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Kettlebell basics for beginners

At the Kettlebell University by Cavemantraining, we have everything a beginner needs to build him or herself up from scratch and learn how to use a kettlebell efficiently without experiencing an injury. Our first priority is preventing injury. Over the decades we’ve been in the kettlebell business we’ve seen it a lot, people quickly develop a passion for the kettlebell, they enjoy the exercises and workouts, and they keep pushing through the pain thinking it’s just part of it or just ignoring it because they don’t want to lose the gains.
Our strategy focuses on building a person up from scratch and teaching them all the nuances they need to know so they can stay injury-free and train for a long time to come. As a kettlebell beginner, you can choose to invest in your kettlebell journey now or start with the free information provided to you below.


Anatomy of the Kettlebell

Before you learn how to start using a kettlebell you need to know how to refer to the parts of a kettlebell, the anatomy of the kettlebell. A kettlebell has one handle, two corners, two horns, one window, one bell, and one base. These terms are important to know when you start learning how and where to grip the kettlebell.


Anatomy of the Kettlebell


Kettlebell fundamentals

Before you start kettlebell workouts there is a lot that you need to know about kettlebell fundamentals, the basics. For example, kettlebell grips are often neglected but super important and can mean the difference between ripping your hands, bruising your forearms, or an injury-free kettlebell experience. This is why we provide this topic completely free in our ebook Master Kettlebell Grips.


Beginners kettlebell exercises

As a beginner, it’s naturally the best way to start with beginner’s kettlebell exercises as they are easier to learn and provide a foundation for the more advanced exercises. The most common basic kettlebell exercises aren’t always the best ones to teach/learn, in the end, the best exercises to start with will be the ones that are geared toward the current goal of the person wanting to learn kettlebells. Without knowing the goals, we will make assumptions and those will be generic fitness, cardio and strength. In that case, the best beginners kettlebell exercises are:

  1. Kettlebell dead or hang lift
  2. Kettlebell assisted dead clean
  3. Kettlebell assisted hang clean
  4. Kettlebell shoulder press
  5. Kettlebell racked squat
  6. Kettlebell double-arm hip hinge swing
  7. Kettlebell assisted swingclean
  8. Kettlebell swingclean
  9. Kettlebell bent-over row

This is assuming that the person in question has mastered the bodyweight squat and hip hinge, otherwise, those would be a priority.


The most important beginner’s kettlebell exercise

Without a doubt, and also used as the primary exercise to teach in most of our online courses is the assisted dead clean. It teaches you an important movement pattern, hand insertion, and racking. If you would only learn that one, you already have an exercise and transition that can be used to press or front squat. Without being able to clean you can’t press or perform a racked squat. Well, you can, but the transition from groud into racking (cleaning) is usually the part that is cause for injuries when done incorrectly. The assisted dead clean lay such an important foundation to kettlebell training, allows the user to safely bring the kettlebell into racking position, and that’s why this is the most important beginner’s kettlebell exercise to learn.


Getting started with kettlebells

So, the thing to take away from all this is that when you want to get started with kettlebells you want to first invest time into learning about the basics, how to avoid injury, and what best path of progression to take to reach your goals. You have to know what your goals are, if you don’t you will still be ok but know that you are working on generic fitness, which will usually include a bit of this and a bit of that, and that’s ok as long as you are making progress and feel good.


How to work out with kettlebells

Once you are familiar with some basic kettlebell lifts and grips, know how to prevent the most common kettlebell training injuries, only then is it time to do some kettlebell workouts. We have published one full-length follow-along kettlebell workout that includes a lot of technical detail, alternatives, and much more.