Men’s Fitness has revealed that the biggest mistake you can make when exercising with a kettlebell is not to follow the proper form.
It also says that the most common area of the body that is at risk is the lower back. (1)
If you are not completing the exercise correctly, it doesn’t matter what you are looking to improve, i.e. your core, legs, shoulders or abs, your lower back is always the most at risk area.
When working out with a kettlebell one of the assurances that you will get is that it works out your upper and lower body both at the same time.
It could be that you only want to focus on your upper body, but the kettlebell will work your whole body in all different ways anyway.
1 or 2 kettlebells can be used for this exercise and in a few different ways. Start by setting yourself back on your heels, in a neutral position keeping your abs and core tight.
Hold the kettlebell by its handle with one hand and keep your palms facing towards the back of your body.
If you are using one kettlebell, bring it up to your chest level and in the midline of your body.
Do not bring your hand out further from your body as this will result in externally rotating your shoulder and will add a lot of pressure onto your joint.
Lift the kettlebell from the middle of your chest to above your head staying in-line with your nose.
Then bring the kettlebell back to the middle of your chest and repeat the movement 10 times.
Complete the same repetitions with your other arm.
If you want to use 2 kettlebells you can complete the same as above and press both at the same time (military press.)
Or, you could alternate the kettlebells, for example as you raise one of them, bring the other one down and vice versa.
By doing these exercises with 2 kettlebells, it will help with any imbalances in your upper body strength.
If you wanted to work your core and lower legs to improve your balance you could use 1 kettlebell and complete the same motion.
Press on one side and on the same side; raise your foot off the ground. Complete this 10 times and then switch to the other side of your body.
The Cross Hold
Your shoulders and core are worked here by using 2 kettlebells. Hold them with your palms facing the back of your body.
Stand in a position so that your weight is over your heels and your arms by your side.
Lift your arms to the side so that they are parallel with the ground. Remain in this position for as long as you can.
Whilst you are working your arms, use low weight kettlebells so that it lessens the load that will be on your lower back.
The High Pull
Hold 1 kettlebell with both of your hands, keep your weight onto the back of your heels and face forward whilst standing straight.
Bring the kettlebell up to as far as you possibly can and this will work your trapezius muscles and your shoulders.
Your lower back will be protected as long as you remember to keep your abs and core engaged.
(1) Men’s Fitness: 10 Dangerous Kettlebell Mistakes
Breaking Muscle: The 5 Keys to Successful Kettlebell Workouts
BodyBuilding: How to Structure a Kettlebell Workout for size and strength
Fitness: A comprehensive list of kettleball exercises
ActiveWoman: Killer KBs: Upper Body Kettlebell Workout
Huffington Post: 5 Kettlebell Mistakes
SheKnows: Kick-butt Kettlebell Workout for women
Oxygen: Kettlebell Workout: Your Full-Body Burn
Performance Center: Seven Best Kettelbell Exercises for Building Shoulder Strength
Kettlebell Revoluation: Kettlebell Upper body workout