Avoid Kettlebell Injuries by Using Proper Technique and Form
When starting out as a beginner using kettlebells using proper technique, when working with your kettlebells, can ensure a good development and no injuries with this great training method. Whereas, starting out with improper practices will find yourself possibley injured and not wanting to use your kettlebells. Some of the ways you can avoid injury and keep you on the road to progress with kettlebells is proper form and technique.
The first thing to consider when beginning training with kettlebells is workout space. Kettlebells are heavy, unforgiving tools that can a lot of damage to anybody or anything around them, so be sure to give plenty of room, when working out. When using the kettlebells make sure your surface is flat and not slippery or too sticky. You want to be sure not to slip, but be able to perform maneuvers with your feet. Inside on a rubber mat can be good, but never on a wooden gym floor.
When working with kettlebells and you are about to lose your grip and drop them, drop them. Don’t attempt to catch the kettlebell, or you’ll might regret it. The worst case scenario is you have a damaged floor, which is a lot better than a damaged you. Remember these are heavy iron objects; get out of the way! Be assured you will drop them from time to time, but if you make it a hard and fast rule not to try and catch it or direct it, you’ll be OK and most likely avoid an injury.
Many times beginners lose the grip on their kettlebells due to training to the point of exhaustion. This is totally unnecessary, as you can get all the benefits of the kettlebell without putting your safety at risk.
Some things to remember when training with kettlebells is making sure that you use proper form and technique when lifting the kettlebells from the floor. This means make sure you lift with an arched back, not a rounded one, and keep your shoulders back and square. Do not round forward the shoulders. This keeps the bulk of the work on the scapula and lats, not the neck and shoulders, which is where a lot of kettlebell injuries come from. Keeping your shoulders back, or “packed” will result in better workout posture and you’ll use the maximum strength available when performing the exercises. By rounding and/or over-extending the shoulders, you open yourself up for injury, by using very small muscles to do the job that larger muscle groups should be doing.
Keeping a proper angle in your wrists while performing kettlebell exercises is also extremely important. Keep your wrists straight and make sure not bend them. Besides the strain that bending them puts on your tendons, most kettlebell techniques are done with the wrist held straight. Practice this especially for the basic exercises.
Try to keep a balanced position with your head and neck, neither too far forward nor backward. It’s best to keep your head aligned with your body, that is, if you are bending over forward, your head will be naturally aligned in that aspect as well, not straining to stay forward and erect. One of the oldest maxims in sports is that where the head goes, the body goes, so make sure not to overdo this by bending too far in any direction. Stay as natural as possible.
If you are going to take on an exercise program as extreme as kettlebell training, then you may want to give it the priority it deserves. Training with kettlebells is in and of itself an incredibly strenuous activity. If you plan to combine this with another type of physical activity or sport such as martial arts, then you might want to do the kettlebell training first. If you come to this type of activity already fatigued, you stand a good chance of hurting yourself. Coming into this type of training tired and unfocused can lead to bad results in many ways. Just don’t do it! If you want to invest time and energy into training with kettlebells, then make sure you take it seriously and do it right.
Take the time necessary to learn the exercises properly, and to execute the techniques as they are intended to be done. Kettlebell training is very specific, and while this type of exercise gets all the “in between” areas of muscular development, the regimen is still quite uniform, and for good reason. Learn the proper technique for each exercise, and you’ll be rewarded with better results and less chance of injury.
Training with kettlebells can not only change your physique, but your whole state of health and being. Learn to do the basics of kettlebell training right, and you’ll find that you will progress faster, and you’ll feel better doing so. Set yourself up to become of the kettlebell success story.
Another way to check your form and technique is to use a video camera to record and play back. This way you will see your form and see where you need to correct it.