Avoid These Common Kettlebell Mistakes

Kettlebells are one of the best exercises around. They are quick and simple to do, and better yet, they increase your power and strength while boosting your metabolism and helping you lose weight.

While kettlebells are a great workout, they can also come with some serious injuries if you do not do them right. So if you are a kettlebell newbie, listen up and fix these common kettlebell mistakes.

Don’t Go Too Heavy

Don’t start with a heavy kettlebell. You need to first get down the proper technique and form before you increase your weight. The best way to do this is to practice with no weight. You can also get the movements right by swinging a water bottle or towel first. Remember, it is all about snapping the hips forward rather than swinging your arms or hoisting the weight. Once you have a better handle on the right form, you can slowly start increasing the size and weight of the kettlebell you swing.

Don’t Just Use Your Upper Body

Kettlebells are meant for full-body movements. You don’t want to put all the effort into your upper body because this can lead to strain and injury. Remember to keep your back nice and flat while squeezing your glutes. Your tailbone should tuck under once your hips snap forward too.

Don’t Swing Too Fast

You may think you look cooler if you swing your kettlebell faster, but you are actually compromising your form. Not only are you getting a less effective workout, but faster swinging means greater risk of pulling a muscle. Instead focus on a slower, controlled movement. Control the kettlebell as you swing up and as you swing down. You don’t want to rely on momentum, but instead challenge your muscles at every point of the swing.

Don’t Wear Running Shoes

Running shoes have a lot of cushion in them to protect your feet and joints from pounding the pavement. While running shoes are great for running, they do not work for kettlebell workouts. They do not allow your foot and ankle to move naturally and can affect your natural grip on the ground. Instead choose minimalist workout shoes that have thin soles. If you have classic Converse sneakers, those will also work.

If you are new to kettlebells, make sure to take the time to learn correctly and avoid poor form and common mistakes. You want your kettlebell workout to benefit you and your body, not land you in physical therapy.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Andrew Malone