Employing safe, sane technique when starting out as a beginner with kettlebells can ensure a lifetime of development and enjoyment with this fantastic training method. Conversely, if you start out with improper, unsafe and foolhardy practices you'll soon find yourself, hurt, disillusioned, and ready to use your kettlebells as overgrown paperweights! Let's look at some of the ways we can avoid the latter scenario and keep you on the road you first envisioned when you decided to take up kettlebells!
The first thing you'll want to consider when beginning training with kettlebells is your workout space. Kettlebells are heavy, unforgiving implements that will do much damage to anything or anybody even slightly fragile around them, so be sure to give yourself plenty of room, preferably outside, on grass or dirt, as long as you make sure your surface is flat and neither to slippery or too sticky. You want to be able to not slip, as well as to perform maneuvers with your feet. Inside on a rubber mat can be good. Never on a wooden gym floor.
Try to wear shoes with flat bottoms or go barefoot, as you want to have your foot in contact with the floor.
Working with kettlebells will almost certainly develop major calluses on your hands, and you need to come up with your own solution to deal with this. If you don't, and simply let nature take it's course, then the resulting tearing off of the callus will give you an unplanned vacation. You know yourself what has worked for you in the past; simply make it a priority to take extremely good care of your hands, paring down the calluses when needed, and treating them with appropriate lotions and creams.
When working with kettlebells and they are about to drop from your grip, let them! Do not attempt to catch your kettlebells, or you'll most certainly regret it. At worst you have a hurt floor, which is a whole lot better than a hurt you! Remember these are heavy iron implements; get the heck out of the way! Rest assured that you will drop them from time to time, but if you make it a hard and fast rule not to try and catch it or otherwise direct it you'll most likely avoid injury.
Many times beginners lose their grip on their kettlebells because they have trained to the point of exhaustion. This is entirely unnecessary. You can get all the benefits you desire without putting your safety in jeopardy.
Some things to remember when training with kettlebells would first include making sure that you use proper form when lifting the kettlebells from the floor. This means to makes sure that you lift with an arched back, not a rounded one, and to endeavor to keep your shoulders back and square. No rounding forward of the shoulders! This keeps the bulk of the work onto the scapula and lats, not the shoulders and neck, where a lot of kettlebell injuries come from. Keeping your shoulders back, or "packed" will result in a better workout posture and allow you to use your maximum strength available when performing the exercises. By rounding and over-extending the shoulders, you open yourself up for the possibility of injury, and ask very small muscles to do the job that larger muscle groups ought to be doing.
Keeping a proper angle in your wrists while performing kettlebell exercises is also extremely important. You wan to keep your wrists very straight, and do not bend them. Besides the obvious strain that bending them puts on your tendons. For most all except a few more advanced kettlebell techniques the wrist is held straight, so practice this as a matter of course, especially for the basic exercises.
Try and keep a balanced position with your head and neck, neither too far forward nor backward. It's best to keep your head aligned with your body, that is, if you are bending over forward, your head will be naturally aligned in that aspect as well, not straining to stay forward and erect. One of the oldest maxims in sports is that where the head goes, the body goes, so make sure not to overdo this by bending too far in any direction. Stay as natural as possible.
Now for a few words about the way you approach your training with the kettlebells. If you are going to take on an exercise program as extreme as kettlebell training, then you may want to give it the priority it deserves. Training with kettlebells is in and of itself an incredibly strenuous activity, and if you hope to combine this with another type of physical activity or sport such as martial arts, then you might do well to do the kettlebell training first, because if you come to this type of activity already fatigued, you stand a good chance of at least not getting what you want out of this, and at worst, hurting yourself. Coming into this type of training tired and unfocused can lead to bad results in many ways. Just don't go there! If you want to invest tie time and energy to train with kettlebells, then make sure to take it seriously and do it right.
Take the time necessary to learn the exercises properly, and to execute them as they are intended to be done. Kettlebell training is very specific, and while this type of exercise gets all the "in between" areas of muscular development, the regimen is still quite uniform, and for good reason. Learn the proper technique for each exercise, and you'll be rewarded with better results and less chance of injury.
Training with kettlebells can not only change your physique, but you whole state of health. Learn to do the basics of kettlebell training right, and you'll find that not only will you progress faster, but you feel better doing so. Make sure to set yourself up to become of the kettlebell success stories!