Are kettlebells dangerous?

Doctor/Physio: “Don’t work with kettlebells!”

Below is an actual conversation I had with someone.

“Thanks Taco I have just purchased your books. Looking forward to giving them a read. Quick question – my physio said kettle bell Work is only suitable once somebody has adequate mobility in their thoracic, hips, ankles etc. Are there any methods that you would recommend to increase mobility in these areas? Thank you”

At this stage, I’m already fuming inside, not because of anything he said, but because of the stupidity and ignorance of most of these ‘doctors’ and ‘physiotherapists’.

“I’d say your physio is wrong and right. Doctors tend to blindly repeat stuff and always be on the side of “don’t sue me info”. With anything there is beginners to advanced moves, beginner to advanced weight and so on. The kettlebell swing is super for hip mobility. The book also contains a workout for the thoracic area. And so on. Use common sense. Start light, less reps, less advanced etc. If in doubt hire a trainer for a program.
Ps. You do BJJ right? If so, did he say the same for that? If not, see how crazy the answer is? BJJ is waaaaay more taxing than kbs. Does he know about your BJJ?”

Allow me to put things in perspective for you. I just completed a kettlebell competition about a week ago, performed 30 minutes of non-stop kettlebell snatches. In the end, I was not out of breath or had any issues at all, did 532 reps, also took home gold by the way. Hence, I’d say I’m in good shape. I had not participated in BJJ for a while, I got invited and turned up thinking it would be a breeze! How wrong I was, my body was not conditioned for what was to come, I’m still hurting everywhere. My point being, BJJ is waaaaaaaaay more taxing on the body than kettlebells. Kettlebells do not need to be taxing on the body, and they only become dangerous if you don’t progress properly, don’t lay the foundations, do silly things, don’t know what you’re doing, etc. Quite the contrary, kettlebells are awesome to work on all-over mobility. But you have to know what you’re doing.

“Hi Taco, thanks for the reply. Yeah what you’re saying definitely makes sense. Will start off slowly and go from there. I do BJJ (not as often as I would like unfortunately) and he didn’t say to hold back on that when I told him about it – which yeah does seem strange if he is saying to do so with kettlebells! Seems an excellent method of training and like how you can simultaneously get a workout that promotes cardio health, strength and mobility etc. Looking forward to giving it all a go. Will look to have a good read over the long weekend.”

I don’t understand how these people are allowed to open their mouth and say silly shit that then gets regurgitated across the world, giving something a bad name that can actually mean a world of difference, more so than the physio/doctor itself. Aaaah, that’s the problem—do BJJ so I can keep fixing you, don’t do kettlebells or get smart so you can fix yourself.

Admittedly what the physio said wasn’t that stupid if he said the same for BJJ, and if he said it in the context of a specific exercise. Compared to all that I’ve heard over the years, this wasn’t even the worst, far from it. My point being, lots of people who have so-called ‘degrees/certificates’ prescribe the wrong things and shun the good things.

Start kettlebells the right way, lay the foundation→


What’s the stupidest thing you’ve heard? ↓

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