Don’t Do These Common Kettlebell Training Mistakes

Common Kettlebell Mistakes


If you visit my blog regularly you’d know that I’m a big fan of kettlebell training. This type of training allows us to perform whole body movements. A successful kettlebell program can increase strength, joint mobility and stability and even fat loss.


With kettlebell training you can:


  1. Improve your cardiovascular fitness without stepping on boring cardio machines.
  2. Strengthen not only your muscles but joints and ligaments as well.
  3. Workout in a tiny space. One kettlebell can provide an endless amount of exercises. You’re not going to get bored with all the varied movements that you can do.
  4. You can combine cardio and strength training into one workout (I really like this one).

Though kettlebell training is incredibly effective, there are some common mistakes I notice when people use this tool. In the following section I will show you 3 exercises that are often done carelessly.


Don’t DO Kettlebell Swings Like This:




bad kettlebell swings

Don’t swing a kettlebell like this.

Common Mistake #1


The Kettlebell Swing is not a squat to a front raise. The focus should be around the hips, not at the knees. If you’re bending your knees a lot, then you’re doing it wrong.


Don’t think of bringing your butt to the ground, shoot it backwards instead. The kettlebell should be close to your inner thighs on the way down, not close to the ground.


Know the difference between a hinge and a squat pattern. 


Common Mistake #2


If the bottom of the kettlebell is facing down at the top position, then the user has not generated enough power with the hips. The kettlebell should be facing forward at the top of the movement. There should be limited exertion coming from the shoulders.


People generally don’t really grasp the idea of using their hips in a powerful way. You want to violently extend your hips so that the kettlebell can move seamlessly. 



The Hips Are The Engine Behind The Kettlebell Swing.




Bad Kettlebell Swing Form

The picture above is a really nice picture. Unfortunately, the form is really bad. This person is using their shoulder and not their hips to bring the kettlebell to the top position. How do I know this?


Because they haven’t fully extended their hips (look at the arrow in the pic).


The kettlebell should only travel upward AFTER you have extended you hips (hip extension).


Common Mistake #3

Don’t let your arm come out of it’s socket at the top or on the bottom portion of the movement. You want to be in total control of the kettlebell and keeping your arm loose is not going to help you achieve that.


In the previous image you can also see a very subtle disconnected arm.


Your swing should look something like this:


This is my friend Ali. There is so much intention behind his hip snap and you can tell he squeezes his glutes at the top position. He also keeps his arm some what loose, not rigid.



Don’t DO Kettlebell Presses Like This:

Don’t press like this!


Common Mistake #1


Don’t let your shoulder blade go upward too much while you press. This may create unnecessary instability.


Prop tip:

Squeeze your butt as you press. This will make your midsection more stable.


Common Mistake #2


Don’t place the kettlebell too far from the midsection of the body. This makes the kettlebell more difficult to control and makes the shoulder work much harder.


Make sure to bring the kettlebell back to the rack position, towards your ribs.


Your press should look something like this:




Don’t DO Deadlifts Like This:


Common Mistake #1


The deadlift is an incredible exercise that builds total body strength. It doesn’t matter if you use a kettlebell, dummbells or a barbell. Here are some posture tips you should note:


Don’t let your arm come out if it’s shoulder socket. Most people believe that the deadlift is a lower body dominant movement, but the upper body has to work hard to bring that load up. Before you even lift the kettlebell from the ground, you don’t want your arm disconnected from your torso.


You will almost by default round your upper back by not carrying the kettlebell correctly. 



Common Mistake #2


Don’t look towards the ground. Keep your eyes on the horizon and keep your chin up, this will also keep your chest from caving in.


Common Mistake #3


Don’t let your lower back round. Stick your butt out. This will help you achieve a more neutral spine.


Your Deadlifts should look something like this:





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Juan Lugo