Cruciate ligament and Kettlebell Swings

Discussion in 'Old StrongFirst Forum (Read-Only)' started by shadowboxer, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. shadowboxer

    shadowboxer Second Post

    Hello Pavel or anyone else who can help.

    I recently bought a copy of Simple and Sinister and have been shown the basics of the Swing and Turkish get-up technique by a guy who i believe is now a strongfirst instructor. Despite the training and following the advice in the book i am getting pain in my left knee after each swing session (regardless of whether i use a 12kg or 16kg kettlebell). I did have anterior cruciate ligament surgery after a sports injury about 7 years ago but have had very little trouble with the knee until i began the swings.

    I'm trying to track the toes with my knees but not sure if i'm doing it right. I really want to get going with the programme so any advice will be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. jgruginski

    jgruginski More than 300 posts

    The best advice is find someone who you know is an SFG (StrongFirst Kettlebell instructor) and get your form tuned. The swing is not hard on the knees at all and if you had an ACL repair 7 years ago, either it's been stretched so far (before you started doing the swings since the line of pull of a swing is actually supporting the ACL) that it's not doing its job or you're just doing the swings wrong. Have the ACL checked by an athletic trainer (not personal trainer) or a PT to see the state it's in and then find an SFG. Just out of curiosity, what kind of graft did you get?
  3. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    What Joe said. :)

    The first thing I would do is see your doctor to find out if your ACL is completely OK and cleared for exercise without restrictions.

    I would stick with kettlebell _deadlifts_ instead of swings if those don't cause knee pain. Work up to a moderate volume, e.g., 50 total reps per session, and then revisit swings to see if the problem persists.

    Of course, get instruction in the deadlift before you attempt it.

    You may want to post a video of your kettlebell deadlift or swing here for comment.

  4. Mikeperry

    Mikeperry Triple-Digit Post Count Senior Certified Instructor

    as suggested above, see a medical professional, make sure you are cleared then go see a coach that has dealt with injuries. Someone with FMS experience could help.

    Another thing to consider is swing style. You may need more or less knee flexion to take some of the load off of the ACL

    Between 15-30 degrees of knee flexion is where the most amount of shear force is on the ACL ( hence why partial squats are terrible for it ) so you may need to tweak your technique
  5. shadowboxer

    shadowboxer Second Post

    Thanks Joe, Steve and Mike for the responses. I'll try to get a hold of the strongfirst trainer and check with a medical professional too. I'm just keen to get going so thanks for the suggestion of deadlifts.

    When i received the training for the swings and first started doing them, i didn't have any pain - the pain started a few days later after a long walk.

    Joe - i had the hamstring tendon graft. The surgeon did a pretty good job because i've had very little if any trouble with it, even playing tennis. With the kettlebell swings, i wasn't getting the pain in the ACL area - initially the pain was on the outside of the knee and lately it's been on the inside, perhaps because i over-compensated a bit with the tracking of the toes.

    Thanks again for the advice,
  6. jgruginski

    jgruginski More than 300 posts

    @ Mike,
    Are you thinking that he may be doing more of a squat versus a hinge?
    Billy59 likes this.
  7. Matts

    Matts More than 300 posts

    Squatting rather than a hinging could make sense. If the hamstrings are loaded, as in a proper swing, they should pull the top of the shin into the knee joint, creating stability, without need for any stress on the ACL. The partial squats can cause problems when the quad only is contracting- that can create shear force that pulls on the ACL.
  8. Mikeperry

    Mikeperry Triple-Digit Post Count Senior Certified Instructor

    @ Joe yes, it depends on the knee angle. If he's a bit squatty, that could be it. Nadeem- do you have a video??
  9. B.Hetzler

    B.Hetzler Triple-Digit Post Count

    I'd bet this is a an extension issue - Do you have full and equal knee extension on that knee after the surgery. If you are lacking even a degree or 2 on a ballistic activity like the swing it will cause a problem, regardless of how you are swinging. The swing style won't matter in the presence of an anatomical restriction.
  10. Diesel_tke

    Diesel_tke Second Post

    I had my ACL replaced 2 years ago 08/22. Also has 2/3rds of my Meniscus removed. I can do all manner of swings without pain. If I do squats I get pain. So I would think that maybe you are squatting too much in your swing and may need to try out the hinge portion of the training in the book again to retouch up your technique. That helped me a lot.

    On a side note, since my graft was a patella tendon graft, I can't do any lunge motion without pain. So I am not able to do the TGU, which sucks. I can't even do it without weight without having pain. But I'm full speed ahead on the swing portion of S&S.
  11. RandyParker

    RandyParker Second Post

    You should consult your knee surgeon to ascertain that you have completely recovered from ACL repair. Do not resume your swing session before that.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015

Share This Page