Nine Common Kettlebell Mistakes People and How to Correct them

Quote: "You shall gain but you shall pay with sweat, blood, and vomit, Comrade." - Pavel Tsatsouline

When doing kettlebell training, you are bound to make some mistakes when it comes to technique, correct positioning, grip and breathing.  Outlined here are 9 mistakes that are commonly made that if not fixed can lead to injuries.  The idea is to enhance your health and fitness, not ruin it.

Kettlebell Mistakes

1. Your back is not strong enough to handle the intensity of kettlebell training

How do you correct that?
Spend time developing good technique and strength in your posterior chain and core by doing deadlifts with the correct technique.  Find a joint mobility expert that will assist in improving extension and rotation of the hips, thoracic and shoulder areas.

2. Back Pain performing Kettlebell Exercises

How do you correct that?
Get an expert to analyse your technique and give corrections where necessary.  Do not hyperextend your lower back when performing swings, high pulls, snatches and cleans.  Ensure you develop mobility in the thoracic and shoulder areas to reduce kettlebell back pain.

3. Using Muscular Strength on Momentum Based Exercises

How do you correct that?
Get a kettlebell trainer to analyse your movement patterns so that you develop a good hip hinge movement that utilises momentum to power the movement of the kettlebell.  The kettlebell trainer should also teach kinetic linking, which is how to transfer strength from one group of muscles to another when performing momentum based exercises.

4. Rounding your Back when Swinging the Kettlebell

How do you correct that?
Ensure you maintain a flat neutral position for your back by practicing with a mirror to your side.  Also get an experienced kettlebell trainer to correct your hip hinge movement.

5. Trying to Lift or Rescue a Kettlebell from a Bad Position

How do you correct that?
Lower or drop the kettlebell from that bad position ensuring it does not hit any part of your body on the way down.  Use a lighter weight kettlebell and develop the correct technique.  Maintain focus when performing any kettlebell exercise.

6. Kettlebells keep Smashing into your Forearms during Kettlebell Snatches

How do you correct that?
Ensure you have developed good technique in the high pull before moving onto the kettlebell snatch.  When swinging the kettlebell in the high pull part of the swing, pull back with your back muscles, then use a vertical punching motion that rotates the kettlebell in your hand that will lightly touch your forearm at the top of the movement.

7. Making up New Exercises

How do you correct that?
Keep to the basics, once you are competent in the basics, use variations of the basics.  Do not make up new exercises.  There are plenty of exercises to choose from, do not reinvent the wheel, you may risk getting injured.

8. Training to Failure like a Bodybuilder

How do you correct that?
Stop several reps short of failure otherwise your form will suffer and you may end up with an injury.

9. Incorrect Breathing Patterns

How do you correct that?
Exhale through your mouth when executing/performing the extension part of the technique, inhale through your nose during the retraction part of the technique.  This will enhance your ability to lift the kettlebell more efficiently for a longer period of time by improving your timing and rhythm.

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