Upper Back Pain After Kettlebell Swings: Causes And Treatments (10 Things To Consider)
Kettlebells are becoming more common at home and the gym due to their huge versatility.
One of the main problems that occur when you first start training with kettlebells is unwanted pain in certain areas of the body, with one of the main areas being the upper back.
In this article, we will look at reasons why this may be and ways in which you can prevent or help with the problem.
Why Do You Get Upper Back Pain After Kettlebell Swings?
Kettlebell swings are a great way to get a full-body workout, but they can also be tough on your back. There are a few reasons that you may start to experience upper back pain after kettlebell swings. If you are new to kettlebell training, then it is likely that your form is not yet perfect. Even if you think you are doing the movement correctly, small changes in your technique can make a big difference. If your upper back starts to hurt during or after kettlebell swings, then check your form and make sure that you are not rounding your back at any point. Another common reason for upper back pain is using too much weight. It is important to start with a light kettlebell and gradually increase the weight. If you still experience pain, consult a doctor or physical therapist to rule out any other underlying issues.
What are kettlebell swings?
Kettlebell swings are a type of exercise that uses a weighted ball with a handle attached. The kettlebell is swung between the legs and then up to shoulder height. This movement can be repeated for a set number of repetitions or for time.
What are the benefits of kettlebell swings?
Kettlebell swings offer a great way to get a full-body workout. The movement works the legs, glutes, core, shoulders, and arms. In addition to being a great cardio workout, kettlebell swings can also help to build strength and muscle.
1. Keep The Spine Neutral And Hinge From Hips
When swinging the kettlebell, it is important to keep the spine neutral and hinge from the hips. This will help to protect your back and avoid upper back pain.
One of the most common mistakes, when people perform a kettlebell swing, is that they don’t hinge with the hips.
This puts extra strain on the lower back (lumbar spine) and can cause quite a bit of lower back pain if not rectified.
The hip hinge is the most important part that people don’t think about, to begin with, and if you master it you will become pain free over time.
If you are finding How can I improve my hip mobility? There are a few things that you can do to improve this.
First, try a simple hip mobilization drill such as the supported leg swing. Second, make sure to stretch your hips regularly.
Third, foam roll your hips and glutes. Fourth, try using a lacrosse ball or tennis ball to massage the muscles around your hips.
Fifth, see a physical therapist or chiropractor if you have any chronic pain or tightness in your hips.
Once you have the hip hinge down, the next thing to focus on is the hip drive. The hip drive is what generates the power in the kettlebell swing.
Think about pushing your hips forward as you swing the kettlebell. This will help to engage your glutes and generate more power.
It is also important to make sure that you are not arching your back during the hip drive. This can put unnecessary strain on your spine and lead to upper back pain.
Finish with the hips
As you swing the kettlebell up, make sure to finish with the hips. This means that your hips should be higher than your shoulders at the top of the swing.
If you find that your upper back is starting to hurt, then check your form and make sure that you are finishing with the hips.
2. The Importance Of Rest
It is important to make sure that you are getting enough rest between sets of kettlebell swings. If you are doing a high-intensity workout, then it is especially important to get enough rest.
Upper back pain can be caused by overtraining and not giving your body enough time to recover. Make sure to listen to your body and get plenty of rest if you are feeling pain.
With any exercise program, you may be more prone to injury if you don’t take enough rest.
Soreness is common when beginning a new workout routine, however, pain is not. If you experience upper back pain during or after your workout, take a break and see how you feel the next day.
If the pain persists, consult a doctor or physical therapist to rule out any other underlying issues.
Taking the correct amount of rest is highly recommended to get the most out of your fitness schedule.
Time to unwind
A warm bath and massage can help stimulate blood flow and relieve any back pain, as well as a massage to help release any knots or tension that might be causing pain.
A warm bath will help to relax the muscles and increase blood flow to the area.
You can also try using a heating pad on the lowest setting for 20-30 minutes at a time.
3. Have You Warmed Up Correctly?
Before you start your workout, it is important to warm up properly. A good warm-up will help to increase your heart rate and loosen up your muscles.
Some simple warm-up exercises could include jumping jacks, a light jog, or a dynamic stretching routine.
Tight muscles are more prone to injury, so it is important to make sure that you are warmed up before your workout so you don’t pull anything.
4. Do you Have Any Previous injuries in the area?
If you have any previous injuries in your upper back, this could be the cause of your pain. It is important to consult a doctor or physical therapist to make sure that your upper back pain is not caused by an old injury.
They will be able to give you specific exercises to help with the problem.
Are you Wearing the Right Shoes?
It is important to make sure that you are wearing shoes that offer good support. This is especially important if you are going to be doing a lot of high-impact exercises like kettlebell swings.
Wearing shoes that don’t offer enough support can lead to pain, not just in the upper back and posterior chain but the entire body.
5. Keep Eye On Those Rounded shoulders
One of the most common causes of upper back pain is rounded shoulders. This happens when the shoulders roll forward and the upper back rounds.
This can happen from sitting at a desk all day or from not having good posture.
To fix this, you need to do upper-back exercises and stretches to open up the chest and strengthen the upper back muscles.
Rounding your shoulders also puts added stress on your shoulder blades, which can lead to pain.
Be sure to keep your shoulders back and down when doing any upper-body exercises.
Anterior pelvic tilt
Another common cause is the anterior pelvic tilt. This happens when the pelvis tilts forward and the lower back rounds.
This can happen from sitting in a chair all day or from weak glutes.
To fix this, you need to do exercises and stretches to strengthen the glutes and open up the hips.
6. Volume And Intensity Of Training
If you are training too much, this could be the cause of your upper back pain. It is important to listen to your body and give it enough time to recover.
Training too often can lead to overtraining, which can lead to injuries.
Make sure that you are giving your body enough rest between workouts so that you can recover properly.
You don’t want to be in a position where you are sore from too much exercise.
If you are training at a high intensity, this could also be the cause of the pain. It is important to make sure that you are not overtraining.
Make sure to listen to your body and take enough rest between sets.
7. Is The Kettlebell Too Heavy?
One of the most common causes of pain when starting kettlebell exercises is too much weight.
If you are using a kettlebell that is too heavy, your form will suffer and you will be more likely to round your shoulders.
Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the amount of weight as you get stronger.
Increasing range of motion and strength
If you are not used to doing kettlebell swings, your upper back might not be strong enough.
Doing too much too soon can lead to pain.
Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the amount of weight as you get stronger.
You should also focus on increasing your range of motion and strength so that your upper back can handle the kettlebell swings.
Use a light weight and focus on going slow at first. As you get stronger, you can increase the weight and speed.
8. Poor Technique And Bad Form
Muscle soreness is expected when doing something new or different, with kettlebells poor technique and bad form can hinder any progress.
Your form is very important, you must use your core muscles and bend forwards by hinging your hips, have a slight bend in the knee, and position your head and neck to look into the horizon and not at the floor.
If you are having trouble with your technique, then it’s well worth seeing a movement specialist or one of the many personal trainers in your area.
9. Tension And Gripping Kettlebell Too Tight
If you are too tense when doing kettlebell swings, this can lead to pain.
Try to relax and flow with the movement. Don’t try to force the kettlebell up, let it swing naturally.
You should also focus on using your hips, not your upper body, to generate the power.
If you are gripping the kettlebell too tight, this can also lead to pain, so try to relax your grip and let the kettlebell swing naturally.
You don’t need to grip it tightly to generate power, holding the kettlebell handle lightly will do.
An important thing to focus on is finishing the last bit of hip extension at the top of the swing.
This will ensure that your glutes are engaged and that you are using your hips to generate power.
If you don’t finish the last bit of hip extension, you will be more likely to round your shoulders and put stress on your upper back.
So, make sure to focus on finishing the last bit of hip extension at the top of the swing.
10. Muscle Imbalances
If you have muscle imbalances, this can lead to pain.
You might have tight upper back muscles and weak glutes.
This can be caused by sitting in a chair all day or by not doing enough exercises that target the glutes.
To fix this, you need to do exercises and stretches that target the upper back and the glutes.
Using kettlebells over time will help rectify any muscle imbalances you have and strengthen in and around the problem area.
If your stabilizer muscles are not firing properly, this can lead to upper back pain.
The stabilizer muscles are the muscles that keep your spine in alignment.
If these muscles are not firing properly, your spine will be out of alignment and this can lead to pain.
If you are finding it too difficult to do swings, then maybe take a break or look at some other exercises to do for a while.
upper back pain after kettlebell swings can be caused by several things.
It is important to focus on using good form, starting with a lighter weight, and increasing your range of motion and strength.
With any kind of fitness, it’s important to start steady and increase the volume, intensity, and weight over a period of time.
Tweaking your technique is crucial when dealing with kettlebells, as the slightest adjustment can make a massive difference.