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sirloin

Level 1 Valued Member
Greetings. First time poster. Have followed Pavel's kettlebell and deadlift programs ever since coming across one of his old RKC dvds 12 years ago and have replaced all of my kettlebells with Strongfirst brand. He's basically changed my life. But purchased the audiobook and kindle versions of Simple & Sinister and have been on the program for a month now, beginning with 16kb and just experienced lower back strain on my left side performing a left one-armed swing, my third set in. This is my 2nd consecutive day after taking a one day break from 5 back-to-back days prior and I was a bit concerned about maybe starting again too soon.

I've never experienced any kettlebell related injury before, the strain was a bit painful but I just finished doing some stretches (yoga like child's pose, cat/cow stretch, supine twist, knee to stretch twist, hip bridges and pelvic tilts) and after putting an ice pack feel a lot better and almost no pain. Any advice on how long I should wait before resuming my next workout would be a blessing. After taking a long break from working out and putting on 25 pounds I am anxious to stay active and super excited about the momentum and results i've experienced in just one month and would hate to wait any longer. I'm 41 and have been doing all circuits of the warm-up and the stretches after. Should I continue once the pain and discomfort goes away completely, a few days or a week after? Resume with a lighter kettlebell? Continue using an ice pack for the next 48 hours? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
 

sirloin

Level 1 Valued Member
I should have mentioned also, I didn't feel fatigued or exhausted and was using proper form and have used this weight when doing the RKC program minimum on and off for a few years, alternating between one-armed and double. Aside from being new to Simple & Sinister the only thing different (that seems silly to have been a reason) is I decided to do this exercise in my boxers instead of my typical workout clothing. So I can't figure out why this would have happened.
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
Two things I always recommend in these cases—Get cleared by a health care provider and get some coaching from a StrongFirst Certified Instructor.

Once you are pain free (although you can continue with the warm-ups and stretches that do not cause any symptoms) video of your swings would be helpful.

Keep in mind that you are returning to training after a layoff and having rest days between sessions and slowly building up the volume may be a good idea.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Welcome, @sirloin !

In addition to Brett's stellar advice, I'd recommend doing kettlebell deadlifts instead of swings to work your way back into it. Any time spent with deadlifts will benefit your swings, and with the movement being slow and controlled it gives you a chance to see if anything adverse is happening in your back or anywhere else. See S&S pg 28 - 33. LOTS of great tips there that will all benefit your swing.

Also, as the book explains, just do "15 minutes of practice" with swings (and same for get-ups) rather than any certain number of reps or sets, until you feel fully competent in both drills. See S&S pg 15-17 (and see me there ;) )
 

Ronzi

Level 5 Valued Member
Sometimes I get these strains in my low back. I notice when I do a pigeon stretch (2:40 mark) I feel the same pathway activated. Perhaps you could incorporate these into your warmup.
 

Ege

Level 6 Valued Member
Great expert advices here nothing to add on. I can only share one mistake I do, perhaps it’s a mistake. While I am practicing a session. If I feel a strange pain or strain, I continue with that day’s practice. Sometimes nothing happens but some of my injuries were not so good including a knee surgery. If you do the same mistake, I believe it is wise to end the session immediately when you see something goes wrong. Best and hope u recover soon.
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Greetings. First time poster. Have followed Pavel's kettlebell and deadlift programs ever since coming across one of his old RKC dvds 12 years ago and have replaced all of my kettlebells with Strongfirst brand. He's basically changed my life. But purchased the audiobook and kindle versions of Simple & Sinister and have been on the program for a month now, beginning with 16kb and just experienced lower back strain on my left side performing a left one-armed swing, my third set in. This is my 2nd consecutive day after taking a one day break from 5 back-to-back days prior and I was a bit concerned about maybe starting again too soon.

I've never experienced any kettlebell related injury before, the strain was a bit painful but I just finished doing some stretches (yoga like child's pose, cat/cow stretch, supine twist, knee to stretch twist, hip bridges and pelvic tilts) and after putting an ice pack feel a lot better and almost no pain. Any advice on how long I should wait before resuming my next workout would be a blessing. After taking a long break from working out and putting on 25 pounds I am anxious to stay active and super excited about the momentum and results i've experienced in just one month and would hate to wait any longer. I'm 41 and have been doing all circuits of the warm-up and the stretches after. Should I continue once the pain and discomfort goes away completely, a few days or a week after? Resume with a lighter kettlebell? Continue using an ice pack for the next 48 hours? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Well, rest and relax. You will be fine. Don't try to make up for everything within a few weeks. Build the habit and don't overdo it.

When I started, I had a lot of setbacks, including strains here and there. Mostly, it was a combination of weakness, form issues, and poor firing patterns of the relevant muscles. So listne to the fine advice given above by Brett Jones, Anna C and others.

For rest & recovery: I find that heat helps much more with strains than anything else. Direct stretching often affects it negatively. If you decide to do stretches, focus on relaxed and deep breathing. Make sure to incorporate the S&S stretches into your general routine and do them relaxed enough to work. They are not part of the "work-out" but of the cool down. Also make sure to shake tension off between sets (fast-and-loose).

For patterning: I like chinese arm swings (that Pavel Macek recommended) for tapping into the reflexive strength of my lower back:

I often do these between sets to relax (fast-and-loose) and to feel how my back muscles start to fire automatically.

Try to find movements that are not affected by your strain and stay active. This is actually important for managing pain and speeding up recovery. Get moving without going into pain. (You might experience light pain while trying to figure this out, but that should be ok if you are mindful. This might even be beneficial for giving your nervous system more data about the pain and what causes it.) Original Strength resets would be a good place to start, if you are familiar with them.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Greetings. First time poster. Have followed Pavel's kettlebell and deadlift programs ever since coming across one of his old RKC dvds 12 years ago and have replaced all of my kettlebells with Strongfirst brand. He's basically changed my life. But purchased the audiobook and kindle versions of Simple & Sinister and have been on the program for a month now, beginning with 16kb and just experienced lower back strain on my left side performing a left one-armed swing, my third set in. This is my 2nd consecutive day after taking a one day break from 5 back-to-back days prior and I was a bit concerned about maybe starting again too soon.

I've never experienced any kettlebell related injury before, the strain was a bit painful but I just finished doing some stretches (yoga like child's pose, cat/cow stretch, supine twist, knee to stretch twist, hip bridges and pelvic tilts) and after putting an ice pack feel a lot better and almost no pain. Any advice on how long I should wait before resuming my next workout would be a blessing. After taking a long break from working out and putting on 25 pounds I am anxious to stay active and super excited about the momentum and results i've experienced in just one month and would hate to wait any longer. I'm 41 and have been doing all circuits of the warm-up and the stretches after. Should I continue once the pain and discomfort goes away completely, a few days or a week after? Resume with a lighter kettlebell? Continue using an ice pack for the next 48 hours? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Pull-ups and/or light farmers if appropriate, and +2 Brett .
Single arm farmers btw, and I've found the below vids helpful.


 
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