To help, we’ve provided a few tips that can help you prevent kettlebell injuries.
Use the correct form
As with any exercise, using the wrong form puts you at risk of injury. If you’re a beginner at kettlebell training, it’s best to start with some guidance.
When it comes to kettlebell swings, some of the more common mistakes include not driving your hips, using your shoulders too much, and swinging too fast. Remember, kettlebell swings involve a lot of effort from the hips. Rather than using your arms and shoulders, protect yourself by engaging your hips and gluteals when you swing. Driving the force through your hips can also help you be more intentional with your movements, preventing you from swinging out of control.
Pain has a purpose: it lets the body know when something is wrong. If performing an exercise is abnormally painful, pushing it may put you at the risk of injury. To make sure you never do too much too fast, listen to what your body says. Start with easy exercises. Once you’ve perfected simple forms, you can move on to more complex workouts.
Additionally, start with weights you can handle. If you skip to the heavier kettlebells before you’ve sufficiently built strength, you put your muscles at risk of strain or tear.
Have a consistent stretching routine
It isn’t actually true that you need to stretch before and after every workout. However, you do need to stretch (put your joints through ROM) consistently. This is because your body needs to improve its flexibility to prevent injuries. When muscles are stretched consistently, they become more effective at withstanding physical stress.
That said, make stretching part of your routine. According to this easy stretching guide by SymptomFind, the average person needs to stretch at least three times a week. Additionally, you need to start slow. Don’t try to push your body to the point of pain; this only increases your likelihood of injury. Target the parts of the body you work out most during kettlebell exercises, such as the hamstrings, quads, triceps, and shoulders.
Invest in the right footwear
Cavemantraining recommends training without shoes when possible, but if not possible, you will want to wear shoes that can keep your feet planted on the ground. The Nest’s guide to buying shoes for weight training recommends choosing footwear with thin soles and flat heels. Having that slat surface at your feet prevents you from teetering as you lift. To prevent your feet from rolling inward or outward as you work out, your shoes should also provide lateral support.
As mentioned in a kettlebell injury article written by Taco Fleur, injury prevention is a lot easier than seeking rehabilitation or treatment. Make sure to listen to your body as you progress through your kettlebell workouts to ensure that you don’t push it past its limit. On top of investing in the right gear and equipment, invest time studying proper kettlebell training forms and fundamentals.