Wednesday Training Tip

Check Your Speed on Kettlebell Swings


Kettlebells are here to stay and have many benefits, including improving strength, muscular endurance, and power. However, they have a downside if the exercises are performed improperly.

Kettlebells possess a handle that is attached away from the center of mass of the weight. Compared to dumbbells, this design makes it easier to perform swinging exercises. The problem with these swinging exercises is that when performed too quickly, the momentum can force a person into positions beyond their normal range of motion.

In an article published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, back pain expert Stuart McGill said that kettlebell swings could create high shearing forces (i.e., forces that pry the joints apart) on the L4-L5 vertebrae. As such, learning how to perform these swings correctly and through a comfortable range of motion is essential.  (TSS)

BOTTOM LINE: Swing away with kettlebell exercises but get some instructions to avoid placing harmful stress on the spine.

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