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