Prevent Common Kettlebell Injuries

Kettlebell exercises are great. But kettlebell injuries are no fun at all - whacked knees, pulled muscles, etc.

Weight training is one of the best methods of strength training! If you want to start weight training safely and effectively, with the best info, diet, and routines, check out the 5 Day Beginner Weight Training Course!

You want to do everything possible to keep yourself safe while working out. It only makes sense.

So take a look at the injuries listed below. And how to prevent them.

Though if you really want to build strength and be safe, try weight training with either machines or free weights. They're way easier to work with than kettelbells!


Common Kettlebell Injuries

Common kettlebell injuries involve pulled back muscles and excessive strain on your wrists.

Kettlebells are great workout tools, but they can be dangerous. Especially since all the movements are dynamic, i.e. not static like bicep curls. They can get out of hand.

Some common kettlebell injuries include…


  • Banging up your Forearm and Elbow

The kettlebell snatch (and some other exercises) necessitate flipping the kettlebell over as you lift it. When done incorrectly, this can bruise your forearms.

Also, this flip causes force to pull outward on your elbow. If you don't stabilize your arm this can injure you over the long term.


  • Damaging Your Wrist

The kettlebell's flipping movement in the kettlebell snatch, clean and press, and other exercises puts a lot of strain on your wrist. You need to focus on stabilizing your wrist and keeping it strong.

This strain can help you develop stronger writs. Or, with too much exercise and not enough stabilization, damage them.


  • Knocked Knees

I lost focus one time when I was doing kettlebell swings and just knocked my kneecap with the kettlebell. It was only slight, but it defiantly brought my focus back.

Luckily, I wasn't going very fast. It could have been much worse if I was going more intense, or didn't move to accommodate the kettlebell as fast as I did.


  • Pulled Back and Other Muscles

Swings, and other dynamic kettlebell exercises, can put a lot of strain on your back. Consider yourself warned; be careful, and don't push through bad pain.


Kettlebells For Injury Rehab?

In his books, Pavel Tsatsouline cites stories of Russians who have rehabilitated themselves from horrendous back injuries with kettlebells. I'm skeptical of these claims, but will admit that kettlebells can be used for rehab - just like more traditional barbells and dumbbells.

Albeit that rehab is a different game than building strength, and you want to be very controlled for that.

But for building strength, be careful to be safe. And use common sense.


Why Injuries Happen
And
How To Safely Do Kettlebell Exercises

The root of most kettlebell injuries is the same as most other exercise injuries. Bad posture, poor lifting technique, the desire to lift too much too fast, not giving yourself enough time to recover, etc.

Since kettlebell exercises are dynamic they require you to be very alert. Keep control of the kettlebell, make sure your wrists can take the strain, and be careful of any old injuries you have.

Use common sense. Take it slow. Greater strength is build by working hard regularly than pushing the envelope way too hard once in a while.

Follow these guidelines to keep yourself safe while working out...


  • Do a warmup before you start heavy lifting. Just like you would do for any other exercise.
  • Use a kettlebell weight that will challenge you, but that's not too heavy.
  • Learn good kettlebell technique for an exercise with a light one, before you go all out on it with a heavy kettlebell.
  • ALWAYS keep good posture and body alignment. Don't twist and contort your body; if a kettlebell's too heavy, it's too heavy.
  • Work up to heavier kettlebells gradually.
  • If you lose control of the kettlebell, get out of the way and let it fly. Don't let yourself get whacked.
  • If you feel a sharp pain that's bad, stop exercising immediately!


If you want to really prevent kettlebell injuries, just start doing weight training. You can use machines or free weight, which are both much easier to control than kettlebells.

Oh, and be sure to sign up for the e-zine Starting Strong to get monthly strength training, exercise, and diet tips e-mailed to you - and access to the free e-book Train Smart, Eat Smart: Exercise Nutrition Hacks!

• Click here to learn more about the Kettlebells & Kettlebell Workouts!

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• Click here to leave 'Prevent Common Kettlebell Injuries' & go back to the Complete Strength Training Home-page!

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