For Back Pain, Try A Kettlebell Workout

January 27, 2012 7:54 am 3 comments

Kettlebells, known as “girya” in their native Russia, are basically cannonballs with handles attached to them, and they’ve been used as long as anyone can remember to train Russian athletes. Now researchers in Denmark have found something else they’re good for: pumping up core muscles so well that back pain is significantly reduced. The New York Times reports on the Danish study, in which 40 middle-aged women with back and shoulder pain were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group trained with kettlebells in 20-minute sessions two to three times a week for eight weeks. The other group was told to exercise, period. The Times reports that the kettlebell group reported less pain and improved strength in the trunk and core muscles, compared with the control group. In fact, the researchers found that the kettlebell workout reduced lower back pain by 57 percent and cut neck and shoulder pain by 46 percent. How did it do that? The researchers noted that Kettlebell workouts strengthen the posterior muscle chain, and the increase blood flow to the back and leg muscles, which may reduce the buildup of lactic acid, and consequently, reduce pain.

3 Comments

  • Sounds like a good way to get back pain to me … when exercising with kettlebells you need a lot of guidance at the start to get it right. Don’t just wander into the gym and start throwing them around on your own.

  • Richard Blair

    Expanding on Scott’s reply, I don’t doubt the benefits of a well structured and instructed kettle-bell program. Comparing the results of kettle-bell exercise to “just exercise” as cited in The Time report is plain nonsense. A “just exercise” directive is almost always the perfect prescription for discomfort, injury and disappointment.

  • Ridiculous. Why should using kettlebells be better than dumbbells or anything else? The article doesn’t even attempt an explanation.

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Fitness Pain Fitness Cuts (Some) Cancer Risk In Half

    Fitness Cuts (Some) Cancer Risk In Half

    First, the numbers: 13,949 men were given a treadmill test to determine cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). During an average 6.5 years, 1,310 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 200 with lung cancer and 181 men with colorectal cancer. Researchers found that men with a high CRF in midlife had a 55 percent lower risk of lung cancer and a 44 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer compared to men with low CRF. And now the bad news: the same association was […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Pain Don’t Get Angry: It’s Bad For Your Health

    Don’t Get Angry: It’s Bad For Your Health

    How bad, exactly, is anger for your health? Let this article in the Wall Street Journal count the ways. The journal reports that anger releases adrenaline and cortisol, which can trigger an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and sugar metabolism. That’s great if you’re being attacked by a saber-toothed tiger, but it’s not so great when you’re sitting in traffic. Long term health effects can include damage to the heart, and increased blood pressure and blood flow can damage the […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Vitamin D May Slow Some Prostate Cancer

    Vitamin D May Slow Some Prostate Cancer

    Over the years, vitamin D has been hailed, and often unhailed, as a cure for several unpleasant conditions. Now comes research from the Medical University of South Carolina suggesting that it can slow the progression of some non-aggressive prostate cancers. Science Daily reports that researchers at the school conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial, which assigned 37 men undergoing elective prostatectomies either to a group that received 4,000 U of vitamin D per day, or to a placebo group that didn’t receive […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Pain Drinking Milk May Stave Off Alzheimer’s

    Drinking Milk May Stave Off Alzheimer’s

    Drinking wine may be good for your heart, but for brain health, you may need another beverage: milk. Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center who asked 60 people about their milk consumption and took scans of their brains are convinced that people who drink a lot of milk have higher levels of glutathione in their brains. Why do we care? Because glutathione could help stave off oxidative stress and the resulting damage caused by reactive chemical compounds produced during the normal […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Pain Cancer Fatigue? Walk It Off

    Cancer Fatigue? Walk It Off

    Can walking, yes just walking, really reduce cancer-related fatigue? Researchers at McGill University think so. A McGill U news release reports on a pilot study that assigned eight-week-long personalized walking exercises to 26 people with advanced cancer. Participants who walked less than 5,000 steps per day were told to increase their daily steps by 10 percent every week, if fatigue remained the same or improved, the number of steps was to be increased.  If the individual’s fatigue level worsened, no increase; […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Pain Energy Drinks Boost Blood Pressure

    Energy Drinks Boost Blood Pressure

    Energy may be good thing, but energy at the price of increased blood pressure? You decide. Science Daily reports that researchers at the Mayo Clinic gave a can of a commercially available energy drink or a placebo drink to 25 healthy young adults, age 19 to 40, then measured changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded before and 30 minutes after energy drink/placebo drink consumption, and were also compared between people who didn’t regularly […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain New Treadmill Test Reveals Life Expectancy

    New Treadmill Test Reveals Life Expectancy

    Who know how long we will live? Apparently, the treadmill does, and running on it for a few minutes can give doctors the numbers they need to predict your future, such as it is. Science Daily reports that after analyzing data from 58,000 heart stress tests, cardiologists at Johns Hopkins have come up with a new algorithm (called FIT) that can gauge long-term death risk in anyone based solely on treadmill exercise performance. Scores on the test ranged from negative 200 to […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Fitness Pain For Post-Exercise Pain, Yes, Mussels

    For Post-Exercise Pain, Yes, Mussels

    No, it’s not just clever wordplay. Researchers at Indiana University have shown that taking a supplement of omega-3 PCSO-524, a marine oil lipid derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, significantly reduces post-exercise muscle damage. An Indiana University news release reports that the researchers tested 32 men who exercise less than three times a week for less than 30 minutes at a time — and randomly gave them either the marine oil supplement or a placebo for 26 days before a muscle-damaging […]

    Read more →