Why the kettlebell swing hurt my back

Why the kettlebell swing hurt my back


Oh no! Here she goes again! Unfortunately, it’s true in this. When your mobility sucks, then you are going to feel it in your back. It’s going to hurt every time you do the kettlebell swing. So in which joints of the body, sits the problem of mobility issues when it comes to kettlebell swings?


When you have tight hip flexors, those muscles will pull your pelvis forward which causes a curve in your lower back. This in turns places pressure on that area of your back and causes pain. If your body isn’t aligned properly, then you are going to experience pain during exercises.

Upper back & shoulders

When you perform the kettlebell swing, you will notice how the swing goes beyond the 90-degree mark over to an almost 180-degree movement which is almost above your head. If your upper back muscles which consist of your shoulders, rhomboids (the muscles between your shoulder blades), tight rotary cuff muscles, traps, lats, and neck, then you will feel pain during this exercise.

Weak muscles

Weak (not so strong) muscles in the back and shoulders, will result in pain as well during the kettlebell swing. When a particular muscle isn’t strong enough for a particular exercise, then you will experience pain because that muscle is being put under pressure. Doing exercises to strengthen the back and shoulders will help in performing a pain-free kettlebell swing.

Try the following

Doing strength training exercises for your back like Supermans, Deadlifts, Upright rows, Low rows, and back extensions can help. Some of these exercises are not advisable for people who have had back surgery recently but then again, you should not be performing a kettlebell swing too soon after back surgery. Another thing that you should remember, is when the abdominal muscles are weak, then the abdominal muscles won’t be able to support the lower back during the exercise which involves swinging a weight from back to front. Get professional help from a movement specialist, personal trainer, or Bio if you do suspect weak muscles which result in pain during exercises.

Proper form

If your form is off during the exercise, then you will also experience pain. Make sure you are standing shoulder width apart with the weight hanging between your legs. Contact your abs, look forward, pull back those shoulders and start moving your hips backwards (hinging). Swing the weight backwards, then drive your hips forward and lift the weight shoulder height. Let the moment bring you back to doing the movement again.

If one of these professionals is too pricey, talk to them. Most of us are lenient in adjusting our prices in order to try and help you.
If you need help, contact me at askfitness@marleenspersonaltraining.co.za

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