"[The] kettlebell is a multipurpose piece of equipment that is valuable not only for constant resistance but for its unique functionality," Courtney Olsen, an ISSA-certified personal trainer at Blink Fitness, explains.
Since the kettlebell's ball shape and handle allows for a wide range of movement-based strength-training exercises, maintaining proper form while swinging the weight is crucial to avoiding injury.
Olsen is no stranger to correcting technique — which makes her the perfect person to talk us through common kettlebell mistakes and how to correct them.
Engage the Correct Muscle Groups
"During a kettlebell swing, you want to push your hips back and thrust them forward to move the weight," Olsen says.
Instead, she often notices people using their upper body to get the kettlebell to swing forward, which can put you at risk for lower back pain and shoulder injuries.
When executing a kettlebell swing, Olsen suggests powering through your glutes instead of lifting with your arms.
Loosen Up Slightly on the Handle
Kettlebells should be held loosely in the hands — this allows for the weight to flow through each movement smoothly, Olsen admits.
Tightly gripping a kettlebell can feel awkward and can potentially injure the wrist, Olsen adds.
Find a happy medium to where your grip is loose, but not too much so that you let go of the weight.
Push Your Shoulders Back
It's easy to allow your shoulders to roll forward when you're carrying a heavy weight, Olsen notes.
"You want to push your shoulders down and back with most kettlebell movements. By doing so, you can ensure you're engaging the right muscle groups while keeping your shoulders happy and safe."