments

  • #1 Ranked World Scottish Highland Games in Lightweight Class 2016 and 2017
  • 2017 Highland Games Lightweight National Champion
  • 3 World Records as Lightweight Competitor (Weight over Bar, 42lb Weight for Distance, and 22lb Hammer).
  • Former Heavyweight Professional Athlete 2010-2014
  • Multiple amateur heavyweight records and championships
  • StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge Elite Class Competitor (Top 10 finisher)
  • StrongFirst “Beast Tamer” (Strict Press, Pistol, and Pull up with 48kg/106lb “Beast” Kettlebell)
  • StrongFirst “Sinister Challenge” January 2018
  • Competitive Olympic Lifter in 94KG Masters Class 35-39

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