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Approachable health tips from the personal trainers of TorqueStrong

Filtering by Tag: Back Pain

How the Kettlebell has made me feel better, pain free and stronger.

Alydia Bryant

There are so many reasons I have loved getting strong. Those reasons come in a very wide variety. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I loved  the physical changes that have occurred in my body as I become stronger. Ive been welcomed into many new communities and friendship through my pursuit of strength. I have felt better and learned to take proper care of myself.  I have grown in confidence over the last few years (Light Years). Strength has taught me discipline and humility. People have many reasons for getting strong. I wish more people would! Being StrongFirst has remarkably changed my life.

When I was younger my back and shoulders always hurt or were tight. I would run miles and feel like my hamstrings could snap at any moment. I would beg my father to rub my shoulders at night. I would pray that my soreness would go away before tomorrow so I could do it all again. I have always been active but it wasn’t until I started learning the Kettlebell that I learned the difference between soreness and “aches and pains.” I hate the phrase “No Pain No Gain” but thats for another day. I will never forget the day I was doing kettlebell snatches for my work out at a local Physical Therapy office where I interned. A women who was a personal trainer watched me and later asked if they hurt my shoulders… I wanted to say if they hurt I wouldn’t have done 100 with 16 kg but It didn’t. You see, sometimes its not the tool that we are using or even the lift that we are performing that causes pain. Rather, its our technique or our programing. We use a phrase in the kettlebell world “Respect the bell” That means finish every rep with integrity. Never go to failure. Technique is important with every single rep. Sometimes this is really hard to practice. We have been trained to think we must “go hard or go home.” But we get better results when we work efficiently rather then on empty.

 There are days when your body needs rest and It fights you as you try to be stronger... That is ok. You should listen to it. If you don't you could end up hurt...and weak. The STRENGTH it takes to say no is more impressive then the desire to continue when your body is telling you no. The  definition of strong: to be able to withstand great force or pressure. I have seen first hand how getting physically stronger has boosted my self and my clients self-efficacy. When you lift a really heavy weight for the first time…a weight that at one point seemed impossible, you feel a sense of pride. It is a sense of pride that caries over into every aspect of your life. We were designed to work. We were designed to accomplish things in life. We were not meant to just sit back and let life get us down. Trials make us stronger. Heavy weight makes us stronger. Being strong enough to go through life makes us better.   

There are so many reasons why you should add strength training to your life. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. You can start very simply but you should consider that whether you are a man or a woman, you begin to lose about 1 percent of your bone and muscle strength every year after your 30s. Strength training has benefits that go well beyond the physical appearance. Your balance and coordination will improve, as will your posture. If you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent. If you have arthritis, strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. Our joints are avascular so movement helps them receive blood flow. Strength training can help post-menopausal women increase their bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures.  Strength training along with other healthy lifestyle changes can help improve glucose control. It will elevate your endorphin levels which will make you feel great and happy. As if that isn’t enough to convince you, strength training has also been shown to be a great antidepressant, to help you sleep better, and to improve your overall quality of life. When you have a higher muscle mass you burn calories during strength training, and your body continues to burn calories after strength training. More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, and in fact strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent. 

So If you are on the fence as to whether or not you should engage in a strength training program I highly advise you to start to day! But warning! If you find more aches and pains…. you have trouble performing daily activities then maybe you need a better programming. Seek out a professional who can help you learn proper techniques and lifting mechanics. As we like to say “you only get one spine…DONT screw it up!” Please don't be afraid of the Kettlebell its not its fault that people have used it incorrectly! Its really a quite beautiful thing and I hope that one day you can love it too!