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 Let Real Commando Ross Barbour give you the low-down on the good and bad of kettlebell training

Do: Use a kettlebell instead of a dumbbell sometimes

Unlike dumbbells that are balanced through a central pivotal point, kettlebells the centre of gravity in a kettlebell is low and centred in the bell. This adds a unique dimension of force and creates greater gravitational effect.

Don’t: Choose a design with a short handle

Make sure the distance between the handle and bell isn’t too short, as when swinging or lifting, it is likely to land or rest on the back of your hand or even worse, your wrist. I often see beginners scared to swing the weight because the bell lands/rests on the wrong area. This is sometimes due to the wrong design but also poor technique when moving or swinging the weight.

Do: Pick the right starting weight

I find where people tend to go wrong, is in the starting weight they choose. I suggest a good starting weight for a female should be 12Kg and for a male 16Kg. If you can’t lift these sorts of weights, you are missing the point of what kettlebells were designed to activate.

Don’t: Go to easy on yourself

Kettlebells require a high excitation of energy systems and so long as you carry out the movements in a safe manner, try to choose a starting weight that challenges the neural pathways and myo-fascial connective tissue.

Do: Wear the right shoes
Barefoot training or barefoot shoes like FiveFingers are excellent for allowing the proprioceptors to work when training with kettlebells. I also use New Balance minimus as they enable me to feel complete contact with the ground and to switch on the whole body muscular activity when training.


Ross Barbour is the Real Commando, with 25 years military experience and a drive to help others find out what they’re made of. www.realcommandotraining.com.au.


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