1) You learn from a RKC or Strong First certified instructor. This is important to ensure you will learn the correct form to properly use a kettlebell. If you try to learn on your own, from someone who is not certified, or even from a video, you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position.
2) Discuss any previous or existing injuries with your healthcare specialist before beginning a regular kettlebell routine. Let your kettlebell instructor know before starting if you are dealing with a previous or existing injury.
So how can kettlebell training help protect and strengthen your back and knees?
1) Kettlebell training teaches you how to properly distribute tension in your body for a safer, more effective workout. You are shifting between muscle tension and relaxation during each kettlebell move, which promotes a safer workout and time to reload your tension with each repetition. Your instructor will explain to you where and how to create and distribute this tension in your body, but the end result is you train your core (abdominals, gluteal muscles, latissimus dorsi, obliques) to take the tension rather than your low back, knees, and neck.
2) You will learn a very powerful breathing technique that provides low back protection and will give you gorgeous abdominal muscles. The power breath will take you in to shorter, low abdominal breaths that will not only brace your low back but will work your stomach muscles, improve cardiovascular performance, and prevent dizziness.
3) The hip hinge keeps your knees behind your toes and takes tension out of your low back and into your core. The hip hinge is an extremely important piece of learning proper kettlebell form. It teaches you to lead with your hips so that your glutes, abs, hamstrings and quads are all at work simultaneously - not your knees and low back! The hip hinge assures that not only you will have adequate power but will also protect your knees by keeping them back behind your toes. In addition, the engagement of the leg muscles around the knees will promote strength in the knees and help prevent injury.
4) Kettlebell training helps you move better in all areas of life - not just when you're working out. You are essentially repatterning your brain and body to work together in an entirely new way by training with kettlebells. Many of the dysfunctional movement patterns you learned earlier in life will be identified and replaced with new movement - this is a process that takes time but can change your life. However, many people report that in just weeks after starting a regular kettlebell routine, their posture has improved, they have more flexibility, they feel stronger and their pain has lessened. Every move you learn in kettlebell training will help you function better in some way or another in your life.
Whether your goal is strength, cardiovascular endurance, fat burning/weight loss, injury prevention, flexibility, or mobility, kettlebell training can do wonders for your overall health. Are you interested in trying a class or session? Often times here at Total Body Power, we offer a complimentary trial class or even a free beginner level series' to get started. Feel free to email me (Marie) if you are interested in trying us out!