Kettlebells for Beginners: Getting Started

KBs With LogoThe concept of a kettlebell is simple, but it’s funny how just a large cast-iron ball-shaped weight with a single handle can hold so much power — and seem so intimidating at the same time.  Before you begin swingin’, get the facts to be sure every day of training with a bell is a good one.

Purchasing a kettlebell
Even though there are many different brands to choose from, it’s important to note that the shape of the bell is what’s most important. I prefer competition kettlebells because I train for Kettlebell Sport competitions, but as a beginner any kettlebell that can be found at Target or a sporting goods store will work perfectly fine. As long as it is a ball shape with a single handle any of the basic exercises can be executed with ease.

Start simple and lightweight
Understanding the basics will give you a good foundation and help you on your way to success. Starting with a 5,10 or 15-lb kettlebell will allow for a good workout while still being manageable for a beginner (this varies from person to person based on personal strength). My top five basic exercises include: the double arm swing, single arm kettlebell press, single arm swing, goblet squat and Russian twist. To check your technique along the way, look up some of  Jeff Martone’s YouTube videos.

Practice makes perfect
Making sure to have good technique before moving up in weight is one of the best ways to guarantee an injury free kettlebell experience. That means slow and steady really does win the race. Sometimes it can be difficult to remain at a lower weight and work on technique, but, trust me, it saves a few major headaches down the road and lessens your chance for injury when you finally get to the more difficult weights.

All progress is good progress…
Even if it feels like you are barely able to lift any weight. My motto is: If you’re sore you’re getting something out of it. BUT be sure you know the difference between being sore and being in pain. If you are in pain stop doing the workouts and consult a doctor. What I’ve noticed with clients is after two weeks the weight or movements become more manageable and after a month they have noticed visible differences in their bodies.

Curious about other kettlebell exercises? Follow Laura on her Instagram and Twitter!

 

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