11 Jan The Most Important Kettlebell Training Tip You Need to Know

Ok, where should I start this one?  The purpose of this article is to tell you why it is absolutely critical for you to learn how to exercise with kettlebells the right way. And, the ONLY way to do this is from a Certified Instructor, preferably an RKC certified instructor (the premier kettlebell certification).

Here’s the deal. Kettlebell training is becoming more and more popular these days and rightfully so.  I mean, with all of the benefits I continue to mention (benefits of kettlebell training), you can see why I continue to talk about such a great way to train for your fitness goals.  More and more trainers are continuing to incorporate them into their own training approach.  As a matter of fact, I recently saw a local magazine and there were several trainers featured that were offering some form of kettlebell training or conditioning workshop.  Not one of them was RKC certified, not ONE!

Why does this matter? Because the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) is the premier certification there is and the one that teaches the most comprehensive kettlebell instruction out there, which is important so that you get the most safe and effective instruction possible.  Why is the RKC the best?  I have researched this extensively and talked to many trainers that have done “other” kettlebell certifications and every one of them has said the same thing.  RKC is the top of the line certification. Again, what does this mean for you?  It means you get the best training experience possible.  You learn the SAFEST, MOST EFFECTIVE, and PROPER ways to train.  There is no other way, not with this type of training.

Having proper training and certifications in fitness is actually extremely important for you, especially in an industry that is basically unregulated.  I mean, pretty much anyone can find a certification course on-line, and then call themselves a “certified trainer” or “fitness guru” or whatever.

But, you need to take a close look at:

  • exactly what that certification is,
  • the organization it’s coming from,
  • the training involved,
  • the background required to get the certification

This is exactly what I did when I looked at each certification I chose to pursue.  And, with kettlebells, I looked at all of the available options and chose the best one, based on my research.  I’m so glad I did.  As a physical therapist and having a background in biomechanics, kinesiology, exercise physiology, therapeutic exercise, and rehabilitation (in my case orthopedics and sports medicine), I found the RKC to be the outstanding level of training I was looking for that incorporated all of the previously mentioned areas.

Here’s the bottom line, you need to learn from someone that knows what they are doing.  (Quite frankly, it’s scary to think about people teaching this with NO proper instruction themselves.) I understand this is a popular fitness trend and people want to get on the bandwagon, but there has to be a baseline level of knowledge prior to teaching, because this is a different type of training.  A training that requires skilled and safe movement patterns.

Kettlebell training is NOT just another exercise modality. It’s not like doing traditional weight training. And I’m saying this after almost 3 decades of weight training experience.  Proper training with kettlebells requires neuromuscular programming.  This means that you have to learn the right way to use your muscles in the movements. Your brain has to “learn” how to move the right way.  With proper instruction (and a lot of practice), your motor control (how well you move) will become second nature, and “programmed in” to your brain, so that you are doing the exercises with the proper safety to make you more fit, stronger, and highly conditioned. Kettlebells is not just “swinging a kettlebell” around.  It’s a form of neuromuscular coordination and a higher level of motor learning. And, you can’t really learn from someone that hasn’t been trained properly themselves, for the reasons I mention.  Again, this is a different type of training.  It’s as simple as that.

A couple of analogies would be the golf club swing.  It’s the same thing.  To swing the golf club like Tiger Woods, who has a flawless swing, your brain has to be “programmed” to fire the muscles in proper sequence, for the most effectiveness.  Look at martial arts, as another example.  It’s another example of neuromuscular learning, as you’re brain has to figure out how to move properly.  How do you learn to get the most out of both of these examples?  Proper instruction and LOTS of practice.

I have come to realize that those teaching kettlebells (without having any training or proper certification) just do not realize how much of a skilled movement kettlebell training really is. The disservice lies in those being taught because they are, unfortunately, NOT receiving the level of instruction and training they should be getting.  Again, it comes down to SAFETY and EFFECTIVENESS.  I realize this article may be a little controversial and cause a bit of a rumble, but it is the truth and I can’t stress the importance of this any more clearly.  It’s that important for you to learn from someone that knows the most effective, safest ways to appropriately train with kettlebells.  And, because I have the years of training experience I do and the background as a physical therapist, I had to make this crystal clear, so that you really understand how important it is.  That’s the most important kettlebell training tip you need to know.

No matter who you learn from, just make sure they have the proper training with kettlebells so the you can train at your best and get the most out of it.  Make sense? Your safety is my concern.  You getting the most out of your training is my concern. Of course, the choice is yours, but know why it’s critical to learn the right way to train with kettlebells and why you must learn from someone who knows how to use them.  It’s getting to be more concerning that more and more people are teaching this with no background training whatsoever.

I really hope this make it clear for you and if I didn’t feel so strongly, of course I would not have written this.  My simple advice would be to go Dragon Door and look at who the certified HKC (HKC is a level 1 certification) or RKC instructors are in your area. Contact them and learn from them, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll learn how to use kettlebells properly.  And, if by chance, you are an instructor reading this, go to the same site and look into getting certified.  Again, you’ll be glad you did and you will much better serve your clients, which is most important.

Oh, and by the way.  The picture I put in this post is a picture of a horrific example of bad form and what you could possibly end up being taught from someone that has NOT had proper instruction.  That picture….is NOT the way to do a kettlebell swing, which is the apparent exercise being taught here.  But, if someone has not had the proper training, how would they know any better?  I rest my case.  My best advice to you is to get QUALIFIED instruction with this, OK?

If you’re serious about kettlebell training, you’ll greatly benefit by learning how to do this the right way!

Hope this helps!  ~Scott


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