people worldwide who suffer from back pain, kettlebell exercises could take you one step closer to back pain relief.
As the name suggests, kettlebells are iron weights shaped like a kettle. Typically, they range from 5 lbs to 50 lbs and are affordable at about $13 for one kettlebell or up to $130 for a set. The idea behind kettlebells is to swing, pull, carry and move with them in order to get a full-body workout. Kettlebells are often coordinated with aerobic power moves that engage your core and shift your weight in dynamic ways.
Kettlebells are distinct from dumbells because of their shape. The handle changes how you’re using the weight and allows you to swing it. These diverse movements are also directly helpful in day-to-day motions. While a dumbbell is a static exercise used to build muscle, a kettlebell uses your whole body for dynamic training.
So, how can this simple exercise equipment help your back pain? We’ll go over the benefits for your back – and your health – below.
What fitness areas do kettlebells work?
Kettlebells work almost all areas, including your core, back, glutes, legs and even your arms. These are key areas that you should focus on in order to take pressure off your lower back. Specifically, kettlebells help your back with these simple exercises:
- Core: squats, lunges, crunches
- Back: deadlifting
- Glutes & legs: lunges, squats
- Arms: single-arm rows, shoulder presses
Through these exercises, and others, kettlebells train flexibility and strength, while also providing high-intensity aerobic exercise.
How do kettlebells help back pain?
Image source: Pexels
Kettlebells are truly unique exercise equipment that can help your back pain in five key ways:
- Direct back pain relief: Studies show that kettlebells can reduce back pain. Experts believe this happens because of the range of flexibility and strength exercises that support the lumbar system.
- Improved posture and alignment: Kettlebell exercises also boost postural muscles and coordination. This kind of improvement can help balance your spine as your muscles build up and your body regains its natural position.
- Increased bone density: Weight-bearing exercises, which are included in kettlebell exercises, are also shown to increase bone density. Bone density is important for building strength throughout your body and increasing endurance and resistance.
- Enhanced core strength: According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, kettlebell exercises can increase core strength by 70%. Core strength is a key component of relieving lower back pain, as it better supports your body weight.
- Injury prevention: Acceleration and deceleration kettlebell exercises are shown to help injury prevention. By exercising with kettlebells, you can improve flexibility and prevent a sharp movement from twisting or overstretching a key muscle group.
How can you avoid kettlebell injuries?
Of course, if you’re just starting kettlebell injuries, you’ll want to take care to avoid injuries. Common problems for beginners include:
- Not having a strong enough base fitness: Make sure you’re starting with a strong base fitness. If you’re not sure you have the right core strength to start moving with a kettlebell, try using it for static exercises until you’re ready.
- Not using the right weight: A kettlebell needs to be heavy enough that it engages your legs, glutes, core and back muscles. At the same time, you can injure yourself if you use weights that are too heavy for your fitness level.
- Not using proper form: Good technique is critical when you’re swinging a kettlebell. We highly recommend that you start with a trainer to understand how to best carry and use a kettlebell.
- Doing too much, too fast: Kettlebell exercises are tough, and you’ll have to build up your endurance and strength. Start with the beginner moves and master the technique before moving on to more advanced maneuvers.
What else should I know about kettlebell exercises?
Kettlebell exercises are excellent to relieve your back pain. However, remember kettlebell involves high-impact exercises and will require you to use full body movements including your knees, hips and back. If you’re back pain is resulting from arthritis or an injury, kettlebells are not for you. These conditions require low-impact exercise programs, such as yoga or Tai Chi, which are also proven to help with back pain. Kettlebell programs are good for those who can handle high-impact exercise in order to resolve back pain.
How else can you prevent back pain?
Image source: Pexels
If you’re looking to get back pain relief, you can also try these prevention tips:
- Exercise daily, including aquatic exercise, yoga and/or Tai Chi: To prevent back pain, you should also be cross-training with low-impact sports. Try aquatic exercise like water aerobics or sign up for a Tai Chi class. These activities will help build your core and postural muscles, while giving you a break from high-intensity exercise.
- Do warm-up and cool-down exercises: Don’t forget to use warm-up exercises to prevent your muscles from tensing up or becoming stiff.
- Pay attention to your posture and sleeping position: You should be sitting, standing and lying down with your body in alignment. Try to avoid slouching and sleeping on your stomach, which can take a toll on your lower back.
- Start an anti-inflammatory diet: Cut the processed foods and start consuming whole foods, including fresh veggies and fruit, fish and nuts, and whole grains.
- Make your workstation back-friendly: If you sit in an office all day, make sure your workspace is helping your posture. Check that your computer screen and keyboard are within easy reach, and sit all the way back in your chair. You can even try a lumbar pillow for maximum comfort!!
Contact a chiropractor near you!
If you’re struggling with back pain, contact a chiropractor near you. A professional chiropractic clinic – like Chiropractor Anchorage – will make necessary adjustments to get your body in alignment. In addition, an expert chiropractic can help you create a back-friendly care plan so that every area of your life is helping relieve your back pain.
Guest post contributed by Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in 1998. He became passionate about being in the chiropractic field after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.