- Kettlebells are “unconventional tools,” and they work differently than dumbbells, Jay and Steph Rose told Insider.
- I learned from the kettlebell experts and was shocked to learn that I had the use of weights all wrong.
- Many people make the same mistakes, but with the right technique you can engage more muscles for better results.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
Kettlebells are popular weights both in the gym and for workouts at home.
However, most people use them incorrectly, movement specialists Jay and Steph Rose of Phase SiX told Insider.
Due to its design, the use of kettlebells incorrectly can lead to injuries. Pain in the wrist and bruises is a popular complaint, but according to Roses, if used correctly, the weight should not burn your wrist.
Steph explained the work of kettlebells by pulling the wrist in a downward motion, and requiring force to pull the weight in reserve against gravity.
Exercising with a kettlebell also requires a full body workout, which is why Rose thinks it is superior to using conventional weights.
The top exercises recommended by the Roses are the kettlebell swing, calyx squat, clean and ripped, and Turkish get-up.
I think I know how to do all these exercises correctly, but I soon realized that kettlebells need a different approach.
To make a kettlebell swing, start at a “Silverback Posture” As the Roses call it, with the kettlebell tilted in front of you – let go of your hips, roll your shoulders, and hold your chest up.
Do not tighten the kettlebell too tightly (have your thumbs on your toes to avoid tears), and think about spreading the soil with your feet to create a lower body tension.
Remember that the movement is a squat, not a squat, and you need to focus on performing a pelvic tuck instead of just an extension – this engages more muscles in the body. The power comes from driving through the hips, but avoiding arching the shoulders.
You do not need to fully extend the arms at the top of the swing, because the movement is not an elevated arm, but the weight should not go higher than the height of the chest.
When you finish your swing, control the kettlebell back to your starting position.
To do a kettlebell clean, your sitting position is similar to that of a swing (the “silverback” position again), except that you are only using one hand to hold the weight. The kettlebell should be tilted inward.
You have to think that most people get it wrong when cleaning a kettlebell, I learned, is that they grab the handle too tightly, so instead of letting it rotate the weight, they twist it and flash it on their wrist.
To clean the kettlebell, engage the lower body, push the floor, and think of the kettlebell turning like a corkscrew in the rack position.
On top of the movement, keep the kettlebell a little away from the body to keep everything engaged, rather than resting.
The pole should be straight or slightly bent inward (as if to punch itself), but never bent backwards, the Roses said. And your wrist should never be even outside your elbow.
Return to the starting position in the same way, unwinding the kettlebell.
Position over the kettlebell
Again, position the kettlebell at a 45 degree angle across the palm.
One of the most common mistakes that roses see that people make is bending their wrists while holding the kettlebell up. Keeping your wrist straight reduces the risk of injury and engages more muscles in your arm.
Your shoulder should be lowered, your heart engaged, and your arm should be closed.
“You have to be fully engaged because of the way it’s balanced. Your legs are screwed to the ground, which causes the glues to activate, and then your entire back and front chains are all active,” Jay said. .