Kettlebell Swings - Lower Back pain - tipps and questions from me

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Ramdaflare, May 21, 2019.

  1. Ramdaflare

    Ramdaflare Double-Digit Post Count

    I am doing S&S for a few weeks now and have some pain in the lower back, not during the movement, but the day after or when I'm sitting at my desk.

    I can rule out several mistakes because I consider these points:

    1. Straight back
    - in his tutorial video Pavel pushes his hip back (like in a hollow back pushing the butt back...don't know how to describe it), but in several other instructional videos, they mostly just have a straight back - i prefer the straight variation...or did I get something wrong?

    2. Don't drop the kettlbell to low
    - It passes between my legs slightly above the knees

    3. Don't bend your body too early when the kettlbell drops
    - I start bending when the Kettlbell is already close to my legs (if my arms would be clockhands they would both point at 5 o'clock)

    4. Be concentrate and contract your muscles
    - If you're not fully concentrated and forget to work with your muscles, your bones and joints will have to step in. Bad.

    So why does my lower back hurt?

    A. Is there anything you would add to that list? Do I forget something VERY important.
    B. I'm fairly experienced in calisthenics, but maybe it's just overload. It is a new movement for me after all.
    C. Point 1 (Straight back) makes me think a lot, because Pavel really looks like he has a hollow back.
    But then others have a solid straight back.


    Random pictures I googled:
    Safely Applying the American Kettlebell Swing

    BTW, I learned a lot from watching this. Great video. That geezer knows his kb swings:
  2. Glen

    Glen Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Personally looking at Pavel apart from his neck being in extension (not excessive) his holding a fairly 'neutral' spine position. The other examples are still pretty close but IMO not a lot to make a big difference.

    What's your top position like? Are you planking hard at the top? What's occurring with your knees at the top. From personal experience having knee bend at the top creates a situation where the lowerback is more loaded.

    From your description it's hard to determine if your talking general soreness from new workload or its mechanical stress from improper technique.

    Personally I would say post a video and let the qualified ones on here offer critique
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  3. JamesPTA

    JamesPTA Double-Digit Post Count


    with the knees bent at the top position, the back will also tend to hyperextend because the gluts and erector spinae are doing the work that the quads are not doing. Also, how far back are you allowing the bell to swing? I'll agree with @Glen that a video posting would be very beneficial.
    Ramdaflare likes this.
  4. Papa Georgio

    Papa Georgio Triple-Digit Post Count

    It's really hard to say without a video for check. You may want to consider lower back hyperextension in the plank position. I've seen some people hyperextend their lower back and/or lift the bell with their shoulders in a subconscious attempt to raise the bell higher on the top. This will smoke your lower back in the long run.

    The cue here is to focus on the snap to a flat plank. And as soon as you are snapped to plank, all the work is done. The bell should still be traveling up on its own momentum, with your arms relaxed at that point.
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  5. CraigW

    CraigW Double-Digit Post Count

    Does your Swing look like this?
    Ramdaflare likes this.
  6. More than 500 posts

    Back Hyperextension

    As JamesPTA mentioned, you may be hyperextending your lower back with your Kettlebell Swing,

    Back hyperextention also occurs in similar movements like the Deadlift and Back Extensions.

    Lifters tend to throw their head back in order to generate more force during a movement.

    When a lifter throw their head back too far during a movement, they hyperextend their lower back. That is one of the primary reason for low back pain.

    The key to maintaining a neutral spine and avoiding back hyperextension is Neck Packing; tucking your chin into your chest during the movement.

    Packing in the neck | Charlie Weingroff

    This is a great article by Weingroff, Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Certified Athletic Trainer, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, on how to avoid hyperextending your lower back in a movement, via Neck Packing.

    Dr Bret Contreras' video demonstrates how to Neck Pack; to avoid hyperextending your lower back.

    Learning To Neck Pack

    A simply way to learn to tuck your neck into your chest during a movement to bit down on your T-Shirt during the movement. Biting down on your T-Shirt keys you to tuck your neck down into your chest, Neck Packing.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  7. Opiaswing

    Opiaswing Double-Digit Post Count

    Can you gents elaborate on this a bit? When you say bent, do you mean you should be locking your knees out? My knees are slightly prone to hyper extension and I find my knees hurt if I lock them out - especially with as much force is required in a heavy swing.
  8. Glen

    Glen Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    There's a difference between extending the knee and achieving an extended plank position and hyperextending.

    I am meaning a straight limbed position as opposed to a finish position looking more like this

    Resultados da Pesquisa de imagens do Google para
  9. Brett Jones

    Brett Jones StrongFirst Director of Education Staff Member Master Instructor

    Any chance for video of your swing?

    For those with hyperextending knees - focus pulling the kneecaps up not on throwing them back.
    Returning to the DL to dial this in would be good.
    Glen likes this.
  10. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count

    For me lower back pain means something is affecting my hip position. I generally look down stream to find that it's my quads, hamstrings, or calves are really tight. This is what I have figured out for my body. Rarely is back pain due to back it's almost always symptom of tight muscles down stream.
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