Fat Bell Swing (and other exercises)

Fat Bell Swing OTL Variations

Outside the Leg Swing – way better with a Fat Bell than a kettlebell!

I never liked doing OTL swings with a kettlebell because the ball is put right in the path of the knee. So if you make a mistake, you’re taking out your knee joint.

With a Fat Bell, even if you make a mistake, you’re only going to make contact with your thigh.

So it’s a safer movement, and maybe even a more athletic movement.

In the OTL Swing, your feet are going to be placed more narrow; about hips width – closer to where you might actually jump from.

As far a 2-hand swing is concerned, this should allow for much better mechanics.



If you consider all the other 2 hand hinging motions (barbell cleans, snatches, vertical jump, most sports) the hands are on the outsides of the legs as well.

Maybe that matters, maybe it doesn’t…

Either way, the shoulders are going to get a bit more love from the OTL Swing and to me that makes it a worthy variation to include in my training.

Here are a few more variations:

  1. Suitcase Swing
  2. Cross Body Swing
  3. Side Swing


Suitcase Swing


It’s just a one arm swing except there is going to be a lot more core work with a OTL Suitcase Swing.

The obliques and the transverse abs will have to get in on the action.

Be sure to keep a tight waist – you want no spinal movement in this one!

Keep your back straight and stop before there’s anything less than a powerful channel for your hip extension to flow through.


Cross Body Swing


If you can swing a Fat Bell outside the leg, and inside the leg, why not swing it to the opposite leg?

This is one of those exercises I’ll say don’t knock it before you try it.

There’s an anti-rotation work you have to do in the CBS that makes me feel good about this swing variation.

I think you, too, are going to like the way the CBS feels throughout your lats and shoulders.


Side Swing

Remember the “special snatches” Pavel talked about in Return of the Kettlebell?

His reasoning, “Russian hard men do it. John Brookfield does it. So does Donnie Thompson.”

That should say enough, but he goes on, “probably the best upper back and shoulder builder that you can find.”

Except now, we’re not going to use that awkward frog stance.

Swing the Fat Bell across the front of your body and hinge when it passes your legs!



These OTL swing variations are going to challenge what we think is right in training.

And I love that!

There is nothing that says this is “good or bad” form. Sure, there are certain anatomical rules that we should adhere to to be safe but as of now there is no authority, system or certification that teaches Fat Bell lifting. That gives us the freedom to play around and freestyle a bit.

Donnie told me to “just see what they can do” and that’s what I’ve been doing. So far I’ve found exercises that used to hurt actually feel better with a Fat Bell, and a bunch of different variations on tried and true exercises.

To my readers, give these exercises a try and/or make your own up and report back!

I’ll have a few more in the gym soon, but you can purchase your own set of Fat Bells at www.roguefitness.com

-Dan Cenidoza

Art & Strength Newsletter

If you liked this article, leave your email and I’ll send more cool training info.

privacy I value your privacy and would never spam you

PS – Here’s a few more:

Bench Pullover Press


Overhead Fly / Crucifix hold

Bonus Crucifix Challenge – try going from supination to pronation and back!!! Better have your shoulders screwed in tight for this one!

Keep in touch!

Leave your email address and I’ll send you more cool stuff as soon as its available!

privacy I value your privacy and would never spam you