If you have knee problems, you should strengthen your thighs though exercises in lying positions. Also swimming is very good, it's not typical strength training, but it won't hurt your knees and it is really good training for all the body muscles.
Are you taking a kettlebell class ? If so, I would talk to the instructor to check you for form. If you're knees hurt when you're doing some of the exercises, you may be doing them with incorrect form.
Do you have access to a gym ? If you're not taking a class and doing kettlebells on your own, ask an instructor or PT if they would watch you and correct your form where you need it.
And if you are feeling knee pain during certain exercises, stop doing those exercises. Try another exercise that doesn't hurt your knee. Example, some people find lunges difficult to do. If you can't do lunges, then do squats. If you find it difficult to do squats with kettlebells or another kind of weight, then do body weight squats.
You know the old vaudeville routine ? a man walks up to a doctor and says,"doctor, it hurts when I do this" and the doctor replies,"don't do that". If you feel pain when doing an exercise, check with an instructor or PT to make sure your form is perfect. If they say your form is perfect, but you still have pain, stop doing that exercise. Find a modification that doesn't hurt your knees.
If you love the kettlebell workouts maybe you could adjust... If I am doing an exercise routine and I feel pain from certain moves (or I'm tired or too uncoordinated), I do something else until that part is over.
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