5 Kettlebell Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Just as with any tool the kettlebell can do some damage if they aren’t treated properly. Too many trainees see a picture or watch a couple of videos and give the kettlebell a whirl. The devil’s in the details with kettlebell training, but with many explosive kettlebell movements a few bad moves can be exponentially dangerous.
Some mistakes are obvious and require a complete form overhaul while others are a bit more nuanced. Here are five of the biggest mistakes I see with kettlebell training and the easiest fixes to get you back on track.
1 - Back Pain with Swings
Swings are a dynamic movement that require a hinge that already puts your back in potential danger and speed. Combining those two things with a client who doesn’t understand moving through tension. Get free kettlebell workouts here!
The Fix: Increase intra-abdominal tension through diaphragmatic breathing
2 - Slamming Forearms with Cleans...
The kettlebell clean should be a staple in your training for a variety of reasons. From building strength and power through your entire body to being the link between lower to upper body exercises with a kettlebell there’s a lot that can be done with this movement. There are a couple of issues I see with the clean. The first is a lack of technique which puts the user and his or her client in potential danger. The second is a lack of variety.
When it comes to general fitness there should be a blend of progress and variety. This keeps things fresh and enjoyable, but still offers results. If the variables you add assist in overall progress then it’s a win. If they distract you and keep you spinning your wheels then that’s no bueno. I’m not a minimalist where you should only do one or two things, but I am a proponent of getting less with more.
With the kettlebell doing the same thing day in day out will build strength and power, but at what cost? If...
We tend to overestimate what we can get done in a day, a week, and a month; yet we underestimate what we can accomplish in year and a decade with consistent improvements.
I am sure you have heard of the just improve 1% per day or week, quotes, commentaries, and memes. I am not here to convince you of the need or desires that most of these well-intentioned memes are after...I am here to help you put some handles on it.
Below I give very simple actions, habits, behaviors, or routines, that will help you walk out the 1% improvement model.
Stop meme'ing about it, and start showing it through your daily and weekly action. Implement just 1 per week, and if it is helping you improve and easy to do, keep it going. In one year, you will have literally transformed your life multiple times over.
Every journey worth taking, begins with the first step...
1 - Focus on Your Breath
Take a moment before you pour yourself that cup of coffee, or snap the lid off of that energy drink to just breath....
Whether you love to run or you don't like running, you can improve your running with these drills.
Running is repetitive oscillating locomotion to take you from point A to point B.
We humans used to be pretty good at this thing, or if we weren't good at it, we had to use it. A lot. Both running and walking was our only mode of transportation for 100's of thousands of years...some humans were lucky enough to domesticate an animal here and there for some of that transportation.
What is the difference between the humans of yesteryear and us?
According to the SAID principle, we will specifically adapt to imposed demands. Our biology and physiology is actually pretty dang good at this adaptation...we can screw it up by overtraining, but we are still pretty good at it.
If you have been running, and you even consider yourself a runner. I would suggest adding this drills...
"Get on the bar, and come to a dead hang!" the drill instructor screamed at me when I was in boot camp. And then this became the annual call of every unit I have ever served with when we performed our yearly physical fitness tests for the USMC.
The anxiety and anticipation still gives me butterflies to this day.
In the Marine Corps, I have produced thousands of pull-ups over the last two decades. Since 1999, I have been performing pull-ups, teaching pull-ups, counting pull-ups, and helping people be able to perform their first pull-ups or adding to their maximum number of pull-ups.
When I first started helping people do pull-ups, I just assisted them by giving a lifted assist or giving them a resistance band to help propel them upward until they no longer needed my assistance, and could do it on their own.
I quickly realized that this can lead to injuries if they don't build the proper mind, muscle, and movement awareness.
Most people that can't do pull-ups or do very few,...
We are constantly fighting the four C's of bad posture: couch, computer, car, and cell phone. To help you in your fight, these are my top five battle rope exercises to improve posture:
In order to improve our posture, we need to condition the muscles and nervous system to be able to hold a better posture, even when we sit in the car, couch, or at the computer desk.
If these muscles have no connection to our brains, the adaptation will not occur.
Moving the shoulders, scapula, and torso (core) muscles and bones together in proper ways throughout a functional range of motion, is the first step to creating better posture.
I also like using kinesthetic cues, like raising my computer screen high enough for my crown to raise up and pull-back away from the screen. Or use the head rest on your car seat, instead of craning your neck forward, like it is going to get you to your destination any faster....
If you haven't combined the power of these two "unconventional" tools, you are missing out.
The kettlebell is a world-renowned strength and stability creator, and the battle rope is a world-renowned finisher...but the concepts that these two tools are known for, is only telling a fraction of the story.
With the right coaching and programming these two tools can fill entire libraries of effective and efficient programs that build strength, coordination, efficiency, mobility, endurance, power, and cognitive focus.
Check out our growing libraries of workouts and programming here: Trainer Resources
Don't get caught in the trap that kettlebells are only for strength, and battle ropes are only for cardio.
This will lead you into a corner, that will hurt your training effectiveness.
The key is to learn the principles and concepts behind each of the tools, so that you can build more effective...
Written By: Aaron Guyett, M.A., B.S., CSCS, FRAs, FRCms
Living.Fit Education Director and Master Coach
There is no substitute. One cannot wish or hope their way to doing.
In consulting and coaching, I hear a lot of people express the action they are going to take in poor ways.
It will have a lot of “try,” “should,” and “hope.”
I also read and hear a lot of ambiguous and general language.
It is almost as if the person is giving themselves an escape.
Unfortunately, this ambiguity does not inspire, ensure, or create any actions.
In order for action to be taken, there must be concrete terms and clarity.
“I will run every morning for ten minutes for the next week, in order to develop strength, endurance, and improve my health.”
That is concrete, clear, and calls out the action step.
How can you adjust your language to bring forth action?
By: Aaron Guyett, M.A., B.S., CSCS, FRCms, FRAs
Education Director and Master Coach
What is Circuit Training?
Circuit training is the high intensity interval training of yesteryear.
Whereas the average group training and exercise class is filled with high intensity interval training, we used to call this circuit training.
Most people think of machines or tiny dumbbells when they conjure pictures of circuit training, but that does have to be the case.
Is circuit training high intensity?
It can be, depending upon the results you are working for, or the way in which you design the program.
Is circuit training, interval training?
It is, dependent upon the goals, and the way you design the program.
Is circuit training effective in building strength and endurance?
As stated in research by Alcaraz, Sánchez-Lorente, and Blazevich, "Heavy Resistance Circuits may be an effective training strategy for the promotion of both strength and cardiovascular adaptations."1 It has...