Kettlebells aren’t exactly the easiest piece of equipment to use.
Betina Gozo, Women’s Health’s 2017 Next Fitness Star and author of The Women’s Guide To Strength Training, says she sees people making kettlebell mistakes all the time. “I definitely see it with the holding of the kettlebell. It’s important to keep the wrists stacked properly so that you aren’t adding more stress.”
And that’s a shame, since there are so many great strength moves you can do using this versatile piece of equipment—many of which Gozo features in The Women’s Guide To Strength Training.
To help you master the ‘bell, Gozo demos the top five mistakes she sees people make in the video above, as well as exactly how to tweak your form to make sure you’re performing each move on point. This is key to getting a better workout (you’ll activate the right muscles and work them harder) and avoiding injury.
“If you can’t get a trainer to check your form, I would definitely recommend videotaping yourself so that you can check it,” says Gozo. Watch and learn, and then pick up a kettelbell next time you hit the gym to try the moves for yourself. Here, the most common mistakes—and fixes:
Mistake: Learning how to hold the kettlebell properly is the first step in any move, and Gozo says this mistake is very common. Many kettlebell moves involve “racking” the weight, or holding it at your shoulder with one hand, while your elbow is bent. Often she sees people hugging the kettlebell too close to their chest, or holding it too far out from the body.
Fix: To correctly rack the weight, stand tall with tight abs, keeping your elbow close to your body, and your forearm in line with…