Whether you're new to kettlebell training or an experienced weightlifter, injuries can come out of nowhere. The dynamic movements and transfer of power from the lower to upper region of the body can cause serious harm to your feet, ankles and legs if you don't train properly.
If you are experiencing heel pain after kettlebell workouts, these tips will help.
Don't Wear Thick-Soled Running Shoes
Cushioned shoes may benefit you when you're constantly pounding your heel against concrete, but they aren't ideal for lifting as they will hinder your natural movement. Running shoes tend to have a raised heel, which destabilizes your grip. Perform kettlebell exercises with minimalist shoes or while barefoot.
Generate Force With Your Lower Body
Kettlebell exercises are designed to utilize full body movements. Do not put too much strain on your upper region. Making this mistake will not only lead to bad posture, but it will also place excess strain on your lower region when it's "not prepared" for it – this can cause heel pain. Learn how to transfer power from your feet and legs to your upper region while performing dynamic movements. Keep your back straight, squeeze your glutes, and when you're lifting the kettlebell above your waist, imagine "snapping" your tailbone under your hips.
Follow a Viable Movement Progression
When you're kettlebell training, the back is usually the most common area of concern. While you may be using kettlebells for weight loss, you should still follow the correct movement progression. Before you perform highly kinetic exercises – such as kettlebell swings – make sure you've mastered the deadlift and built up your back muscles first. Without adequate back support, you'll place more strain on your feet, ankles and lower leg ligaments.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Ten good quality reps is far better than fifty poor quality reps. Performing any exercise with poor form is a recipe for disaster. Start by completing ten reps of any given exercise with perfect form. While it's tempting to start with the heaviest kettlebell you can lift, the excess weight will significantly increase the likelihood of incurring an injury. Practice the basic movements without any weight while you're learning, and then move on to something light, such as a water bottle, to get used to snapping your hips and balancing properly.
If you ever experience severe pain in your lower region after a kettlebell workout, seek medical aid. Podiatrists, such as those at Dapto Podiatry Clinic, will be able to diagnose problems with your feet, ankles and legs, and provide valuable rehabilitation advice.