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Old 04-25-18, 08:44 AM  
Exercise Diva
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston
Kettlebell Question

I've been increasing my kettlebell workouts lately (for strength and cardio) and adding in Callanetics and Essentrics as time permits. My strength has been improving nicely and I'm able to swing my heavier 22 and 26 lb bells without having to stop as much to catch my breath. I was even thinking of getting into double bells (have a pair of 18s). The increased strength part has been a positive. The negative is that I'm starting to feel pain in my wrist and my shoulder (the shoulder particularly worries me because my upper body has never been an issue for me injury wise and I don't want to start now). I'm thinking of dropping the KB weight back to 18 lbs and keeping to that, even for moves that call for heavier KBs. My question is: Does anyone else keep their KB weight pretty light and have your results been good? It's so easy to get caught up in the heavier is better, especially with KBs. You're almost left believing that you have to start as heavy as you can and progress from there, but I'm not sure that's always the right mindset. I have to say that I haven't noticed much difference, other than strength gains, from lifting heavier bells. Not saying that increased strength isn't important but my physique hasn't changed much from this - for better or worse. Would love to hear from those of you who use KBs on a regular basis. Thanks. Joan
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Old 04-25-18, 09:59 AM  
violingal3
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Colorado
I'm sorry to hear about your wrist and shoulder pain - no advice other than listen to your body, we're not competing with anyone here!

Well, my experience is coming from a very different fitness journey than yours at the moment, but I've taken it down a notch with kb poundage. I have plenty of heavier, more traditional kb workouts, but Brook Benton's Kettlebell Butts & Guts (kind of considered a "kb lite" workout around here I guess) has been a staple in my routine the past 6 months. I'm pregnant and it's been the only low impact cardio/strength workout I've been able to do without modifying a whole lot. Regularly, a 20 lb kb was my go to for this workout, but as my body changes I've dropped to 15 lbs (and even 10 lbs when I feel like it).

For me it's been the consistency and not the poundage (2-4 times a week with this dang workout, I'm getting sick of it, but like I said, it's one of the few workouts I can still do!). I haven't lost strength or muscle definition...upper body is still looking good and honestly my butt and legs probably look better than before my pregnancy just because I've been so consistent with this kb workout.
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Old 04-25-18, 11:29 AM  
Exercise Diva
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston
Thanks Violingal3 and congratulations on your pregnancy! That was what I was hoping to hear. I'll drop the poundage and not worry too much about losing the gains I've made. As I said, I loved the increased strength but it's not worth it if it puts me out of the game altogether.
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Old 04-25-18, 12:49 PM  
aliskina
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Central IL
Skogg has been recommending lighter KB for more cardio effect in his original DVD
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Old 04-25-18, 01:36 PM  
starbelly
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Netherlands
I have dislocated my shoulder in the past (not with kettlebells!) and have hypermobile joints which made work with heavy weights too risky for me to pursue in spite of how enjoyable it can be. Using double kettlebells is one option as is shifting to more metabolic workouts like Lauren Brooks's Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning vol. 1 (she has frequent sales, so don't let the price put you off) or Paul Katami's Kettlebell Kombos. Ilaria's first Atletica (out of print, but likely available somewhere) uses dumbbells, but I have done it with kettlebells.

A study from McMaster University found that lifting lighter weights can be just as effective as heavier weights for strength gains provided that the muscle is fatigued. You could also alternate heavy and light days to minimize joint stress.
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Old 04-26-18, 02:55 PM  
neatski
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Longish-time kettlebell user here- I think I started about 8-10 years ago. I use them multiple times a week, and have 80, 56, 44, 35 and 25 lb bells. My only problem was snatches, so I stopped doing them completely. I'm pretty sure I tore my rotator cuff at one point about 3-4 years ago, and I'm not exactly sure when but I think it was doing snatches. I was very careful about form, but I was using pretty heavy weights to do them and I must have gotten sloppy. It took a long time to heal. I do overhead presses, pushups, Turkish getups, windmills, swings, cleans, all sorts of lower body stuff with the kettlebells in rack or goblet position, etc. and have zero problems now, even with my heavier bells. I think that snatches are the riskiest of the bunch because of the dynamic, overhead nature and I've been able to maintain good fitness/strength/aesthetics/whatever without them. I've never had even the slightest twinge from using the heavy bells for anything else.
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Old 04-27-18, 10:02 AM  
Exercise Diva
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Thanks for the comments and great suggestions. So looks like going lighter for now makes sense, and Neatski, I agree with you about Snatches. I love the power and cardio effect they give, but I find them to be hard on the shoulders as well, though they weren't what started this for me (it was a barre workout with a weighted ball of all things). I have a friend who went through rotator cuff surgery, and I'd like to avoid that if possible. I think I will also start to embrace my paper KB workouts - as much as I love following an instructor, I feel as though I have to keep up with the pace and selected exercises, and with paper workouts I don't feel that pressure. Don't know if anyone else feels this way too.
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Old 04-28-18, 06:32 AM  
macska
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Very long time kbell user here too. I was also getting very ambitious with doing very high reps of heavy long cycles and snatches and as a result tore my rotator cuff and needed surgery. So after that I try to be careful with all overheads. I keep presses light, snatches medium and swings, cleans etc heavy. Be careful, rotator cuff tears are no fun. It gives me enough satisfaction to use heavy only for No overhead moves.
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Old 04-28-18, 06:08 PM  
neatski
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exercise Diva View Post
I think I will also start to embrace my paper KB workouts - as much as I love following an instructor, I feel as though I have to keep up with the pace and selected exercises, and with paper workouts I don't feel that pressure. Don't know if anyone else feels this way too.
100%, I don't do any follow-along kettlebell workouts- paper workouts only. I find I really need to think about my form and let my body dictate the pace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macska View Post
Very long time kbell user here too. I was also getting very ambitious with doing very high reps of heavy long cycles and snatches and as a result tore my rotator cuff and needed surgery. So after that I try to be careful with all overheads. I keep presses light, snatches medium and swings, cleans etc heavy. Be careful, rotator cuff tears are no fun. It gives me enough satisfaction to use heavy only for No overhead moves.
I wanted to just add that I think doing windmills with a medium kettlebell (35 lbs) was very helpful later on in the healing process in rehabbing my shoulder. Building those stabilizers really seemed to help with any residual aching. I also stretch my shoulders dynamically before and after every workout. I am now totally pain free. You can be proactive about your shoulders by doing stabilizing exercises like windmills and Turkish getups.
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Old 04-29-18, 07:18 AM  
macska
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Originally Posted by neatski View Post
100%, I don't do any follow-along kettlebell workouts- paper workouts only. I find I really need to think about my form and let my body dictate the pace.



I wanted to just add that I think doing windmills with a medium kettlebell (35 lbs) was very helpful later on in the healing process in rehabbing my shoulder. Building those stabilizers really seemed to help with any residual aching. I also stretch my shoulders dynamically before and after every workout. I am now totally pain free. You can be proactive about your shoulders by doing stabilizing exercises like windmills and Turkish getups.
I agree. I've also found high pulls and snatches very helpful. Heavy presses and internal rotations the ones I'm very careful with.
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