Kettlebell Training Safety Tips
One of the biggest concerns people have when it comes to kettlebell training is safety. When performed incorrectly, kettlebell exercises can place pressure on your lower back, shoulders, hips and knees and cause injuries in these areas of your body.
The good news is that by following a few basic safety tips when training with kettlebells, you can significantly lower your injury risk. In this article I’ll be providing you with these safety tips and helping you perfect your kettlebell form.
1. Adopt An Athletic Stance
One of the biggest mistakes people make when getting started with kettlebell training is adopting a stance that’s too wide. An overly wide stance increases your injury risk and leaves your lower back and joints particularly exposed.
Therefore, before you begin any kettlebell movement make sure you adopt an athletic stance. This is a stance where your feet are a little more than shoulder width apart and your toes are pointing outward slightly.
2. Don’t Go Too Heavy
Another common mistake people make when using kettlebells is adding more weight than their body can handle. However, by doing this, you’re not only making yourself more likely to get injured but also limiting the benefits you get from your kettlebell workouts.
Building up your strength and your muscles is just one of the many goals of kettlebell training. Increasing your cardiovascular fitness, improving your endurance levels, enhancing your balance and boosting your coordination are just as important.
So instead of focusing on lifting the heaviest kettlebell possible, choose a kettlebell weight that allows you to complete each exercise with perfect form and only increase the weight of your kettlebell when you’re sure you can manage it. By doing this, you’ll enjoy the full benefits kettlebell training provides and avoid any unpleasant injuries.
3. Don’t Train Till Failure
Bodybuilders and weightlifting practitioners are encouraged to completely exhaust their muscles and train till failure.
Many people who are new to kettlebell training believe this same practice will ensure that they get the best results from their kettebell workouts.
However, as stated above, kettlebell training is not all about building up your muscles and training till failure can be very dangerous.
To get the maximum benefit from kettlebell training, you should train till your muscles are tired but stop before they’re completely exhausted. You’ll still enjoy impressive muscle gains but won’t put your body at risk.
4. Keep Your Core Muscles Tight
Another key mistake people make when using kettlebells is failing to tighten their core muscle during the movements. A relaxed core during kettlebell workouts is a recipe for disaster and leaves your lower back severely exposed. Therefore, before you lift the kettlebell off the ground, focus on your core and make sure that you have tightened the muscles around the center of your body.
5. Learn The Proper Form
Proper form is essential with any type of exercise. However, since kettlebell training involves lifting, pulling and swinging heavy weights all around your body, the negative impact of improper form is much greater. So before you even lift a kettlebell off the ground, book yourself in for some starter sessions with a qualified kettlebell instructor and get them to teach you how to perform all the exercises perfectly.
6. Lift With Your Hips
Lifting with your hips may not seem natural at first and it can be tempting to try and do all the lifting with your arms, shoulders and upper back. However, doing this creates an imbalance when you lift, increases your injury risk and over exerts some muscles while under utilizing others. To prevent injuries and target all your muscles evenly, it’s essential that you lift with your hips.
7. Maintain A Neutral Spine
Bending your back is a big mistake when working out with kettlebells and can lead to very painful injuries. Therefore, make sure you keep your spine straight at all times and instead bend your knees and your waist to lower your body up and down during kettlebell exercises.
8. Make Sure You Have Enough Space
This may sound like common sense but many people don’t check their surroundings before they start swinging their kettlebell. So before you pick your kettlebell up off the ground, hold your arms straight out to the side, rotate your body all the way round and make sure they don’t catch on anything. Also, if you’re training at a gym or in a public space, make sure you observe your surroundings and ensure that you’re not performing your kettlebell workouts in an area that people are likely to walk through.
9. Wear The Correct Shoes
A lot of people believe that because their running shoes have good grip, they’re equally suitable for kettlebell training. However, running shoes raise your heel of the ground and don’t provide you with the stability you need when handling kettlebells. For maximum stability when working out with kettlebells, wear flat soled shoes or go barefoot.
10. Wear Gloves
One final way to stay safe when training with kettlebells is to wear gloves. Gloves help you maintain a solid grip on the kettlebell at all times and prevent it from slipping out of your hands.
Kettlebell Training Safety Summary
By following these simple but effective tips, you can avoid injuries and start enjoying efficient kettlebell workouts today. So take another look and make sure you implement every single one of these safety tips next time you pick up a kettlebell.