Kettlebell workouts are a great exercise, and whether you are new to kettlebell training or experienced, you’ll need to be careful to avoid some of the common mistakes described in this article.
Top 7 Kettlebell Mistakes
Kettlebell Mistake # 1 – Not warming up
Prior to starting your kettlebell workout you need to warm up properly. Several studies have found that neglecting to warm up prior to a strenuous workout can lead to injury. Warming up prevents injury by increasing blood flow and preparing your muscles for exercise (source).
Kettlebell Mistake #2 – Using the wrong weight
You need to be extremely careful when picking your kettlebell weight. Talk with a trainer to determine which weight is appropriate for your strength level. As a general rule, most women should start with a kettlebell between 8 to 15 pounds while men should start at around 15 to 25 pounds. Don’t go too heavy but also don’t go too light either (source).
Kettlebell Mistake #3 – Not engaging your lower body
Kettlebell exercises workout out several muscle groups and when you do them correctly they engage several muscles in the upper and lower body. Having the wrong form will cause you to focus too much on the upper body muscles, leaving your lower body muscles neglected. You should feel the transfer of energy from your lower body to your upper body when you do a kettlebell swing properly, and when you aren’t feeling this, you should work on your form.
Kettlebell Mistake #4 – Trying to move too quickly
Kettlebell exercises should be increased in strength and intensity gradually, not too quickly. You don’t want to start adding weight when you are struggling with the current weight. First, master the kettlebell swing at the weight you’ve been practicing with, and get comfortable with your form. Remember that it’s much better to go too light than too heavy with kettlebells.
Fitness Tips: It’s recommended that you don’t increase more then 10-20% every week. Remember, that you have to allow your tendons to grow with your muscles. Tendons take much longer to adapt but they are a main support for your joints.
Kettlebell Mistake #5 – Not resting after your workout
It’s crucial that you take the time to rest after an intense kettlebell workout session. Rest is necessary for muscle to recovery (source).
Kettlebell Mistake #6 – Swinging the kettlebell too fast
Swinging the kettlebell too quickly can lead to pulled muscles, strained joints and possible tears. Your kettlebell swings should be carefully controlled. Once you have the right form, you can gradually increase your speed. If you are a newbee, you’ll need to be more cautious.
Kettlebell Mistake #7 – Wearing the wrong shoes
Wearing the wrong footwear can hamper your ability to move your lower body freely. You should use thin soled footwear when doing kettlebell swings, and many trainers even recommend working out barefoot. Your feet can flex more easily when you use thin soled footwear with your kettlebell workouts. This results in a more efficient transfer of energy from your lower body to your upper body.
Kettlebell exercises are a great tool to help increase performance, and maximize calorie burning. However, doing them inefficiently can cause more harm then good. Use these fitness tips to get that most out of this exercise!