5 Kettlebell Mistakes
And How To Fix Them
The benefits of training with kettlebells is definitely well known. Athletes and fitness gurus have been using them for many years. In fact, kettlebells are becoming increasingly popular with anyone who wants to burn fat, and get in shape. They’re great for increasing strength and power while also blasting away excess fat. With the growing popularity of Kettlebells, there are more people than ever who are knocking out kettlebell swings, Turkish getups, snatches, and rows.
Of course, kettlebell training means you’ll be lifting and swinging a heavy weight; with this can come serious injury if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s crucial that you use proper form when working with these weights. Here are some common mistakes (and important tips on how to correct them) that people make when using kettlebells as part of their training program.
Kettlebell Mistake #1: Not getting the right form down before increasing the weight.
It might be tempting to choose the heaviest kettlebell you can handle, but you’re significantly increasing your risk of injury when you add weight to bad form.
How to Fix It: When you’re learning, practice the movements without any weights. You should also start each kettlebell workout with some basic warm up moves to get you ready for your training session.
Kettlebell Mistake #2: Using only your upper body to generate force.
The reason kettlebell exercises are so effective is that they are designed to use the entire body. Oftentimes, beginners try to get through the movements by simply muscling their way through. This can put too much strain on the upper body; it can also lead to injuries.
How to Fix It: The best way to get the feel for the movement is to practice. You should spend some time practicing your swings so you can get a feel for how the power transfers from your lower body to your upper body. Make sure to squeeze your glutes, and keep your back flat. Think of it as tucking your tailbone under as you snap your hips forward. Practice with no weights or use a water bottle or some other lightweight object until you get the movement down.
Kettlebell Mistake #3: Swinging too fast.
You can easily pull a muscle when you swing a heavy weight without the proper control. Don’t be tempted to swing the kettlebell around too fast, it will usually result in poor form, and possibly an injury.
How to Fix It: When you use movements that are slower and more controlled, you’ll not only strengthen your stability muscles, but you’ll also strengthen larger muscle groups as well. Some movements, such as the halo are only effective when you are able to maintain control of the kettlebell as you move it; your shoulders and core muscles should be engaged for maximum effectiveness.
Kettlebell Mistake #4: Wearing the wrong shoes.
Those cushioned running shoes can be great for running on pavement, but they aren’t the best choice for a training session with kettlebells. Running shoes tend to restrict the natural movement of the ligaments in your lower leg as well as your foot and ankle. Additionally, running shoes often have a cushioned heel. This raises your heel off the ground, which can hinder your stability as you train.
How to Fix It: If possible, do your kettlebell workouts in bare feet or use minimalist shoes. You might have to work up to having the strength in your feet in order to be able to do it barefooted. Minimalist shoes have thin soles and offer an excellent way to start building that strength.
Kettlebell Mistake #5: Not focusing on Quality.
Completing more reps, but doing it with bad form is not helpful. It’s much better to do fewer reps, but ensure that each one is done properly.
How to Fix It: Before you consider increasing the number of reps you do, make sure that you can complete 10 reps with perfect form. When you’re starting a new kettlebell program, make sure that you have the swing down before you pick up some weight.
Looking for a great DVD training program that you can do at home? You’ll learn the most popular kettlebell exercises as well as the proper form.
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