Top 13 Kettlebell Training Mistakes and How to Fix Them (part 1)

Just got back from a great weekend in Chicago at the Perform Better Summit.  Learned a TON of new stuff, met some great new people and connected with some old friends.  All in all a great time.

View of the Chicago skyline from the Navy Pier

 

One thing I notice every time I get “out and about” in the fitness world and attend an event like this one – is that kettlebells are RAPIDLY gaining popularity.  Even just three or four years ago, not many folks were training with them … nowadays, almost everyone is using them in their workout programming to some extent.

However, unfortunately, most people still don’t know how do use – or teach others how to use them – CORRECTLY.  Big difference ;)

Maybe it’s that the curve of really learning how to use the ‘bells right is a little too high.  Maybe they are intimidating.  Maybe people are just impatient and don’t want to take the time.  Whatever the case, I am doing my part to put a stop to this :)  And that is why I have created this post series.  In it, I’m going to break down for you the top 13 kettlebell training mistakes – and how to fix them!  Enjoy –

 

Top 13 Kettlebell Training Mistakes and How to Fix Them (part 1)

 

Mistake #1 – Using too much OR too little weight

A big part of getting started with kettlebell training CORRECTLY is picking the right weight to use.  Go too light, and you’ll get little benefit.  Go too heavy, and your form will be thrown off as well.  Below, you’ll find a full article and video I recently did on what size kettlebell to use:

=> What Size Kettlebell to Use

Mistake #2 – Doing too much, too soon

So you’ve picked up a ‘bell …

ESPECIALLY when you’re first starting out … and during the course of your whole KB training career for that matter … it’s KEY to remember that learning to use KB’s properly is like a skill.  If you don’t take the time to practice and refine your movements before you go after them at full intensity, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll injure yourself.

Here’s a great article from the archives on the topic of …

=> Why You Need to Practice Your Kettlebell Skills

Mistake #3 – Lack of full hip extension in the swing

The swing is king.  It’s the first kettlebell exericse you should learn (and master) before you move on to anything else.

If you’re making this mistake, you’re not getting a full application of the power that’s being generated by the lower body during the Swing.  Not only will you be weaker, but doing this puts the stress on the wrong muscles and wrong areas of your body.

Here’s an article and video with more info on how to fix this one:

=> Kettlebell Swing Mistakes and Fixes, Part 1

Mistake #4 – The “squat and front raise” swing

This mistake involves a Squat and Front Raise Pattern – vs. the correct ‘hip-driven’ Swing where the arms account for maybe 10-20% of the movement.

Here’s an article that breaks down how to fix this one:

 => Kettlebell Swing Mistakes and Fixes, Part 2

Mistake #5 – Not getting the ‘bell far enough back in the swing

The Swing mistake here is not getting the ‘bell far enough back as the weight comes down between the legs and is ‘hike passed’ back.  Here’s the problem broken down in more detail for you, and how to fix it:

=> Kettlebell Swing Mistakes and Fixes, Part 3

Whew!  Okay … we’re up to kettlebell mistake number five … and we still got seven to go!!  Focus on getting those first five points down, and I’ll be back with part two very soon – we’ll talk about Turkish get ups, cleans, presses, and much more.

’till next time –

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS – If you enjoyed this article, be sure to sign up for my email newsletter and grab your FREE Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training!  Just drop your best email address into the box at the upper right of the page to get it now.

And – if you know someone who might enjoy this info – please don’t hesitate to pass it along :)

2 comments… add one
  • marc

    Thanks for the clear instructions, Forest. I generally find that the weight of KB prescribed by ‘;experts’ is too heavy for a beginner (the ‘one size for all men or all women’ I think is unhelpful as men and women can be vastly different in size and strength).

    My personal problem with KBs is banging of the top of the forearm when I do 2 exercises: the clean to rack and the snatch – can you give some tips on how to avoid this (sometimes I’ve taken to wrapping a towel round my forearms!)?

    Thanks

  • admin

    Thanks for the comments Marc.

    I agree – taking your time to work up to an appropriate weight is key.

    I am working on a post right now where you’ll find the answers to your last two questions there – stay tuned! 😉

    Forest

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