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  1. #1
    swlisson is offline Junior Member
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    Default Spondylolysis & Kettlebells

    I am wondering if anyone has personal experience with spondylolysis & KB training. I have bilateral L5 spondy's and am experiencing back pain after almost all of my KB workouts. After working with a 16 kg bell for almost a year without pain, i moved up to a 24 kg bell in December & I'm having troubles. I have seen a SRKC instructor who has made some changes in my swing & snatch techniques, but I'm still hurting almost daily....not severe pain, but bothersome. I am addicted to KB work-outs so giving them up is not on my radar. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Discouraged....SWL

  2. #2
    Cecilia Tom, RKC is offline Senior Member
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    Pain is often the nervous system's response to perceived threat - so, if moving up to a 24 kg elicits a pain response, I would first try to swing a 20 kg and see how it goes. It's easier for the nervous system to adapt to incremental changes, so it might be too much for you to make the jump from 16 kg to 24 kg, esp. since you have a known issue in your lower back.

    I would also recommend incorporating Z Health dynamic joint mobility into your routine. The drills have an uncanny ability to modulate threat response and reduce pain. Check out the R Phase materials here: Z Health Performance Solutions
    Cecilia Tom, RKC2, CK-FMS, Z Health Level 4, CICS (Indian Clubs)
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  3. #3
    Franz Snideman is offline Senior Member
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    I too have suffered from debilitating low back pain for years (two disc herniations). It took me a couple of years but after learning Pavel's and Stuart McGills Abdominal Bracing technique (which is taught at the RKC certificaiton) cured my problems. I think most lumbar spine issues (including a spondilo) will respond very well to static and dynamic stabilization exercises. You must find what your NEUTRAL spine position is and teach your nervous system how to maintain that lumbar/pelvic position while you train. It takes time, but rest assured you can get better relatively quickly.

    I agree with Cecilia, you probaly need to back off on the weight and the total volume (reps and sets) until your pain is diminished. Your body is obviously not responding well to the 24kg.

    The exercise that really helped me was the Kettlebell Renegade Row and an exercise that I invented call the Kettlebell Prone Bridge. The objective is to keep the pelvis and lumbar spine motionless. It is very tough to master but is absolutely ESSENTIAL to lumbar spine function.

    Check out the link of the video for the KB Prone Bridge that I posted on my blog some time back:

    Lift Kettlebells: Video Player > Kettlebell prone bridge

    Hope that helps!

    E-mail me with any questions. I am rehab a lot of people with low back pain: franzsnideman@earthlink.net

    Best,

    Franz Snideman RKC TL
    Franz Snideman RKC Team Leader

  4. #4
    AndrewR is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not a Dr, but I do have a very good referral plan with a great physio locally. I currently train an ex gymnast who exhibits all the signs of spondylolysis. I had already removed all abdominal work from her program that had spinal flexion in it, and as Franz stated instead used bracing and static holds. She was originally going to have an MRI but the physio said that because the treatment would be the same as what we were doing in training anyway that there was no point in spending the money.

    In just over two months she is now pain free after years of living with it. We concentrated on the basics in her strength program - plank, side bridge, glute bridge. In our PT sessions we started with Z health and Program Minimum. Originally she used an 8kg for the PM, and now uses 24kg for swings and 16kg for TGUs.

  5. #5
    Brad Nelson RKC is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by swlisson View Post
    I am wondering if anyone has personal experience with spondylolysis & KB training. I have bilateral L5 spondy's and am experiencing back pain after almost all of my KB workouts. After working with a 16 kg bell for almost a year without pain, i moved up to a 24 kg bell in December & I'm having troubles. I have seen a SRKC instructor who has made some changes in my swing & snatch techniques, but I'm still hurting almost daily....not severe pain, but bothersome. I am addicted to KB work-outs so giving them up is not on my radar. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Discouraged....SWL

    I have the same thing. Mine's been good now for 4 years but it took me a year or so to build up my low back in a better way with KBs and now Z Health.

    Brad

  6. #6
    MKSchinabeck is offline Member
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    Scott,
    You got the attention of some heavy hitters! Franz is a great guy with a lot of experience. I would take him up on his suggestions and drop him an email. Good luck.

    Matt
    Matt Schinabeck, RKC, CK-FMS
    Northcoastkettlebells

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