If you have ever suffered from lower back pain, you know that it can be a real pain in
If you have ever suffered from really bad lower back pain, like I have, you know it can be debilitating.
Even the most mundane daily tasks like walking or standing from a chair can be a challenge.
Many times, lower back pain and injury occurs due to a variety of factors, but some
of the major culprits are muscle weaknesses and muscle imbalances.
Kettlebells can help fix those imbalances and weaknesses.
Before we look at how kettlebells can help, let us look at some of the common
weaknesses and imbalances.
1. Weak Abdominals. Your abs, when working properly help keep your pelvis from moving too much or moving into the wrong positions when moving, be
it regular moving or exercising.
2. Tight Hip Flexors. Your hip flexors allow you to walk, run, climb, stand, sit,
lunge, twist, and turn. When these muscles get tight, they pull the pelvis out of its natural alignment. If your abs are weak, this becomes a major problem. Also, it is known that tight hip flexors prevent the abdominals from working correctly.
3. Weak Butt. Yes, the all derriere is designed to help you move forward and
provide a counterbalance when bending. When this muscle is weak in
combination with the others, it can spell disaster for your lower back.
4. Weak Hamstrings. These are the muscles that run down the back of your legs. They also are designed, along with the butt, to move you forward and
provide a counterbalance to your upper body when bending.
There are of course other muscles that can contribute to back pain, but these are
some of the main culprits.
Basic kettlebell exercises such as the Deadlift and the Swing strengthen your weak
areas – your butt, abdominals, and hamstrings. These kettlebell exercises aid in
correcting these muscular imbalances protecting your lower back over the course of
Honestly, most of the kettlebell exercises focus on the hips and core, and when
performed correctly, literally have a magical effect on the body. Not only do tight
hips from years of sitting loosen up and become stronger and more resilient, but it is
not uncommon for old shoulder injuries to disappear as overly‐mobile shoulders
become more stabile.
Of course, before using kettlebells or any exercise program, ESPECIALLY with a
history of lower back pain or lower back injury, you should do two things:
1. Consult your physician in charge of your pain and/or injury.
2. Find a highly skilled, certified kettlebell instructor to show you how to perform each exercise in the safest, most effective manner possible based on your background. (The best are the RKC – Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructors – they are the original kettlebell instructor certification. Find one near you here.)
And finally, once you have met the above two criteria, take your time with your
kettlebell training. Keep the mindset of training – like an athlete trains for an
event, instead of working out. You want to build good movement patterns to get
you out of pain – this takes training.
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