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7 September 2011

Kettlebell Exercises for Lower Back Pain


Lower back pain can hinder a person from performing daily tasks properly and without stress. Certain kettlebell exercises can help alleviate pain in the lower back by assisting posture and improving weak or tight muscles. Perform the kettlebell swing, the kettlebell Turkish get-up and the kettlebell snatch to decrease pain and assist these imbalances.

Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing targets the hamstrings, the glutes and the muscles of the spine. Begin by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Press your hips and glutes back with the kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Grab the kettlebell with a firm grip on both hands and lift it up to the front of your hips. When the kettlebell is at the top of the swing, your knees should be in line with your ankles. As the kettlebell comes down and returns back towards the floor, bend your hips and knees back.

Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up
The kettlebell Turkish get-up targets the muscles of the lower back, shoulders, neck and core. Begin by lying on the floor while holding the kettlebell over your head. By lifting with your abs and not swinging with your legs, slowly rise as you come to a full standing position. Return to lying back on the floor by keeping the kettlebell elevated above your head as you slowly lower yourself down to sitting, but consciously tuck your navel in toward your spine. Sit up tall and do not lean forward or slouch your shoulders.

Kettlebell Snatch

The kettlebell snatch is an explosive movement that elevates the heart rate and requires tall posture to strengthen the muscles of the spine. Begin with your feet turned away from each other slightly wider than hip-width apart. With the kettlebell placed between your legs, grasp it with one hand and lift it above your head using the muscles in your legs while jumping both feet off the ground. Press your chest forward and not down toward the floor to ensure proper posture. Slowly control the kettlebell down as you press your glutes behind you into a squatting position. Repeat this movement with the kettlebell in your opposite hand.


When you begin these exercises, do not focus on how many repetitions you perform. Focus on controlling the kettlebell and having the correct form. Do as many as you feel comfortable to start and after you master the technique you can try to add repetitions. Always bend your knees when lifting the kettlebell off the floor. Always keep your wrists neutral during these exercises. Check with your doctor before you try working with the kettlebell.

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About this Author

Angela Raizis was a writer and editor for the "HMSLS Happenings" newsletter. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Exercise Trainers Association, as well as a certified instructor of Zumba, Drums Alive, Yoga-Pilates Blend and kickboxing. With a Master of Education in physical education from Bowling Green State University, Raizis now serves as the fitness director for a Texas country club.

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