Since most of my friends think of me as “that girl who works out with those kettle ball things,” I often get questions from people intrigued by the kettlebell phenomenon, asking me for my opinion on a product they saw in an infomercial, on a shopping network, or in their local store.
The problem is, kettlebells have gotten so popular, so quickly, that there are many products developed by people who have absolutely no kettlebell certification or specific training, some of which are promoted by celebrity trainers, giving them an aura of credibility. At best, using these products will get you results that are not as good as you could get with proper training. At worst, they could result in a serious injury.
So then, how do you separate bad products from good? It’s challenging, unless you know what to look for.
- Reputable kettlebell training products are promoted by trainers with kettlebell-specific certifications. Look for the letters RKC, HKC, AKC, or CKT after a trainer’s name. These are the major kettlebell certifications. My preferred certification for ultimate knowhow and credibility is RKC.
- Good products will require you to use appropriate weights for your gender and size. A typical woman will start with a kettlebell that weighs 26.5 pounds, while a typical man will start with a 35-pound kettlebell. Programs that show a woman or man swinging a 10-pound kettlebell should be avoided. (For your reference, my 8 year-old swings an 18-lb kettlebell. She started with a 10-lb last year.)
- Excellent products will point out the limitations of learning to use kettlebells on your own, and will encourage you to seek out in-person training at least once. Products that claim to be the only training you’ll ever need will typically leave you with poor form.
- Dangerous moves are a hallmark of poorly constructed kettlebell programs. Videos that encourage you to swing kettlebells over your head are generally released by people with no clue about how to encourage safe kettlebell use.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, it should help you get a better idea of whether a product is worth your money or not!
Next post – a few of my favorite recommendations for people aspiring to work out with kettlebells.
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