Kettlebell One handed swings trapezius pain??

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Frank Matthews

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi, new to the forum. Started s&s around January this year swinging and tgu 16kg. Now on to 32kg for both, tgu i can do in 10 mins, 1 Arm swings around 8 mins at the moment. Very recently seem to have pain in trapezius/top of spine?!!? Any basic form reason for this do any members know of please? I'm pretty sure I'm hitting all the standards but wondered if there are any simple fixes.
 

Mercury

Level 4 Valued Member
Yes, i’ve Recently started feeling this on one handed swings on the 24kg. I’d seen a lot of people swing their loose arm behind them and to the rear on the back swing and bring it close to their chest on the upstream. I found that ignoring this and using my loose hand to shadow my active hand (I.e. as though it was a two handed swing) and applying more full body tension, particularly when doing the plank at the top of the swing, alleviated it.

All the normal caveats about not being an instructor/doctor/whatever apply.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Hi, new to the forum. Started s&s around January this year swinging and tgu 16kg. Now on to 32kg for both, tgu i can do in 10 mins, 1 Arm swings around 8 mins at the moment. Very recently seem to have pain in trapezius/top of spine?!!? Any basic form reason for this do any members know of please? I'm pretty sure I'm hitting all the standards but wondered if there are any simple fixes.
Some thoughts...
  • You say you are pretty sure you are hitting all of the standards. There are standards and then there is form. People can meet the standards with poor form.
  • If you can consult with an SFG you would know for sure on both counts.
  • If you can't meet with an SFG in person, some provide video coaching.
  • You can always post a video here and ask for critiques.
  • If form technique corrections (if needed) don't fix the issue, then maybe consulting with a sports medicine professional would be a possible next step.
 

Frank Matthews

Level 4 Valued Member
Thankyou both. I am not into videoing myself and i live in scotland - no instructors close so not an option. Just wondered if there were any specific form lapses anybody knew of to cause such an affliction! I can still function tbh and will keep on keep oning atm. I shall definitely try the shadow arm swing with more total body tension tomorrow tho. Cheers
 

Bret S.

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Have you read S&S at least 20 times? Every read through I find something I missed. It will save you lots of pain and heartache. I added arm bars to Pavels warm up sequence, doing these before training has never let me down.

I'm paraphrasing here but in the book it states, 'if you get hurt it's your fault, it's either too much, too soon or too sloppy.' Take this to heart or your body will do it for you.

If you're a strength guy but new to KB work there's an adjustment required by the body, which takes time. Back off a bit, be patient and you will succeed.

Patience is a virtue.. one I don't possess enough of. I learned the hard way. Patience my friend...patience (y)
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
Just wondered if there were any specific form lapses anybody knew of to cause such an affliction!

Lots of possibilities, just off the top of my head, most of which are not mutually exclusive:
--Pulling with the arm on the up swing
--Leading with the shoulders (driving the swing by throwing the shoulder up and back instead of by extending the hips)
--Leading with the head on the up swing
--Not getting the arm connected to the torso on the down swing
--Hinging too early
--Dropping the bell too low on the down swing
--Letting the bell pull the shoulder forward on the down swing
--Initiating the forward hip drive too early
--Trying to blast the bell out of the hole too abruptly instead of ramping up the power smoothly to finish the hip drive strong
--Twisting the shoulders on the down swing and untwisting them on the up swing.

Often you can get away with these kinds of things with lighter bells, but not with heavier ones.

if you get hurt it's your fault

I'm not really directing this comment @Bret S, who was quoting the book (Edit: and I agree with his point about patience and discretion helping to avoid a lot of problems), but I really hate this saying. I think it's overly simplistic, unrealistic, and it bothers me to blame/shame someone who is already suffering with an injury.

Wisdom leads to good decisions, but bad decisions lead to wisdom. Sometimes you just don't know any better (and often can't be expected to), and sometimes you're just unlucky. People make mistakes trying to figure it out and, IMO, "It's your fault" just adds insult to injury.
 
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Bret S.

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Started s&s around January this year swinging and tgu 16kg. Now on to 32kg for both

Frank have you owned the previous bell sizes as in meeting the 10 1H swings every 30 seconds for 5 mins. almost any day? If you can do that then move up in weight incrementally as per the book.
You mentioned doing getups @10 in 10 minutes. Are they really hard or relatively easy? Maybe you tweaked the trap or something else doing get-ups?
Everyone is different in how they progress. I was merely cautioning against too much too soon.
Ask me how I know..
I was not trying to shame/blame you and I agree with @Steve W. on the 'injury and insult' possible interpretation of Pavel's words. That wasn't my intent. The context I was after was one of caution and safety. It sounded to me like you weren't injured yet but were/are possibly on that path. Sometimes you need to pump the brakes a little to gain time to figure it out. Being injured and missing training is no fun.

I've become hyper vigilant regarding my own training health. If I feel even the slightest out of the ordinary tweak I stop what I'm doing and move on to something else. Many times for me these little tweaks are a warning and have led to injury on the very next rep.

The S&S book clearly lays out a safe and productive path for you to follow. That's my advice for what it's worth.
 

Robert Noftz

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi, new to the forum. Started s&s around January this year swinging and tgu 16kg. Now on to 32kg for both, tgu i can do in 10 mins, 1 Arm swings around 8 mins at the moment. Very recently seem to have pain in trapezius/top of spine?!!? Any basic form reason for this do any members know of please? I'm pretty sure I'm hitting all the standards but wondered if there are any simple fixes.
Have you worked with an instructor? If it something caused by poor technique they may be able to help.
 

Frank Matthews

Level 4 Valued Member
Thank you all. Slowing down really is possibly the answer but yes, i find get ups easy with 32 in the timeframe. Bret S is correct, it is more muscle pain and not an injury, yet! And i take no offence to anything. Steve W, i will write out and pay attention to all those points in front of me during my next careful session! Cheers
 

Oscar

Level 7 Valued Member
I think most of us agree that training through pain is a bad idea. So if it's painful, either stop or go back to a lighter weight or easier variation.

Have you considered going back to 2 hand swings with the 32 for a while? Or 1 HS with the 24? You could go back to these variations and see if it still hurts, dial your technique and slowly work your way up again (if it doesn't hurt).

You should consider filming yourself, you don't have to upload it here if you don't want, just check it yourself and compare it with a swing video from a SF instructor from youtube
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
I'd say you might shrug the shoulders up during your swings.
+1.
Yes, another possibility, especially if you shrug at the top and then let your shoulder be pulled down and forward on the down swing.

Try to do two-handed swings next few sessions. See how that feels.
Have you considered going back to 2 hand swings
+1.
If you don't have the same problem with two hand swings, that is suggestive that something in your one hand swing technique in dealing with the unilateral load (or just acclimating to the increased load itself) is problematic .

You should consider filming yourself, you don't have to upload it here if you don't want, just check it yourself and compare it with a swing video from a SF instructor from youtube
+1.
Seeing yourself can be very instructive.
 
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Frank Matthews

Level 4 Valued Member
Took yesterday off, woke up this morning still sore so resting today too! (Unheard of for me). Great advice everyone. Thanks. Probably needed to be told. I will back off a bit and do two hand swings and one hands with 24 and continue working to improve my technique. I love the program and want to do it long term, not just keep pushing and eventually injuring myself. Will update later. Out.
 
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