I have heard this a few years ago, meaning someone is in very good shape, very active, very fit.

But I wonder if it is still said and which connotation this phrase has.

  • Unfortunately the word Schwung is in decline. I'm sad about that, because I think it's a great word!
    – Sebastian
    Jun 22, 2011 at 13:55
  • @Sebatian: Don't worry in about 15 years, it will reach its next 105-year maximum :)
    – Phira
    Jun 22, 2011 at 14:25
  • @Sebastian books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Carsten S
    Jan 15, 2015 at 8:00
  • @Carsten hoppala, da gibt es ja den 'case insensitive' switsh. Danke!
    – Sebastian
    Jan 15, 2015 at 8:14

3 Answers 3


It's an expression of admiration and has a somewhat old feeling to it. I would mostly associate it with older people who managed to keep particularly fit despite their age.

It's perfectly fine to use this in everyday conversations, but it may sound a little bit patronizing/condescending if the person mentioned doesn't feel as old yet.

An example would be

Der Mann ist gut in Schwung, er ist 70 Jahre alt und läuft einen Marathon.

  • 2
    also used for older people: rüstig, as in "Die rüstige Rentnerin fährt jeden Tag mit dem Fahrrad in die Innenstadt."
    – splattne
    Jun 22, 2011 at 13:27
  • I'm sorry, but this is incorrect. The correct expression is "in Schuss sein".
    – phant0m
    Jun 22, 2011 at 23:37

This is incorrect.

The correct expression (with this meaning) is:

in Schuss sein oder: gut in Schuss sein

"in Schwung sein" means that you are full of energy, or to be vigorous.

  • 1
    "in Schwung" seems to be used for people or things that do something wether "in Schuss" is used for a state of a thing: "Das Auto ist 15 Jahre alt, aber noch ganz gut in Schuss. Nur die Heizung kommt manchmal nicht in Schwung"
    – mbx
    Jun 23, 2011 at 8:38
  • @mbx: Yes, that is correct. However, it still does not mean that you are physically fit. "in Schuss sein" on the other hand, when referring to people does.
    – phant0m
    Jun 23, 2011 at 8:41
  • 1
    I would hesitate to tell someone (especially if they're much older than myself) that they're "gut in Schuss". For me that would imply that they've been to the garage regularly to have their rust spots removed. Basically, I'd use "in Schuss sein" more for cars or technical appliances than for people.
    – Jan
    Jun 23, 2011 at 9:49
  • @Jan: I agree, I wouldn't say that to somebody directly either. But, when I talk to someone about them, I would say: "XYZ ist noch gut in Schuss für seine 75 Jahre, er geht jeden Tag 10 km Rad fahren."
    – phant0m
    Jun 23, 2011 at 9:50

It's often used in combination: "(nicht) in Schwung kommen" meaning that something comes to life/gathers momentum.

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