Eliminating back pain & improving posture with kettlebell workouts
The first half of this article covers eliminating lower back pain and the second half covers improving your posture.
Recent statistics in the UK show that eighty percent of people will experience back pain at some stage of their lives. That’s a lot of people. Anyone that has ever suffered from lower back pain will know what a debilitating problem it is. Walking and other every day tasks can become a challenge. Lower back pain can be caused by a number of things but usual the root cause is either muscle weakness or muscle imbalances.
Kettlebells have helped many people overcome lower back pain by correcting these muscle imbalances.
Some of the more prevalent weaknesses and imbalances are:
Weak Abdominal muscles.
Your abdominal muscles, when strong enough, keep your pelvis moving in the correct way during exercise or any other activity. If you have weak abs your hips may be allowed to move too much and end up moving into the wrong positions.
Tight Hip muscles
The hip muscles are used in nearly all movements. The combination of weak abs and tight hip muscles can mean the pelvis ends up out of it’s natural alignment. If these muscles are too tight your abdominal muscles will not be able to work properly. Almost all kettlebell exercises develop your hip and core muscles.
The glutes work with other muscles to move you forward. They are also used when bending. Bending is a common reason why people damage their backs so it is important to keep these muscles strong.
The hamstrings are the tendons at the back of your knee. These are also used in moving you forward and bending so again are very important when eradicating lower back pain.
Obviously it is not just weakness in these muscles that can lead to back pain but they are most often to blame.
The basic kettlebell exercises such as the swing or deadlift are ideal for getting rid of lower back pain. They focus on the weak muscles mentioned above, and over time will balance and strengthen them so that your lower back will be protected. The kettlebell swing involves eighty percent of your muscles. Kettlebell workouts train movements and muscle groups, this leads to strong joints and balanced muscle groups. Unlike typical weight training that trains muscles in isolation you will have a reduced risk of injury and improved functional strength.
Regular kettlebell workouts will loosen and strengthen your hip muscles, strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, core and abs. You will become more flexible as your muscles are trained to work together. As kettlebell exercises give you a full body workout you may find other chronic injuries, such as shoulder pain, will disappear.
You always have to be careful when swinging heavy weights around but if you suffer from back pain you will need to be extra careful to avoid hurting yourself.
Before beginning your new workout routine you should consult the doctor managing your back pain. The second thing you should do is have a certified kettlebell trainer teach you exactly how to perform each movement. You can find an RKC certified instructor near you at dragon door, this is the oldest and one of the most trusted kettlebell certifications.
You should always strive to have perfect form when using kettlebell and before trying a new kettlebell exercise you should perfect the movement without a kettlebell first.
Improve your posture with kettlebell workouts
Nearly everybody would like to improve their posture. While most people realize that poor posture is bad for the back there are other consequences of poor posture that many are not aware of. Incorrect posture stresses your body as it has to struggle to keep you upright, this uses up energy. It also puts stress on different parts of your back that could cause you problems in the long run. One consequence is lower back pain. Poor posture means your body is out of alignment which means compromised digestion, breathing and of course unnecessary stress on joints, tendons and ligaments.
Kettlebells are one of the best tools to use to restore your posture quickly.
When improving your posture there are four main muscle groups to look at:
- Thoracic spine
Most people have tight hip muscles and glutes, usually as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and not enough exercise. Kettlebell workouts, especially the kettlebell swing will loosen these muscles and increase flexibility while strengthening the muscles in a balanced way.
Another problem many people have is that their core muscles (This includes the abs and lower back) are too weak. Kettlebell exercises, especially the kettlebell swing strengthen these muscles so that the lower back is less prone to injury. The surrounding muscles are also strengthened meaning the muscles that should be used when lifting, exercising etc. are stronger.
The thoracic spine includes the lower back area and the area just under the neck. The thoracic spine can become weak and immobile if you lead a mostly sedentary life. This can lead to lower back pain and neck pain
A good exercise for strengthening these muscles is the Turkish get up. You go from lying on the floor to standing while holding thekettlebell over your head and then go back to lying on the floor. This is also a great exercise for strengthening you core muscles.
When performed correctly, the Kettlebell Get Up not only strengthens the core, but also loosens up the thoracic spine and strengthens weak shoulders.
Nearly all kettlebell exercises strengthen your shoulders. This is important because with age your posture gets worse and you become more hunched over. If you aren’t careful it is easy to damage your shoulder, in particular the rotator cuff.
Excess body fat can also contribute to bad posture. Kettlebell workouts, due to the high intensity of the exercises, are perfect for getting rid of a few extra pounds. Kettlebell workouts for fat loss.
Kettlebells, and intelligent kettlebell training, particularly incorporating the Kettlebell Swing and the Kettlebell Get Up into your exercise program will not only improve and restore your posture, but improve your energy, your vitality, and fortify you from the chances of future lower back, neck, and shoulder injuries.
Kettlebell training will improve your posture and flexibility and protect against injury and chronic pains.