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10 Dangerous Kettlebell Mistakes

Before you grab a kettlebell, make sure you're not risking serious injury.

Whether you're a new entry to kettlebell training or are an old hand, injuries can still strike at any time if you're practicing the moves incorrectly. We asked Mike Stehle, owner of Training Room Online what common mistakes he sees athletes of all experience levels making.

1. Not following proper movement progression

Too many people attempt exercises they and their bodies are not prepared to properly execute.

Area of risk:

The most common area at risk is usually the back. For example: The kettlebell swing shouldn't be performed until the deadlift is mastered.

How to avoid:

Be patient with your training and progress slowly. Take up sessions with a coach or trainer to develop a solid, progressive plan.

2. Not maintaining a neutral spine

A neutral spine establishes the correct alignment of the athlete. This must be kept in mind when performing swings, high pulls, clean or snatch.

Area of risk:

The entire spine and surrounding musculature.

How to avoid:

Keep a straight line from your hips to your head. You should be able to lay a broomstick along the entire spine.

3. Taking too wide a stance

All stances are not created equal. Overly extended stances during swings leave several areas vulnerable to injury.

Area of risk:

Hips, knees and lower back.

How to avoid:

Take an athletic stance. An athletic stance can be defined as a stance out of which you would jump.

4. Muscling the bell with the upper body

Overemphasis of upper body muscles during ballistic movements deteriorates exercise flow and can place strain on vulnerable areas.

Area of risk:

Neck, shoulders, lower back.

How to avoid:

Relax the upper body, use a hip snap and lock the knees out with each rep.

5. Training to muscle failure

Training to failure with kettlebells is asking for trouble.

Area of risk:

Whatever area you push to failure is at risk. Form will suffer and lead to injury.

How to avoid:

Stop several reps short of failure.

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