Kettlebell FAQ

Kettlebell Safety 101



1.  Medical Clearance:  Check with your Dr. before starting kettlebell training


2.  Always be aware of your surroundings:  The area must be clear of objects you might trip over (including other kettlebells) or hit with a kettlebell.  Give yourself enough room to swing without putting anyone else in the class at risk of injury, should you drop a kettlebell.


3.  Never contest for space with a kettlebell:  Do not try to save a rep that has gone wrong.  Guide the kettlebell to fall harmlessly, and move out of the way if necessary.  “Quick Feet are Happy Feet”


4.  Train barefoot or wear flat, thin-soled shoes:  Training barefoot is superior for health and performance reasons.  You have specialized receptors in the bottom of your feet that assist in making you stronger and improve your balance and coordination.  Regular training shoes can put your weight too far forward on your toes, putting you at risk for injury.  If you have to wear shoes, wear Converse Chuck Taylors or Vibram Five Fingers or other thin-soled shoes that allow your feet to spread.


5.  Practice all safety measures at all times.  Kettlebells are no joke.  Respect every single kettlebell, even the lightest one.  Always use perfect form when picking up and setting down a kettlebell.  The set is not over until the bell is safely parked.


6.  Build up your training load gradually using common sense and Listen To Your Body!!  Never train to failure.  Always complete each set under control, stopping before high levels of fatigue set it.


7.  Stay “Fast and Loose”:  Keep moving once your heart rate is high.  After a hard set, keep moving: walking, shadow boxing, etc., to help your heart pump the blood.  Stop only when your heart rate is halfway down to normal. 


8.  Keep the focus on quality, not quantity:  An important step towards improving training safety, productivity, and recovery is to terminate your sets when your speed is about to decrease compared to the first rep – not when your muscles are giving out or you cannot catch your breath.  Think “speed endurance” – emphasize speed in your quick lifts and tension in your “grinds” and don’t worry about reps too much.


9.  Include post-swing Cobra pose for spine extension:  Forward spine flexion stretches and even slouching after training, as harmless as they seem, could injure your back.  Unless contra-indicated, back extension type exercises are recommended after training.


10.  Instruction cannot cover all contingencies.  There is no substitute for Good Judgment.




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