Kettlebell Forearm Bruise/Pain/Protection/Guards

In this article and video, I will quickly cover some tips on how you can prevent forearm bruising or pain caused by the kettlebell and tell you that you don’t really need protection or guards. If you want the quick and easy way, sure, go for it, but I am extremely confident in saying that if you invest some time in understanding the technique, you will be able to alleviate any forearm bruising or pain caused by the kettlebell during:

  • Shoulder press
  • Chest press
  • Jerk
  • Push press
  • Windmill
  • Turkish Get-Up
  • And other overhead exercises

I would like to note that there is some bruising to be expected when you first start placing a weight on a part of your body that has never had any pressure from a heavy object.

This article covers the kettlebell position and correct grip, there are other causes for kettlebell injuries and annoyances, like banging, ripping, blisters, excessive calluses, back pain, and more. These issues are extensively covered in our book Preventing Kettlebell Training Injuries.


The correct kettlebell grip to prevent excessive pressure on the forearm from the kettlebell weight is demonstrated in the illustration below.

Good Kettlebell Hand Insertion


In the illustration you can see:

  • The handle is positioned at a 45-degree angle
  • The handle runs over the heel of the palm (fleshy bit)
  • The arm is avoiding the red area which provides the most pressure
  • The corner and horn is positioned on the webbing between the index finger and thumb
  • The arm runs past the corner between the horn and bell at the bottom


The following is a demonstration of what is called the Broken Wrist Grip, the line is broken at the wrist and the middle of the bell is positioned on the forearm. When the grip is in the middle of the handle and the wrist is straight, the pressure from the bell will become even more intense.

Handle incorrectly positioned within the palm, AKA “broken wrist” – note that the visible corner is not over the heel of the palm


The book Preventing Kettlebell Training Injuries can save any kettlebell beginner from serious injury, downtime, money, and even quitting completely.

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