08 July, 2011
One of the newest and most popular trends in fitness is the kettlebell. The kettlebell is a cannonball shaped object with a handle that allows you to combine strength training, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility training to provide a dynamic workout. Those who use it claim that it involves the whole body in a workout, and can help cut down workout times. Whatever its appeal may be to you, you should be aware that improper usage can lead to injury.
To complete a kettlebell workout you are required to lift and swing the cannonball-shaped weight in a series of movements that may put abnormal stress on your body. During a workout pressure is put on the spine and joints in a similar fashion to those forces exerted on the body when lifting free weights. However, the odd shape of the implement in addition to its gripping surface makes the dangers associated with kettlebells higher than those of free weights.
One injury that occurs frequently as a result of over arching the back during overhead kettlebell lifts is hyperlordosis or a pinching and compression of the lower spine explains Dr. Jolie Bookspan. Other injuries such as impingement syndrome or a squeezing of the shoulder bursa, hyperextensions, and dislocations may cause you shoulder pain. Some kettlebell users may also experience tears to the skin of their hands caused by friction generated doing lifts. Contusions as well as pain in the wrist may occur from movements associated with a kettlebell workout.
The entire human skeletal system is held in place by a network of muscles and nerves. Activities such as sitting, standing or exercising with an incorrect posture for long periods of time can cause muscle strain. Muscle strain may lead to frequent neck and or back pain, and is typically a byproduct of the type of excessive exercising which you may encounter during a kettlebell workout. The resulting pain can spread over the body by traveling through your nerves.
Most injuries associated with kettlebells are caused by improper lifting techniques. Properly distancing your feet before attempting a lift and using a neutral spine position can help you avoid the pain that can be induced when lifting a kettlebell with poor form. A neutral position can be achieved by lowering your hips in relation your spine; the movement should be a smooth and natural. This posture does not require you to tighten or clench any muscles and is essentially a voluntary use of your muscles.
If you are improperly informed about kettlebell lifting techniques you may be injured. Seek reputable sources of information before attempting a kettlebell workout. Should you begin to feel pain during a workout stop exercising and seek medical advice. Before beginning any new workout regimen,consult a medical professional.