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Thread: Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

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    Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

    I can't get my neck to remain neutral while doing the kettle bell swing in Phase 2. I've been using a 8 kg kettlebell, but I had to cut it down to 4 kg because of neck strain. 4 kg is way too easy, but I still get a little neck strain. Anybody know why this might be and how I can fix it???

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    Administrator Roland Denzel's Avatar
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    Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

    Can you take a video and post it? Front and side shots would be best.

    It's common for people to scrunch up the shoulders like in a shrug when swinging, which is a problem. Hard to say without seeing it.

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    Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

    Quote Originally Posted by "Roland Denzel":3pap9rm9
    Can you take a video and post it? Front and side shots would be best.

    It's common for people to scrunch up the shoulders like in a shrug when swinging, which is a problem. Hard to say without seeing it.
    I forgot to record from the front, but here's from the side:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LajO9V_9tI

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    Administrator Roland Denzel's Avatar
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    Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

    Have you had neck problems in the past?

    it's not looking too bad, but you're looking all over the place with each swing. It helps most people to think of following the kettlebell with their eyes, rather than looking at the horizon, the wall, etc.

    You don't have to keep your eyes totally focused on the kb, but when you 'follow it' with them, your neck should stay more neutral.

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    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

    what roland said...

    doing towel swings may help groove the form as well. The towel swing is a self correcting movement and that combined with the eye follow may help remove the neck crunch/shrug.

    Also, it does look like you're lifting the bell toward the top. Again the towel swings will show this right away.

  6. #6

    Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

    Sorry for the bump... I found this thread whilst googling for 'neck hurts kettlebell swing'.

    I had seen/heard some coaches saying that at the apex of the swing, at shoulder-height, you should actively stop the moment and almost PUSH the bell back down. Is that correct? Whether correct or not, could that be affecting my neck?

    Weirdly I just got this neck pain after doing the exact same workout I've done about 6 times previously, twice per week: 4 or 5 sets of 20 goblet squats followed by 40 swings with the same weight.

    Previous times I've done it I have not had neck soreness that night or the next day as I did this time around. Hmm.

  7. #7
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Neck hurts during and after kettlebell swings

    There are a few styles of KB swings and nuances to each.

    With the RKC/SFC swing (aka 'Russian' or 'hard style' swing) you "attack the zipper" and aggressively pull the KB down and into the hike position. With the hard style swing you are also keeping the arc shallow. You are not stopping consciously though and the apex of the swing isn't necessarily at the shoulders -- it's wherever the hip extension took the bell.

    To paraphrase Dan John, the hard style swing isn't causing the neck pain... how you're doing the swing is. If you move/whip the neck upward on the hip thrust, or look to the side during the swing, etc. I could see how you can strain the neck. Try and keep the head eyes fixed on a point, follow the bell with your eyes, and don't look down/up. Neck stays neutral.

    Another thing that might help -- you might be fatiguing doing 1x40. Break them up into sets of 10 and then increase to 15 or 20. This gives you some unloading time between sets even if it is just a few seconds and lets you re-root yourself for the next set.

    What happens if you lighten the bell you're using? I could imagine with too heavy a bell you aren't using your lats, your shoulders rotate forward and you put extra strain on your neck and upper back/thorasic.

    The simplest thing to do might be to throw out all this advice and get a session with an SFC/RKC (or AKF, etc or whomever represents the style of swing you want to learn).

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