03 Mar Warning: Kettlebells Are Dangerous
Kettlebells are dangerous.
They are a dangerous training tool, if you don’t learn how to use them properly.
Getting unqualified instruction can be a total disaster in your training experience.
With the increasing popularity of kettlebells these days, it seems many gyms and trainers are jumping on the kettlebell bandwagon.
This is great for raising kettlebell awareness, but not so great if they aren’t properly trained for maximizing safety and effective technique.
As someone that’s been working out for almost 3 decades now and has a physical therapy background, I’m all about doing things safety and effectively.
Let me share a confession with you.
I was blown away when I found out I actually was not doing my own kettlebell exercises correctly when I first started out.
I mean, here I am, a guy that’s been training for almost 30 years, yet I was doing the exercises with bad form.
I wasn’t getting the benefit I could have because I wasn’t doing the exercises correctly.
It was only after my initial workshop I attended that I learned that I was training improperly. I was shocked.
My point is that kettlebells, as simple as they are, require a high level of technical skill and proper instruction to perform correctly and safely.
And without proper instruction, you are doing yourself a disservice.
With my strong exercise and biomechanics background, I was thoroughly impressed with the level of training from the instructors at the Dragon Door organization.
In my opinion, this is the pinnacle in kettlebell instruction.
My feeling is that if you haven’t learned from someone that’s been through this organization at some point, then you probably aren’t doing kettlebells the right way.
This is the organization that began the kettlebell revolution more than 10 years ago in the United States.
The organization delivers on a high level training that I have never seen before in the fitness industry.
They teach an exercise program that requires precision and strength with movement.
There are many great reasons why you need to be skilled to teach this type of training.
For more information on this, here’s an article that supports the need for qualified instruction entitled: Ring the Kettlebell, School’s Back In.
Basically, this article discusses the importance of qualified kettlebell instruction for 2 major reasons, which I’ve already mentioned, safety and effectiveness.
What is very interesting is that the author is actually a very well qualified fitness professional.
He is a CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) which is a highly respected and well known fitness industry credential.
However, he claims that he is not well qualified to instruct in kettlebells. I would agree.
Unless he (or anyone) has gone through the rigors of an RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) training experience at some point in their kettlebell education.
Just in case you don’t know, the RKC certification is NOT just show up and get the RKC credential.
It’s a grueling, high mentally and physically demanding 3 day intense immersion in kettlebells, strength training, and teaching instruction.
With that said, at the end of the 3 days, there is usually about a 70% pass rate which means 30% of the people do not come away from that weekend with the credential of RKC.
But for the “survivors” that do pass, they are skilled at performing and teaching the fundamental kettlebell exercises.
But, the learning really begins at that time.
I feel that the learning and skill development with this type of training really continues to evolve over time and that goes for all of us.
I also want to note that there is the HKC (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification).
This is also an outstanding baseline of instruction for the key kettlebell exercises: the swing, the turkish get up, and the goblet squat.
So, you’ll get a great level of instruction from an HKC instructor, as well.
I fully support the concept in the LA Times article that you need to be aware of the training someone has had if they are teaching you kettlebells.
You want to make sure you’re getting the best advice, the safest instruction, and the maximum benefit from your training.
With so much “noise” out there, especially in the area of fitness and weight loss, it’s a smart decision to educate yourself and ask “is this person qualified to teach me?”
A little due diligence goes a long way.
Remember, kettlebell training requires attention to detail and precision and strength with movement.
It’s critical that you get the qualified instruction you deserve so that you get the benefits you want.
As Brett Jones (Master RKC) states, “there is a huge difference in swinging a kettlebell and performing a kettlebell swing.”
Understand the difference.
For muscle building, fat loss, and improved strength and performance, kettlebells are an outstanding tool in the toolbox.
The best recommendation I can give you is to learn how to use kettlebells the right way.
Get qualified instruction from someone that knows how to use them. You’ll get the results you want and save your body from potential injury.
Train smart. Train safe.