The Top 5 Reasons Kettlebells Are Good For Your Back

The Top 5 Reasons Kettlebells Are Good For Your Back

How do kettlebell exercises build strong backs?

1. Kettlebell exercises strengthen the glutes.

The late Vladimir Janda, MD, from the Czech Republic observed that people with low back dysfunction often exhibit “gluteal amnesia”.  And if not overcome with proper recruit pattern practice, it is likely to lead to more back problems, since the back has to take over the lifting task of the powerful glutes.  The glutes are strongly emphasized in kettlebell training.

2. Kettlebell exercises stretch the hip flexors.

In Janda’s research, weak glutes were associated with tight hip flexors.  The SFG system Coach Orion teaches is second to none in promoting hip flexor flexibility.  Good kettlebell work will stretch the hip flexors and translate into increased mobility in the rest of your training and life.

3. Kettlebells develop back extensor flexibility

Professor Stuart McGill, PhD, the number-one spine biomechanist in the world, concluded that while lower-back strength surprisingly does not reduce the odds of lower back problems, muscular endurance does.  I dare you to find a better developer of the back extensors’ endurance than the high repetition kettlebell swing or snatch.

4. “Bracing” is superior to “hollowing” for spinal stability

Misinterpreted research has led to the currently popular recommendation to “pull in your navel towards your spine” to protect your back.  Dr.McGill has demonstrated that “bracing” the abdominal wall is the superior technique.  Coach Orion’s system of kettlebell training teaches many innovative techniques to improve your bracing skill.

5. Sensible ballistic loading appears to reduce the odds of arthritis.

Repetitive ballistic loading of kettle bell swings and other quick lifts appears to be highly beneficial to your joints-provided you do not overdue it.  In the book Supertraining, Drs. Yuri Verkoshansky and Mel Siff state, “Joints subjected to heavy impact are relatively free of osteoarthritis in old age and those subjected to much lower loading experience a greater incidence of osteoarthritis and fibrillation…as one progresses up the lower extremity, from the ankle, to the knee, the hip, and finally the to the lumbar spine, so the extent of fibrillation increases at any given age.  It appears that the cartilage of joints subjected to regular impulsive loading with relatively high contact stresses is mechanically much stiffer and better adapted to withstand the exceptional loading of running and jumping than the softer cartilage associated with low loading.  Thus, cartilage subjected to regular repetitive loading remains healthy and copes very well with impulsive loads, whereas cartilage this is heavily loaded infrequently softens…the collagen network loses its cohesion and the cartilage deteriorates.”

To Sum it up, kettlebells are awesome for you.  So use them and use them a lot.  Looking forwards to seeing you in class!

-Coach O

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