Anyone who starts training with kettlebells has to deal with bruised forearms. That's just about as close to being a fact as it's possible to get. When you start working out and learning the movements, the kettlebell clean and even the snatch cause impact damage to your forearms. It's virtually unavoidable.
Of course, if you grit your teeth and keep training through these beginning stages, you eventually learn how to alter and improve your technique. With experience, you will not bang up your forearms as much as you did when you first started.
But for any kettlebell athlete who uses 36 pound 'bells, bruises are always lurking just around the corner, waiting for that one bad rep or moment of inattention. Even the very best kettlebell athletes in the world can make mistakes. Fatigue spares no man (or woman), and it's at these times when our form suffers and our bodies take a beating.
I never get bruised forearms anymore
I used to work out like a wild man. Intensity was the name of the game. My technique was pretty good, but I still got banged up from time to time. Painful, ugly bruises were the price I had to pay for exercising past the point of comfort and sustainability. In fact, it was a price I was willing to pay, up to a point.
But one day my boss mentioned the bruises on my forearms. What went unsaid was that I needed to find a way to avoid looking like I just lost a fight. It just was not professional to show up for work with black and blue forearms.
Luckily, I took my boss' unspoken advice and made one simple change in my kettlebell training routine. Now, I never get bruises or impact damage. I have not had a kettlebell bruise since I changed my way of working out, and my workouts are actually better and more intense now that I'm not damaging myself during training.
Kettlebell instructors WANT you to stay frustrated
Kettlebell instructors love it when you get bruised up. They use this as a way of making you feel inadequate. They say 'if you learn proper technique, you will not get bruised'.
Everyone makes mistakes. You could clean the bell properly a hundred times in a row, but if you slip up just once, you damage your arm. Are you telling me there is anyone in the world who can be perfect 100 out of 100 times? If so, you're wrong.
Even the best kettlebell athletes – those guys who are household names in the kettlebell community – take precautions against mistakes. And guess what? It's from those guys that I learned how to avoid bruises and take my kettlebell training to a higher level of intensity. Guys like Ivan Denisov, Valery Fedorenko, and Nikolay Jankovsky take these same precautions – and they're champions.
The celebrity instructors who just jumped on the kettlebell bandwagon as recently as a decade ago do not want you to get better. They want to keep you feeling inadequate!
Who says beginners need to suffer bruises and pain just to learn perfect technique? This attitude is ridiculous, but it's held by all the celeb instructors who make money by making their students feel like there's always something more to learn. They take the simple and make it complicated and frightening.
Here's Why My Kettlebells Never Bruise My Forearms – And Why Kettlebell Instructors Wish They Did by Raymond Murray