Marietta Mehanni


mSwing, using weight with momentum, Marietta Mehanni, Mark Davis, the smiling movement

Written by Marietta

August 28, 2016

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s mSwing!

What is it? Is it a training program? Is it for group exercise or personal trainers? What IS IT?

These are questions that both Mark Davis (co-creator of mSwing) and I expected to get from a little promo clip on Facebook years ago. Feedback from a workshop we delivered in Melbourne at the time of launching the program. We didn’t expect the amount of interest in what we had created. So, let’s start at the beginning and explain how it all happened.

Using weight with momentum

Almost ten years ago, I started working with a Gymstick product called Fitness Bag with a dear friend Carla Bond. We spent the summer throwing and swinging the bag around to create exercises and movement patterns for the Gymstick App and the education. We loved it. I loved swinging a weight around (the Fitness Bag looks like a small gym bag with handles filled with sand, so it is soft enough to lie on). I also enjoyed feeling the slight thrill of changing direction with momentum—liberating.

Realising that I could not put all these excellent exercises into my classes (because none of the gyms I worked at had Fitness Bags), I started experimenting with a dumbbell. Not that any exercises could be performed in the same way (actually very few), but I thought I could use the same principles to create some new exercises. Some looked similar to kettlebell movements, but the movement patterns are different when you have a dumbbell weighing only 0-5kg. In addition, some exercises are not possible with a heavier weight.

Teaming up with Mark Davis

Fast forward to November 2015, and I attended FITEX in NZ and attended a great session by Mark Davis. I have previously written about Mark and was super impressed by his session. In my opinion, he is a great teacher. I assess this by how much I can retain a week later; I can still remember what I learned in that session. So, thinking about the session two weeks after FITEX, I called Mark and asked him if we could work on something together. I didn’t know if Mark would be interested or if we had any common ground, but it was worth asking. The conversation led me to a trip up north, to Cooroy in Queensland, to spend two days with Mark and his family discovering what we could do together. After much discussion and large pieces of butcher’s paper with arrows and words all over it, we decided to work on something that combined areas we could bring together into a workshop. I promised to send Mark video clips of different exercises I had been working on in my classes and see what we could do.

Creating mSwing

Fast forward a couple of months, several videos sent back and forth combining, discussing and experimenting with different ideas. A single dumbbell workout using momentum was born! Throughout the process, I learned several things working with Mark, including how to use momentum more effectively and how load could be mitigated through the body efficiently without causing injury. It was a lot of fun, and I was teaching it in my classes with much interest and positive comments from the participants. Each week the members would ask if we were swinging the weight around. In conversations with Mark, the word swing was used so often that the name stuck. Why mSwing – well, the ‘m’ stands for several things – Mark, Marietta, Momentum.

The mSwing movements also look like a smiling action, and why we now call it mSwing – the smiling movement. I can’t explain it, but every time I deliver or play with the mSwing moves, I smile, laugh and get a great workout. The workout creeps up on you, and you suddenly realise that you are sweating hard and getting your heart rate up. I often say this – mSwing makes me happy.

mSwing education

We are both incredibly proud of the education we have developed around the mSwing concept. Yes, you will get the moves, but the theory behind mSwing is much more than that. It is deepening an understanding of training concepts that you will have never learnt in Cert III or IV, which will enhance your training experience and push your knowledge as a trainer or instructor to an entirely different level. I have to say that I am more knowledgeable now, having gone through this process with Mark, who is an exceptional teacher.

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