Your new favorite exercise could be doing you more harm than good.
If you’re new to kettlebells, you may find there’s a lot for you to learn. For example, many people don’t know that the workout equipment can cause serious injuries if not used properly. Many people become overconfident in their ability to lift a heavier kettlebell without realizing that its unique shape makes the weight distribute differently than a dumbbell. Trying to lift and swing a heavy kettlebell without practice can cause a significant injury to occur which is why it pays to know something about the exercise equipment prior to using it for the first time.
The Most Common Ways Kettlebells are Misused
Kettlebells are excellent tools that help you strengthen your body when used the right way. When used incorrectly, they can be a liability because they can literally hurt you if dropped on your foot or swung in a way that makes you pull or tear a muscle. Getting to know what could cause you pain and injury is the first step in avoiding it.
Here are some kettlebell mistakes that are impeding your progress:
- Wearing the wrong kind of footwear. The wrong shoes can make it very hard for you to swing without having an accident. You want to make sure that you have traction on the bottom of your soles so you can remain stable with your feet firmly planted on the ground while you swing the kettlebell. You want to wear shoes with thinner soles or even to exercise barefoot if at all possible. Be mindful, however, that without any protection on your feet, they remain susceptible to breaks if you were to drop the exercise equipment.
- Holding the equipment wrong. The right form makes a world of difference. Think about it for a second. If a golfer holds the club wrong, their swing is off. The same kind of logic can be applied to kettlebells. If you hold it wrong, you can injure yourself, and you certainly won’t benefit from the repetitive swinging of it. Your hand should be wrapped around the handle fully. The weight portion of the equipment should rest on your forearm and wrist not your thumb for best results.
- Purchasing the wrong kettlebells. Not all sets are created equally. It’s important to know what to look for in terms of quality and construction so you can avoid buying products that aren’t as good as others. You want your first set of kettlebells to be something you can work with for a while. If you don’t feel like they are something you can hold well or swing easily, you may need to reconsider your purchase and swap it out for something more ergonomic. They won’t sit in a corner and collect dust that way.
- Not completing the swing. You’ll want to follow through completely. That means lifting the kettlebell, swinging it out fully, and setting it down again before completing another repetition. Although it is great work to complete swings, it’s imperative to your progress. If you want to be stronger, you’ll make sure that you complete the swing every single time you lift the kettlebell. If you’re not aware of the proper form, watch videos or even hire a personal trainer to assist you with the process. The risk of being injured lessens because you’re aware of the right and wrong ways to swing.
- Using it too often or not often enough. Exercising too little or too much can be a problem. Kettlebells are designed with strength training in mind. They help you condition and tone muscles. It also helps with coordination. The kettlebell routine that you do doesn’t need to be difficult. If you can do a few moves well, that’s all it takes to benefit from using the exercise equipment. Best of all, you can keep a set in your home to utilize when you’re not in the gym. They don’t take up a lot of space and give you a good arm and leg workout.
These are just a few of the ways that kettlebells are misused. Make sure that you take the time to learn the proper form and to complete your swings. That way, you’re getting the most out of every movement you make.
If necessary, work with a personal trainer to perfect your form. You’ll be swinging like a pro in a matter of no time. It will give you the upper hand because you’ll be able to make the most of your strength training workout sessions so you can continue to condition your body and work on your coordination because you’re required to do several movements at once when you swing.
Choosing the Right Kettlebells for Your Workout Routine
Selecting the right kettlebells to meet your needs can help you prevent unnecessary muscle strain. When shopping for a set for your home, you’ll want to look for good quality materials. Most kettlebells are made of metal or hard plastic.
They come in different weights, sizes, and colors. Handle sizes are another factor to consider as you will be holding them for the duration of your workout routine so they should feel comfortable to grip. There are also kettlebells specifically designed for competitions which wouldn’t be the best option for someone new to using them.
As you shop for kettlebells, pay close attention to the different brands that are available. Does one stand out more than another? Also, read reviews and see what other people have to say about the kettlebells.
Customer feedback is a great way to discern good kettlebells from not-so-good ones. People are brutally honest about their experiences which helps you make your final decision. Consumer review sites are also great for comparison style reviews.
Use Kettlebells the Right Way So You Can Benefit from Them
If you’re planning on using kettlebells, there are right and wrong ways to lift and swing them. Make sure that your form is correct so that you don’t get injured in the process. By understanding the types of mistakes that occur with kettlebells, you’re able to avoid them altogether. Instead, you’re able to benefit from your workouts each and every time you pick up a kettlebell to work with.