Kettlebells are not the easiest pieces of equipment to workout with. They are definitely one piece of gym equipment that you need to be careful when using. It is very easy to cause injury using kettlebells for beginners who do not know the proper form or technique when first attempting the exercises. That is why it’s so important that the right kettlebell weight for beginners is so important. You can’t just jump in and toss around a heavy weight if you are not familiar with how these weights manipulate gravity. They are weighted so that the bulk of the weight is at the bottom, making it a much easier weight to swing. Think about physics class in high school when you learned about momentum. I know…I slept through most of physics too..but it definitely applies here.
“A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton
The biggest mistake I see kettlebell beginners make is choosing the wrong weight. These are not dumbbells that you can toss around like your normal routine. They are not balanced in the same way and do not act the same weigh when gravity is applied to them. The one injury that I personally see most associated with kettlebells for beginners is a lower back injury. This is most likely due to the swinging of the kettlebells and awkwardly fighting the motion. Or lifting too much weight. If you are just starting out with kettlebells, please refrain from being Harry Hardass and just let yourself ease into it. Just fight the urge of having to prove you are your home gym’s Strongest Man and crawl before you walk.
The other thing to consider when looking at kettlebells for beginners is what is your workout going to entail? Have you chosen the exercises and moves you are going to be doing? Or the body parts you want to work out and focus on? This will go a long way in decided what kettlebell weights you should go with. For example, you may want to go something a little lighter if you are doing pushup rows. Although, at the same time, you need something with a solid enough base to support your weight while doing the push up portion of the move. It’s not easy to balance when doing push ups holding the handles of a pair of kettlebells, and it is even harder if you have a tiny base that you’re balancing on. However, if you’re doing a clean and jerk move, using an 18 pound Howler kettlebell is not going to give you much of a workout either. So you should map out your workout, try each move with a lower weight for a couple of reps to see if you are getting any benefit from it. At that time, if you decide you need more weight, then go up to a heavier kettlebell.
The biggest thing I can stress about kettlebells for beginners is patience. You need to have patience with these weights because they will be very awkward at first. You may not be used to the movements or the way the bells react when you lift them. But in time, you will find that kettlebells are a great functional fitness tool that can be a great asset to your fitness arsenal.