I'm interested in getting my first kettlebell, but I have a few concerns.
I'm female, 107lbs, 20 years old, and have no weight lifting experience or access to classes right now. What size kettlebell should I use? More importantly, is it safe for me to start on my own? I don't want to injure myself.
Any advice would be appreciated. :)
A half-pood (8kilo) 'bell is usually suggested for small folks/women.
More important is learning prober technique. DON'T 'just grab' a kettlebell and try to follow some DVD. Read and/or watch instructional material from
Whatshisname at Chronicles of Strength.
Take the time to know what you are doing before you plunge into anything. All these people, and many others, have simple progressions for learning to swing the kettlebell productively and safely.
While the kettlebell is hard to beat for metabolic conditioning (much more intense than rope-skipping with no impact) Bodyweight work for strength is a very good idea. You can find good progression schemes in 'Convict Conditioning' by Paul Wade and 'Primal Blueprint Fitness' by M. Sisson etc.
A few minutes of strength work followed by 10-20 minutes of kettlebell intervals will do wonders, IF you are patient and careful at the start.
I would personally not start until you can tryout a class at a reputable place. There are too many factors that you can't see by yourself when using a bell because it works so many parts of your body.
Other than that, go light to get a feel for the momentum and don't let the bell drag you down. You're the one in control no matter how light you may think the bell may be when starting off.
Respectfully, if you want to avoid injury, you should avoid swinging heavy things. Whatever your goals for increased strength or fitness, they are more safely attained with a few simple bodyweight exercises.
I think Sam's advice to start with body weight exercises is smart. That said, once you do that and gain some strength...
I think NewEra's advice to start with 15 lbs is also smart. It's light enough to start with (the weight of a four-month-old baby), and heavy enough to actually do some good.
Try them out to see what is best for you. See which weight allows you to relatively comfortably do 10 swings and then go up one size. See if you can swing it 6-8 times. That's the place to start.
It would be best to start with someone who can train you or with bodyweight exercise recommended above. Both to reduce injury and to save money. If you are just starting do fitness, you'll train out of the beginning weight very fast. Save the pricey purchase until later.
I use 5.0 kgs kettlebell, just be careful when u are starting off, its so easy to do too much too soon, i speak from experience, ease yourself into it slowly. You can buy starter dvd's on amazon, they do warm up exercises which is a good idea to prevent injury. Enjoy they are a great workout.
Here's a weight selection video to start.
I use an 8 kg bell but could go higher to 12.
Form is very important but don't let not being near an RKC dissuade you.
For proper swing training, this video is great. Its just about the swing and the proper form for the swing. It changed my technique completely for the better.