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  1. #1
    aaepp is offline Junior Member
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    Default Stuart McGill + Pavel

    I was searching online for references to Dr McGill and RKC, and saw a number of threads from 2009 about Pavel and Dr McGill possibly doing some collaborations on books/dvds. Has anything come of that yet?

    Based on material that my wife(a cardiologist) has seen from Dr McGill, she is convinced that KB Swings are bad for the spine. Based on the collaborations that I've found online between Pavel and Dr McGill, I'm sure that is not the case, but am wondering if there are any formal resources. Or is the swing covered in Dr McGill's book already?

    Thanks for any updates.

  2. #2
    postandspread is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaepp View Post
    I was searching online for references to Dr McGill and RKC, and saw a number of threads from 2009 about Pavel and Dr McGill possibly doing some collaborations on books/dvds. Has anything come of that yet?

    Based on material that my wife(a cardiologist) has seen from Dr McGill, she is convinced that KB Swings are bad for the spine. Based on the collaborations that I've found online between Pavel and Dr McGill, I'm sure that is not the case, but am wondering if there are any formal resources. Or is the swing covered in Dr McGill's book already?

    Thanks for any updates.
    Dr. McGill's book Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance (4ed) says this on p.256: "Consider the kettlebell 'swing'... where the emphasis is placed on hip extension. The spine is braced in a neutral posture and quite dynamic hip extension activation can be trained. It is also an exercise in which the entire posterior chain is 'balanced' in all aspects of performance back fitness."

    The caption of fig.11.38 (which shows Pavel doing a swing!) says: "The kettlebell swing is an example of a high-level therapeutic extension exercise as it 'balances' the torque distribution throughout the body linkage."

  3. #3
    forth is offline Senior Member
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    Is the swing bad for the spine? It depends on how you're swinging. The RKC swing is not.

    Also there are plenty of people who think the deadlift is bad for the back, and the squat is bad for the knees, etc.

  4. #4
    Rambodoc is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    With due respect, a cardiologist may not be the best person to comment on this subject. I would even include some orthopods in this group!
    BMI--Fat Loss For Life
    Practising moves (for self-learning) on You Tube: www.youtube.com/thekbdoc

    There is an RKC in every surgeon (like me, as a random example).

  5. #5
    Scotsfan is offline Senior Member
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    If a two handed KB swing is performed correctly, just like the deadlift, it can be a safe exercise in your workout mix.

    However, one handed KB swings create an asymmetrical torque in the lower back. Page 144 of the same book--Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance--indicates caution should be used to avoid the risk of long term/chronic disc issues through repetitive actions that cause torque. I wrote to Dr. McGill to ask about this and he confirmed, yes, asymmetrical torque from one-handed KB swings could, over the long term, possibly cause problems for some individuals. Instead of seeing whether or not I'd be one of those, I quit doing them.

    On a side note, the upper portion of Hindu Push Ups (HPU)/Upward Facing Dog/Dive Bombers can be hazardous to the lower back. Pages 65 - 124 of my copy of Dr. McGill's book also discusses this possible issue -- I know when I did HPUs, my low back would get tweaky from time to time.

  6. #6
    vin
    vin is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsfan View Post
    I wrote to Dr. McGill to ask about this and he confirmed, yes, asymmetrical torque from one-handed KB swings could, over the long term, possibly cause problems for some individuals. Instead of seeing whether or not I'd be one of those, I quit doing them.
    Wouldn't this apply to the snatch as well, and even the clean?

    If I remember correctly, McGill says torque that's both loaded and rapid is the worst scenario, which is the case for all of these movements. If there's a saving grace, maybe it's that the amount of rotation is pretty minimal.

  7. #7
    bwwm is offline Senior Member
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    Keep in mind there is also the issue of static vs dynamic torque. If one is resisting against a torque, that implies potentially less stress on disks, compared to a dynamic torque where one is trying to accelerate or decelerate at the fringes of the ROM.

  8. #8
    rcuff is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsfan View Post
    However, one handed KB swings create an asymmetrical torque in the lower back. Page 144 of the same book--Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance--indicates caution should be used to avoid the risk of long term/chronic disc issues through repetitive actions that cause torque. I wrote to Dr. McGill to ask about this and he confirmed, yes, asymmetrical torque from one-handed KB swings could, over the long term, possibly cause problems for some individuals.
    I would think that would be the case if you always did one-handed swings on one side only, allowing the biasing to that side cumulate. But if you're doing both sides, I would guess that torque that biases discs in one direction would be reversed.

    Similarly, even the rotating plank that McGill uses to teach stability might cause long term issues if you only rotated in one direction.

    But I presume in your exchange with McGill that he understood you'd always be alternating sides with one-handed swings.

  9. #9
    vin
    vin is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcuff View Post
    I would think that would be the case if you always did one-handed swings on one side only, allowing the biasing to that side cumulate. But if you're doing both sides, I would guess that torque that biases discs in one direction would be reversed.
    That would make sense if the problem was caused by imbalance. I could be wrong, but I think it's more based on the friction applied to the disc during rotation.

    Based on his research, McGill says that repeated flexion causes herniation. This doesn't mean that balancing flexion with extension would prevent the problem.

  10. #10
    Scotsfan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by vin View Post
    That would make sense if the problem was caused by imbalance. I could be wrong, but I think it's more based on the friction applied to the disc during rotation.

    Based on his research, McGill says that repeated flexion causes herniation. This doesn't mean that balancing flexion with extension would prevent the problem.
    The problem is, if damage is going to be created, it is going to happen while you are performing the exercise on that specific side, per se. If you are doing right hand swings and your back is vulnerable to injury with that movement from the torque generated by the force of the swing, then, doing the swings with the left arm won't prevent the risk.

    But, it isn't friction so much as the force applied to the bone structure, musculature, etc., "squeezing" the disc.

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