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Are Kettlebells Safe?

author image Lora Mays
Lora Mays is a RRCA-certified running coach. She has been running for more than 15 years and coaching since 2010. She has published articles on Plum Deluxe and in "Variance Magazine," among other publications. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional strategic communications from the University of Minnesota.
Are Kettlebells Safe?
Many people prefer kettlebells over other weight- and strength-training tools. Photo Credit: michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Kettlebells, which have been around for centuries, remain popular as exercise tools and can be used for a wide variety of workouts. However, basic skills are required to ensure that they are used properly. Because of this, kettlebell safety is a key question for fitness fans.

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Proper Form and Technique

Proper form and technique are necessary to ensure safety. Consult a personal trainer to learn the right way to use kettlebells in your workout routines. For example, kettlebell swings, which are conducted by planting your feet on the ground and using momentum to raise the kettlebell from between your legs up to eye level, can cause serious injury if not done properly.

The Right Weight

In addition to proper form, make sure you are using the right weight for your exercises. Using a kettlebell that is too heavy for your ability can cause you to compromise your form, which can lead to injury. To gauge the appropriate weight, take your fitness level into account. An active man should start with 35 to 44 pounds for ballistic or explosive movements, and 18 to 26 pounds for more controlled movements. An active female should begin with 18 to 26 pounds for ballistic movements and 13 to 18 pounds for controlled movements. Try the exercise with the recommended weight and if it feels too easy move up to the next weight.

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