September 23, 2009
I’m not a Biggest Loser enthusiast. I don’t know why, I just never got into the show. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I don’t always agree with the way they train the contestants, and it makes me cringe to see bad form, unsafe exercises, and overall incompetence on a show that draws millions of viewers each week.
Which brings me to Jillian Michaels and her kettlebell swing. It scares me to think a public figure such as her, who millions look to for exercise advice and follow her programs and routines, would be irresponsible enough to promote a piece of equipment she virtuously knows nothing about. Any kettlebell enthusiast, be it beginner or expert, can tell you the kettlebell exercises she is teaching the contestants this season are not only wrong, but are almost guaranteed to cause pain and injury to some, if not all of those who try them.
Kettlebells are THE thing to use these days. They promote power, strength, functionality, flexibility…I could go on and on. But for a trainer to merely jump on the bandwagon and teach what they call “proper” kettlebell form and exercises to a group of unsuspecting and naive people is dangerous, wrong, and goes against everything a professional trainer stands for.
Yes, Jillian Michaels might call herself an expert. And don’t get me wrong, she is a good trainer…in SOME aspects of the industry. But just because she is a famous exercise professional does not make her an expert in all fields. Kettlebells are a piece of exercise equipment that take a lot of training, dedication, and hard work to master the correct form and technique.
The scary thing is, she apparently is planning on using only kettlebells and body weight exercises to train her clients this season. I can’t believe the show would allow her to do this without any knowledge or proof that she knows what she is doing.
If you would like to see the difference between the right and wrong way to do a kettlebell swing (and this is just one of the exercises Jillian Michaels does so horribly wrong), check out this video posted by Sandy Sommer, a certified Russian Kettlebell Instructor (RKC).
Jillian Michaels, take note. And to all of you out there, a word to the wise. Just because she is famous, just because she trains contestants on the Biggest Loser, and just because she has an exercise DVD does NOT mean she knows what she is doing with kettlebells. If you’re interested in learning correct kettlebell technique, look for someone who is RKC or AOS (Art of Strength) certified.