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Can Kettlebell Swings Improve Lower Back Issues?

(This is a simple reduction of the recent Kettlebell November 2017 NSCA Journal with recognition to the research performed by Keilman & Hanney et al.)


Having lower back pain designates you into a category that affects millions of American’s lives and is the highest rated reason why workers take days off. Low-back pain can be split between generalized lower back pain (LBP) and specialized (those suffering from degenerative conditions). Those who suffer LBP often do not pursue a positive treatment to strengthen the areas effect (quadratus lumborum (QL) and piriformis muscle (PF)). Avoiding strength training often produces more visits to the physical therapy office or additional days complaining. Most programming for an individual relaying LBP would consist of stabilizing efforts in a prone or supine\position. Recent research by Keilman & Hanney et al offers a different modality: kettlebell swings.



The purpose of the research design was to test if participants (in a kettlebell swing group) saw improvements to their lumbopelvic pressure pain thresholds (PPM). The program they issued looked similar to a tabata format: 8 consecutive rounds of kettle bell swings (KBS) for 20-seconds with a 10-second rest period. Participants in the KBS group saw significant improvements to their PPM across the board. Since no previous research has set stone any groundwork for lumbarpelvic pain relief via KBS, this is an acute research result for the sample size taken and for the age group selected. You would not find that many healthy individuals in their mid-twenties complaining about LBP.



Keilman explains that the motion of the KS makes it an interesting movement to analyze. The force necessary during the eccentric motion (hip flexion initiated first) and concentric motion requires the QL, abdominals, and obliques to be under full control and activation. Not to mention …



Pairing up this movement pattern with a stabilizing exercise across all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse) would help an individual strengthen their lumbo-pelvic hip complex. Other protocols can be added in other than those stabilizing features for more isometric patterns. This all sums in to dictate that this kettlebell movement should be thrown into consideration based upon your fitness level.

My Resurrection

Dreams are thoughts that as an individual you label as either impossible or too far in the distance to reach out for. It’s something that makes you vulnerable and scared. The following was not a dream – not manifested over a period of months or years. It was one moment that made me “click” and gave me the inspiration and energy to make this all possible: my resurrection. Read More