S&S lower back muscle strain with swing.

dadeli

First Post
I have totally enjoyed the S&S workout. I started slowly and have progressed to 16Kg single arm swings 10 x 10 and 5 TGU with each arm x 5 with the same weight. I was just about to invest in a 24 kg bell. However, yesterday on the last set of swings, I felt pain in my lower back. Funny, the previous 97 swings were pain free. I believe I stained my lower back muscles. It was painful to sit, not stand or lay down. It is much better today, not enough to work out, but to sit comfortably with only minimal discomfort I suspect in a day or two the pain will be completely gone. I am wondering what I did wrong. I suspect that my form was off, but I don't know what I did to cause it. I really love the routine and want to get back, but I don't want to hurt myself again. Any ideas?
 

Pavel

Founder and Chairman
Master Certified Instructor
Donald, it can be all sort of things; I would see a chiropractor ASAP to get back to training soon. Heal fast!
 

jca17

Level 3 Valued Member
Could be a back issue, could be as simple as a trigger point in the glute. Get it checked, but you can immediately try rolling your glutes on a tennis ball or lacrosse ball against the wall as you wait for a chance to get to the doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Donald, get that heavier bell. After you are cleared by your doc, start using the 24 for swings, low volume, low rep count, low set count, and perfect form.

Please post a swing video when you are able.

-S-
 

Bryant W

Level 6 Valued Member
Steve, I am curious why one would increase the bell after such an injury. Does using a lighter bell change one's form in some way that it may actually increase the risk of injury?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Bryant, for some people yes, a lighter weight can allow poor form whereas the right weight will enforce good form. When I hear of someone getting injured at the end of session with a light weight, this is one of the thoughts that come to mind. It's easier to know when you're cooked with a moderately heavy weight than it is with a light one, which is why I counsel dialing back the reps, dialing back the sets, and using a proper weight.

I have a personal anecdote on this subject. I was at the first Easy Strength workshop, and we were doing stations with increasingly heavy weights. One of the lifts was the barbell deadlift. Pavel came over to me, very nicely took me aside, and told me that my deadlift form looked pretty terrible. I told him that I never deadlift light weights and didn't really know what to do with them. As soon as we had 225 lbs. (100 kg) on the bar, my form was fine.

I know nothing of the original poster's background but it's been my experience that most adult men shouldn't be doing much in the way of swings with a 16 kg unless they are completely new or recovering from injury. I imagine that, were I starting out S&S today as my introduction to kettlebells, I'd switch to a heavier weight before I ever completed 100 swings. When I got my first kettlebell, I felt like I was thrown all over the room when swinging a 16 kg - but 10 days later, I ordered a 24 kg and never looked back.

The best scenario here, since we're giving Internet advice, would be that the original poster, _after_ he gets cleared by his doctor, posts all the relevant details of his background including his age, height, and weight, and also includes a video of him swinging a kettlebell. Then and only then might we be able to offer practical, specific, and not just general advice.

-S-
 

Bryant W

Level 6 Valued Member
Steve, Thanks kindly for the detailed answer. This was a timely post for me, not due to injury but for other reasons.

Began S&S a few months ago. First 6 weeks or so was just playing with the drills/kettlebell 5-7 times per week, including 10-15 minutes daily for the hinge drills and then low volume swings with the 24 kg bell as per the book. Was recovering fine.

For the past few weeks, I have transitioned to doing the beginner's 5 sets of 10. After a few consecutive days my hips and back start to get pretty tight and mildly/nonspecifically uncomfortable, even if I take 12-15 minutes to do the swings, so I spend a day or two recovering with the warm up, kb deadlifts focusing on form, and light weight or naked get-ups. This seems to be getting somewhat better but still interferes with consistency.

I was just thinking maybe I'm not quite strong enough (won't use the four letter "w" word) for the 24, and was debating switching to a lighter bell and progressing more quickly with the reps (trying to be faithful to the S&S program), versus the Andy Bolton progression in his article on this site. Thanks to your input/experience above, I think I'll progress a la Bolton, try 5 sets of 5 and see how the body recovers, then work my way up in reps and then sets. Come to think of it, "Strongfirst" can probably be loosely translated to mean "strong first", so I think I'll stick with the 24 kg bell to reinforce the strength component and let the reps come.

Thanks again for your response.

By the way Donald, best wishes for a quick recovery.
 
Top Bottom