There was a time when I thought kettlebells were just a fad. I believed the fitness industry latched on to the implement because it was something new (well, to Westerners at least), and that it would run its course before you could say “stone washed jeans” or “Gangnam style.”

Shows how much I know. Kettlebells are here to stay, and my feelings toward them have changed. Now, I’m not someone who considers himself a “kettlebell guy,” and I won’t claim they trump any other tool out there. But kettlebells do offer advantages that other pieces of equipment can’t. They’re a wonderful teaching tool to groove a proper squat and hip hinge pattern. It’s centre of gravity is constantly changing during the course of an exercise, so your muscles have to work harder to adjust to the shifting weight. You can push, pull, carry, and swing the thing until your heart’s content. And they take up minimal gym space.

However, there’s one major downside to kettlebells: Few people know how to correctly use them. And that goes for many trainers and coaches, too. Unless you have training or certifications reputable kettlebell trainers, chances are your technique is far from flawless.

Even the simple task of picking up and putting down the kettlebell takes practice. I know it sounds silly, but it’s a mistake that a lot of clients, trainers, and coaches make, and it can quickly lead to injury if you’re not careful.

So I want to tackle how to handle the tool when beginning and ending two of the most popular kettlebell exercises: the swing and the Turkish getup. Check out the video below to see proper technique, and use these tips the next time you grab a kettlebell.

Looking for more kettlebell resources? Check out our list of kettlebell articles here