Forums General Kettlebell Bruising

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    • #70477
      AvatarAydan Mcmahon

      I’m just wondering what the consensus is around bruises incurred from kettlebells.  I’ve had a qualified coach tell me that my technique is good (I make the occasional mistake and get a bump, but who doesn’t?).  I seem to bruise just from having the bell sit against my wrist, even if I am only doing a simple floor press.  It’s definitely correlated to weight.  If I use the 20# bells, I bruise.  If I use 25#, I BRUISE.  Partially this is because I have enough grip strength to relieve some of the pressure just by gripping the handles of the 20’s, but I can’t really do that effectively with the 25’s.

      My bruises are a raised swollen purple welt over top of the radius bone.  They are ugly for about 3 days, but by day 6-7 you would never have known there was a bruise at all.  I have noticed that, as a rule, I tend to bruise easily from sustained pressure much more than I bruise from casual bumps.
      The local health nurse saw them the day after a class and gave me the hairy eyeball and told me to maybe get my platelets checked, so I am doing that.  I had a blood test for another issue last year, though and my platelets are fine.  I don’t really think it’s going to be significant.

      I also asked my mama, who happens to be a nurse as well, and her opinion was that repeated bruising like that could permanently damage capillaries and cause other issues down the line.

      So my questions:
      Has anyone else encountered this before?  Is it possible that my small frame just can’t hack it?  Should I get padded wrist guards?  Should I give up kettlebells?  Am I mutant?

    • #72786
      AvatarAnonymous

      Yes, your technique may be good with a kettlebell, but there may be room for it to be even better. With your smaller frame these technique deviations may have a bigger impact. You may have a smaller buffer zone.
      Your grip may be too tight which doesn’t allow for the handle to slide so it doesn’t turn over and have impact on your arm.
      For example in the kb snatch when the kb hits eye level you need to loosen the grip so the bell slides as you punch through. You need to set your shoulder position and really open the hip hard.

      You may bruise easier on the arm because the skin is thinner and there is less fat under the skin. There’s less cushioning protection when less fat is present. Some may bruise easier if they are deficient in B12, C, K or floic acid, but these bruise take longer to heal. Some can last as long as a month.

      Is the bruising happening more often than it has occurred in the past?
      If this is the case I would recommend getting it checked out because there could be more happening.

      You could use padded wrist guard that would allow you to continue to use kettlebells within your workouts.
      They are a good element to have in the mix so I wouldn’t just give them up.

    • #72788
      AvatarAydan Mcmahon

      I’m a bit confused about the part where my grip might be too tight?  Can you explain it a bit further?  

      This class was my first opportunity to have someone train me with kettlebells, so I don’t have any prior experience to compare too.  I think the weird part about the bruises is that they happen even if I do moves with no impact at all (e.g. a floor press).  It seems like all I have to do is hold it, and I bruise.  

      The only other comparable bruising (from pressure rather than impact trauma) would be that I always end up with bruised shins if I spend any time on a ladder and lean against the higher steps, but it never swells like the ones on my forearm.  

    • #72801

      Wrist guards rock and will remove bruising from the equation. KB wrist guards aren’t actually padded in the traditional sense though there is some, they actually have a thin sheet of metal that helps to spread out the force. They are inexpensive, best $15 I’ve ever spent.

      I do have problems with too tight a grip when I do KB cleans which causes the KB to hit me with too much force – focus on not having a death grip on the KB handle. I had bruises on top of bruises on my upper arms before I finally understood what my coach was telling me. I am only referring to cleans here, but the same concept applies, don’t have a death grip on the KB.
    • #72797
      AvatarAnonymous

      Having a too tight grip is the same as having a grip that is too tight on a bar.
      It doesn’t allow the handle of the KB or the bar to slide through your grip.
      A grip that is too tight can activate muscles that aren’t involved in the movement. This can causes deviations in the movement patterns.
      If you are bruise across many different sets of circumstances would be beneficial to get it check into.
      It could be an iron deficiency which that when addressed resolves itself.

    • #72854
      AvatarAydan Mcmahon

      Thanks, ladies.  I think I will invest in some guards, and maybe that will help me to relax my grip as well!  Tests are pending.  Hopefully it’s an easy fix!

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