Kettlebells are one of my favorite ways to get a good workout. They offer up cardio combined with strength training to help you tone down, shape up and burn tons of calories. Just like any other form of exercise, kettlebells can be done a wrong way and a right way. There are some common mistakes that girls make when swinging kettlebells. By avoiding them, you can get an outstanding workout without risking an injury. Here are the mistakes to avoid.
1. Wearing the Wrong Shoes Can Mess You up
When you swing your kettlebell, it’s important that you can feel the ground to help give yourself some leverage and ensure proper form. When you wear thick shoes, this is hard to do. Experts suggest wearing thin sneakers while you swing kettlebells as well as standing on a firm surface. Personally, I prefer to do kettlebells barefoot, which is also fine.
2. Don’t Lock Your Elbows and Knees
Many of the kettlebell moves require you to stand up straight and move your arms around, either up or down, and sometimes side to side. The trick here is to keep your arms and legs straight when necessary, rather than locking your elbows or knees. This helps you keep your movements fluid and cuts down on the risk of getting hurt.
3. Make Sure Your Kettlebell is Heavy Enough
If you aren’t carrying enough of a pound load with your kettlebells, you aren’t going to get much out of your workout. Surprisingly, using a weight that is too small can also lead to injuries because it can change your form. Experts say that most girls new to kettlebells can start with about 22 pounds. However, that might be too heavy for some so be sure you figure out what is an appropriate weight for you.
4. You Should Never Go All out at the Beginning
If you’re new to kettlebells, you should never go all out right away. As with any type of workout, you should start slow and work your way up to more sets and reps as you get stronger and gain endurance and confidence. Experts suggest starting with one set of 12 reps of each move in your routine. After a couple of weeks, when this starts to feel too easy, add a set and build from there.
5. You Shouldn’t Be Squatting
Unless you’re doing a kettlebell squat, you shouldn’t be using that move, especially when doing kettlebell swings. Instead, you want to move your hips back and forth rather than lifting and lowering the kettlebell. That means keeping the handle of the kettlebell in the same place relative to your body as you do the swing and moving your hips, not bending your knees. It might take some practice, so stick with it.
6. If It Feels Too Easy, You’re Probably Doing It Wrong
Experts say that when you do kettlebell swings, you need to use explosive movements as you go forward. If it’s too easy to do this, chances are your form is off a little bit. Make sure that you use a burst of energy when you do the move to make sure you are getting the most out of it and that you’re not chancing an injury.
7. Use Fluid Movements, Not Jerky Ones
When you do kettlebells, your movements should be smooth and fluid. Never do the move in jerks because you won’t get the best benefits and you set yourself up to get hurt. Stand in front of a mirror and watch your form. Make adjustments as necessary. Soon you’ll be a kettlebell master.
Do you use kettlebells? Which of these mistakes have you made?