Training safely is one of the keys to getting fit fast. Time spent away from your Kettlebells nursing wounds, or icing shoulders, wrists and knees is a waste of time that could have been spent burning fat and building lean muscle. So let's do our best to train safe and not get hurt, OK?
Here's some safety tips not to be ignored. A few were even picked up the hard way! I'm sharing them so maybe you can avoid any unnecessary discomfort.
That's what friends are for after all.
Safety Tips with Kettlebells
- You Are In Control. "I am in control" should be your mindset and mantra when you are training with Kettlebells. It's easy to fall into the trap of letting your thoughts slip into "I'm being moved by the weight of the Kettlebell" especially when you are in your early training days. This can quickly lead to mishaps. What your mind thinks your body is much more likely to do. So remind yourself again and again that you are in control of the Ketttlebell it's not in control of you.
- Be Focused. A second and almost equally important mental element of Kettlebell training is to always stay focused. Think about what you are doing. Not about work, school, the cute person doing lunges, dinner or anything else. Even for experienced trainers it's important to respect the Kettlebell movements and always stay focused on them while exercising. Numerous studies have shown this will also help you build strength faster as well.
- Make Room. Don't allow yourself to have to compete for space with your Kettlebell. Sooner or later your toes will lose. Ditto for training very close to other people. If you do drop a Ketttlebell let it be on the floor and not on your foot or on one your friends!
- Keep Neutral Wrists. Make sure you never hyper extend your wrists. I've done it and it's no fun. Now I wear wrist wraps mainly as a reminder to not make the mistake again. Wrists are an easy joint to hurt so a little attention can save a lot of aspirin in the long run!
- Always Warm Up. If you've progressed to the point of using heavier Kettlebells be sure to always do a few lighter sets first. All of us need to do some light stretching, push-ups and a few minutes of cardio (jumping jacks work) before hitting the Kettlebell to make sure we don't pull any muscles. Common sense right?
- Correct Your Form Between Reps. Sometimes we will find ourselves breaking good form during a repetition of a Kettlebell movement. The smart safety tip is to not attempt to fix the issue in mid swing, press or lift. This could rebound into an even greater issue. Correct your form between reps when the Kettlebell is not in motion.
- Respect Even the Lighter Kettlebells. Respect all sized Kettlebells. Even lighter movements and warm ups. You are still dynamically moving a heavy weight that can hurt yourself, others or the surrounding architecture! Kettlebells are fun, effective and generally safe.
Ultimately, they will help you build a much more injury resilient body. We just need to make sure we treat them, and ourselves, with the respect they deserve!