Avoiding Mistakes

I run into lots of wanna be kettlebell lifters who have trained with many popular coaches around the county, and spent a lot of money. I hear about methodology that literally shocks me, and in this article, I address some things, as a newbie, to watch out for, and mistakes to avoid

1. The Chest Bump
For those of us who understand where explosive force originates, and how it gets transmitted through the body, bumping (ballistically lifting) a kettlelbell or kettlebells with your chest when the spine is already in extension compresses the spine even further, as the bells press on the chest or sternum. The pelvis is deliberately being eliminated from the movement - the exact opposite of what you should be doing for spinal health. Ballistic compression of the spine while it's already in extension will result in lumbar or thoracic spinal injury, maybe not in everybody, or overnight, but the concept isn't sound, and if continue, it will catch up with you. If you can't reach your hips with your elbows when Jerking, GET AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN.  Don't sit the bells on your chest, sink the elbows (symetrically a possible, no leaning) and learn to rack properly. If you can't work with two bells, stick with one.

2. Calling a Squat with a Kettlebell a Kettlebell Exercise
A squat, row, curl, or bench press are not kettlebell exercises, but they can be done with a kettlebell. Not good, not bad, just misuse of terminology. The Jerk, Snatch, and LongCycle are examples of kettlebell exercises, a Turkish Get Up can be done with a brick. A Kettlebell exercise must be performed with a pro grade (competition style) kettlebell for best results. Squats are a great exercise, the kettlebell is just not the best tool for squatting. Period.

3. Kettlebell Certifications with 80 People Present
Be careful of overcrowded seminars or certifications. How is teaching 80 people even possible, unless you had a ridiculous amount of room, and at least 20 instructors? At all of my certifications, I maintain a 4 to 1 or better student to coach ratio, and keep "class room" time to a minimum. You don't have to take notes, write stuff down (you are give a written manual), but you're taught what to do, and given a real understanding of the new movement patterns that need to be developed - all hands one. Sitting at a desk or being crammed into crowded room is not the best way to learn.

4. Not Locking Out the Kettlebell
No matter what the lift (except Swing and Clean), there's a lockout involved. Lifters need to learn to stop and rest in lockout. It's truly the only longevity in the sport. If you can't hold the bell steady in lockout, it's too heavy for that exercise, get a lighter kettlebell and learn to do it right.

5. Maintaining a Straight Wrist in Rack or Lockout
This literally hurts me to watch, a virtual wrist curl against the kettlebell handle instead of letting the bell rest on the heel of the hand (pinky side). The forearm burns out on even Jerk sets, and Snatches are nearly impossible.This goes against one of the main principles behind efficient lifting, relax as much as possible, while you recover during the set.

There's more, but I'm being kind. If you're interested in kettlebell lifting in its purest form for sport or fitness, and want it explained to you in a clear, concise manner, visit my website today.