Since diagnosis, I have been challenged to design my workouts, due to the conflicting advice in research, popular press, and from MDs, PTs, trainers, and friends. I also spin, do long-distance bike riding, and slogging (slow jogging, short distances, 5K max, although my MD did advise up to 10K was OK).
I am respectful and cautious of my diagnosis and know full well that my risk for fracture is higher with OP than without it. I have also learned, however, that the capacity of each person's skeleton to function and bear weight without fracture differs widely even with the same BMD scores.
If I maximize my strength, resistance, and wt bearing work-outs now, my hope is that there will be big payoffs in the future in strength, height (I am 5'11.5", I have lost .25" in height), and fracture free. OP is not easy, there is no rule book that applies specifically to each of us.
Sorting and sifting and decision-making without enough clear evidence is definitely part of the journey. I faithfully use the basic principles for modifying work outs, focus on balance and core and consider carefully each choice I make.
Whatever you end up deciding to do regarding KB's, I wish you well, continued strength, and many good and safe workouts to come. Hi there, As a physical therapist, my question is (I really don't know) how much do these kettle bells weigh and how big are they?
If you have done a certain exercise or activity over several years of time, you can probably safely assume you can continue to do it as long as there are no lifting heavy things suddenly. The rule of thumb for new exercises is gentle at first and gradually increase in either repetitions or weight.
I use lighter weights (between 6k & 10k depending on the exercise) for kettle bells, vary my workouts, but work out 3 or 4 times a week rather than daily. I intend to get a rebounder, but in the interim, am I doing jumping jacks — I did 70 yesterday — as a Pilates instructor told me jumping was good for increasing my bone density.
I do enjoy feeling fit and strong, and it certainly helps to allay my anxiety about having osteoporosis. I discovered recently that I do not have crush fractures in my spine, even though I have osteoporosis at -3.
I was reading an osteoporosis blog yesterday that mentioned chronic dehydration as a risk factor for osteoporosis — as a desert dweller, this is alarming, and adds to my already long list of risk factors. Torah, I feel much more confident now that I know there are no signs of fracture in my spine.
Hi Alexa, No I have not seen kettle bells in action, but I do choral bells, and tone chimes, etc. They are excellent for maintaining and building strength and coordination, as a lot of the movements that can be done with kettle bells are ballistic.
Much less dull than doing weights, and a better result because of the range of movement and whole-body exercise involved. Correct form is important, as is warming up and stretching out properly afterwards.
I would not recommend kettle bells for people with osteoporosis unless they had a comprehensive program from a qualified therapist/instructor, and knew what they were doing. However, I attribute my lack of crush fractures in my spine despite osteoporosis to having done weights training, kettle bells, and dancing for many years.
Well, you are right about having done them early on and acquiring the muscle strength needed at that time. My daughter is certified to teach kettle bell exercises, and I was wondering, can I do them with Osteoporosis of the lower spine?
I am considering embarking on a kettle bells exercise program, to use in the privacy of my own home. Hello — I'm looking for a thorough, compassionate doctor in the Dallas, Texas area whose practice is focused on patients with osteoporosis ... 17 Replies
Osteoporosis exercise guidelines seem to typically recommending only moderate intensity routines. I had a DEXA 4 years ago at 56 yrs and never got the results ... 46 Replies
For the most part, I've always been pretty active and in decent shape ... 24 Replies Lately I have been reading testimonials on several websites that say weighted vests add bone density.
These days, there are a wide range of exercise options for weight-bearing, strengthening, and general fitness routines. In January my Gino's office called to tell me my DEXA scan shows I have osteoporosis and gave me a referral to an endocrinologist, who can't ... 11 Replies
I have hipogonadism (low hormone levels), so I guess I have ... 12 Replies She is walking a couple of kilometers every day, can hike a 1000-meter-high mountain and once a year goes for a longer week-hike with my dad (around 10 kilometers every day).
Seeing an SFG instructor is not an option (She would have had to travel by plane to another part of the country to see one, and she is not willing to do that). Rocking and carries are pretty easy and beneficial, probably also for osteoporosis. All the best for you and your mum!
Strongest Director of Education Master Certified Instructor Quick question was she diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis ? Carries and Dead lifts to set base and progress to swings etc...
Level 6 Valued Member Team Leader Certified Instructor Here is a video of one of our students with osteoporosis pulling a kettle bell dead lift with over her body weight (by quite a bit).
Most of the time she is 32 kg-40kg for her weights. Generally speaking load bearing exercises that work multiple large muscle groups will be the ticket here. KB Dead lift and carries as Brett Jones mentioned above are fantastic.
Brett Jones: We use another word in my mother tongue, but I am quite sure it is Osteoporosis, because her bone structure is loosing strength faster than other women her age, and she has broken hip and fingers due to relatively small falls on the ground. Strongest Director of Education Master Certified Instructor
Andes Understood and since she has had fractures you may want to consult with a Physical Therapist that specializes or has experience with osteoporosis. This article is provided by Dr. Ben Fun, PT, DPT, a licensed Physical Therapist in the state of California.
Dr. Fun’s thesis on kettle bell exercise was presented and published by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2010. Dr. Fun founded Kettle bell and Physio kinetic Fitness” which went on to become a San Diego 2011 “Best Alternative Exercise Studio” finalist in its opening year.
As a Physiotherapist, I have used kettle bells to rehabilitate and promote health in individuals with low back pain, shoulder impingement, ankle sprains, medial knee pain, myocardial infarction, mitral valve replacement, and much more. My first exposure to kettle bells happened at a martial arts seminar in San Diego when one of the instructors lugged out a 53 pound iron-wrecking-ball with a handle fused to the top of it.
He called the object a kettle bell — it looks like a tea kettle and it swings like a church bell. He began a demonstration and spoke on the benefits and martial arts applications of kettle bell exercise.
I had little interest in new trends and was much less inclined to try it out myself — that is, until I saw one of the seminar leaders struggle with the most basic and foundational exercise, the ballistic kettle bell swing. Among the claims was a quick side note on the unique physics of kettle bell exercise.
The cardiovascular aspect was fairly self-evident and scientifically supported 1, 2, however, the clinical applications were not to end there. I quickly realized potential applications of kettle bells to sports and orthopedic rehabilitation.
There are infinite examples of how this is expressed in our daily lives: suitcases, bags, backpacks, shopping carts, door handles, buckets, chairs… the list goes on. Due to gravity, no matter how one lifts a free body object, the point of grip/contact becomes the handle and the remaining mass becomes the big heavy weight at the bottom.
Realizing this concept, the first and most obvious rehab application was that of addressing low back injuries associated with lifting. Physiotherapists treat innumerable amounts of back injures due to poor lifting mechanics.
Part of the rehabilitation process is training a habit of proper lifting mechanics 3, 4. However, to effectively prevent further injury, one must not just train correct biomechanics; one must also strengthen beyond the functional needs via the overloading principles of exercise physiology.
The swing is executed with centrifugal force by the simultaneous extension of the lower extremities, the maintained stable core, retracted scapulae, and a swinging pendulum action of the upper extremities free of forced shoulder flexion. Due to the physics of the kettle bell, training with a kettle bell has good carryover to the many physically similar objects of daily function and makes it an ideal mode of exercise and training for body mechanics.
Additionally, the ballistic kettle bell swing is done in a closed chain stance which offers many functional carryovers, and, protects our joints from shear forces and compression forces seen commonly in open chain gym machines as well as many traditional forms of resistance exercise. The ballistic swing is a dynamic closed chain co-contractive exercise which strengthens the muscles of the knee both anteriorly and posteriorly.
As technique and form are a natural part of kettle bell exercise, proprioceptive training is also garnished for each repetition of the swing to ensure proper squat mechanics at the foot, ankle, knee, and hip. Recent trends of knee health have focused on closed chain strengthening of the Gluteus Medium muscle.
This is done by hooking the contralateral forefoot and dorsiflexion the ankle to create a “grip” under the handle of the kettle bell. The downward force is resisted in the same closed chain eccentrics of which the gluteus medium naturally functions on the stance limb during gait and other functional single stance and transitional weight-bearing activities.
While shoulder health is remarkably complex, many experts agree that there must be a focus on scapular stabilization. As the kettle bell accelerates and decelerates during each swing repetition, the scapular stabilizers must adapt to the changes in demand multi-dimensionally and infinitesimally.
Without scapular stabilization, the upper extremities would protract anteriorly causing instability at the thoracic spine, inability to maintain form of exercise, and result in termination of exercise due to compounding physics. When done correctly, the training effect from the dynamic stability seen in the Ballistic Kettle bell Swing can carry over to a wide array of function surpassing uni-dimensional linear activities.
A recent meta-analysis reinforced the importance of resistance exercises and impact loading to reduce bone loss 9. A prescription of proper intensities, loads, and progressions can bolster a physical defense against osteoporosis.
Restoring, optimizing, and maintaining movement and function are central goals for Physical Therapy and rehabilitation. By using functional movements combined with physics which are natural to our body, kettle bells offer a mode of exercise with rehab applications and restorative qualities limited only by ones ingenuity and willingness to think outside the box.
Fun B, Shore S. Aerobic and Anaerobic Work During Kettle bell Exercise: A Pilot Study. Effectiveness of a back school program in the application of body mechanics principles.
Finn off JT et al. Hip Strength and Knee Pain in High School Runners: A Prospective Study. The effectiveness of scapular stabilization exercise in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome.
Phase V et al. Scapular and rotator cuff muscle activity during arm elevation: A review of normal function and alterations with shoulder impingement. Kettle bell workouts could help decrease stomach fat, build stronger abs, increase circulation, and improve balance.
Still, considering the number of positive effects these workouts pose, it’s difficult to think of a reason not to invest in a kettle bell. Instead of standing in one spot and focusing on only moving your arms or legs, kettle bell exercises encourage plenty of movement.
A full set of these swings can increase your heart rate and help stomach muscles achieve a leaner, well-defined appearance. When this type of exercise is combined with a high-fiber, high-protein diet and plenty of water and rest, it could lead to accelerated fat-burning.
While jogging or running is often lauded as one of the best ways to burn fat, it can put excess strain on your knees and lead to serious heart problems. CrossFit training athlete man working out doing Russian twists abs setup workout with kettle bell heavy weight in outdoor gym.
As mentioned above, kettle bell workouts can help you enjoy leaner, stronger abdominal muscles. Anyone looking to enjoy stronger, leaner abdominal muscles can also practice sit-ups and standing side bends with a kettle bell.
If you consciously tighten your core muscles while working up a sweat, you may experience more dramatic and immediate results. That’s because our muscles require a steady flow of oxygen and fresh blood to remain healthy.
Exercise can help strengthen arterial pathways, ensuring all the major organs and tissues remain healthy. While you may think that our legs and eyes are primarily responsible for our sense of balance, it’s actually our ears that keep us feeling stable and secure.
Kettle bell exercises may not be able to cure an ear infection, but they can promote improved spatial awareness. This can help you feel more grounded while you swing your kettle bell, walk your dog, or cook up dinner.
Tense muscles often push against nearby nerves, causing them to send pain signals to the brain. As if this wasn’t reason enough to begin practicing better posture, there’s also some proof that constant slouching could be making you feel exhausted and fatigued.
Every kettle bell exercise stresses proper posturing, from your foot position to the direction of your inner elbows. By following these directions and guidelines, you can enjoy a straighter spine and healthier back.
If you are struggling to correct your posture or practice kettle bell workouts safely, it may be wise to work out with a personal trainer. This makes it impossible for them to seek the treatment they need or maintain normal blood sugar levels.
While a low-sugar diet can also help some individuals avoid this ailment, exercise is considered one of the best homeopathic answers to diabetes. Kettle bell workouts may help some people maintain their blood sugar levels and weight.
Diabetic individuals may enjoy lower blood sugar levels after exercising thanks to their body’s efficient fuel-burning system. Still, it’s crucial to confer with your physician or medical care provider before changing your treatment plan.
If you’re determined to handle your diabetes without insulin, you’ll need to receive professional medical approval beforehand. It takes time to increase your aerobic performance and endurance, especially if you’re overweight or have a respiratory illness history.
However, kettle bell exercises are a low-impact form of aerobic activity that may help you increase your overall physical endurance. Feeling tired almost immediately Difficulty remaining focused on your task Trouble breathing after only a minute of activity
Kettle bell exercises require a reasonable amount of upper body strength. If you don’t have bustling biceps, you may be able to pace your workouts alongside your muscle recovery times.
For example, a healthy endurance plan involves resting your arms for a period of at least 24 hours after rigorous, muscle-tearing routines. Space is limited, inquire NOW at email@example.com To build stronger muscles, you’ll first need to break them a little, or create microscopic tears.
Even the lightest physical activity can cause our muscles to form microscopic tears along their tissue fibers. Consequently, many people who adopt intense kettle bell workouts experience equally dramatic arm and shoulder discomfort during the first few weeks of their new routine.
The next time you experience delayed muscle soreness after a workout, just remember that your body only aches because it’s improving and healing itself. However, giving up on regular exercise will only contribute to weaker muscles that tear more easily and more often.
Ditching your workout routine may also greatly increase your risk of developing heart disease and muscle atrophy. Nearly every form of exercise can help reduce your risk of developing a wide variety of diseases, conditions, and ailments.
Every major organ and biological system in your body relies on proper blood flow. Excellent preventative care could mean the difference between a long and healthy life and a brief-yet-painful existence.
Committing to kettle bell exercises could help you enjoy improved joint mobility well into your retirement. Working a desk job might be more comfortable than laboring out in the sun all day, but it can have equally disastrous consequences on your health.
While day laborers are prone to environmental dangers, white-collar workers are at risk of losing their ability to walk, stand, and move about comfortably. Along with yoga, this form of exercise can help improve circulation and reduce pressure on vital joints.
Before beginning a kettle bell routine, you may want to spend approximately fifteen minutes stretching, breathing, and mentally preparing for your workout. Free weight exercises can be fantastic for muscle-builders, but less effective at building lean, attractive muscle.
This might work well for hyper-masculine personalities looking for that buff appearance, but it’s not well-suited to those in search of lean, fit bodies. Adopting a kettle bell into your weightlifting routine can help you burn unwanted body fat without causing your biceps to inflate to Popeye proportions.
Because the majority of kettle bells come in 5lb, 10lb, and 15lb varieties, you’ll likely always find one that suits your body type and current strength level. The irony of this situation is that physical activity often releases feel- good hormones throughout your body.
Lingering in a state of sedentary sadness is a dangerous cycle that might be broken with daily exercise. Performing a handful of kettle bell workouts is a great way to improve your mood.
Like those involving special tools or equipment, complex workouts tend to affect your cognitive ability and mood more significantly than standard aerobic exercises. So, while many runners describe the sensation of ‘being high’ thanks to a flood of dopamine, kettle bell exercises may be far more potent.
Sitting for long periods and generally remaining stationary and sedentary can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Exercise lowers your cardiovascular risks while boosting your body’s ability to distribute natural mood enhancers, like dopamine.
This lack of hormones is often the culprit behind menopause symptoms, including vaginal dryness. Older women who fail to supplement their diet with calcium-rich foods or estrogenic snacks have a much higher chance of breaking a bone.
Adopting a daily exercise routine sooner rather than later, may help prevent osteoporosis. A similar amount has also risked their circulatory health and joint mobility while using their computer’s keyboard and mouse.
With time, this simple action can result in healthier, stronger arteries in the arms, wrists, and hands. Individuals looking for the ideal wrist workout may want to try kettle bell exercises before seeking extreme surgical solutions.
The increase in oxygen-rich blood flowing throughout your body bodes well for your mental acuity and cognition. With every drop of sweat that pours from your body, your brain will be rejoicing in its sudden bath of oxygenated blood.
Many of the most productive individuals start their day with thirty minutes of moderate exercise for this reason. Using a kettle bell helps your muscles grow stronger and leaner, but it also counts as aerobic exercise.
Anyone seeking to enjoy a wide variety of workouts with the help of a single tool may want to invest in a kettle bell. That’s because kettle bell workouts provide an optimal combination of strength training and aerobic exercise.
This results in increased fat burning capabilities that range from tighter abs and leaner arms to stronger shoulders and perkier butt. Consequently, a rigorous kettle bell routine can replace your typical gym workout.
Cutting down on refined sugars and carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water can help your body process your burned fat more effectively. Closeup face of determined girl doing squat session while holding kettle bell and training biceps.
Maintaining or creating a healthy body image begins with recognizing negative self-image issues. Once individuals consciously recognize their frustration, they can decide to change their habits or thinking patterns to improve their self-esteem and appearance.
Because kettle bell exercises work out the entire body, they’re a convenient option that is well-suited to avoid costly gym memberships and home equipment investments. While you may not immediately shed dozens of pounds after completing a kettle bell workout, you’re bound to enjoy a sense of self-satisfaction.
By consciously doing your best to stay fit and healthy, you may experience an instantaneous feeling of relief, confidence, and well-being. Perhaps the greatest benefit of kettle bell workouts is the potential to enjoy a longer and healthier life.
Drinking plenty of water, getting several hours of sleep each night, and enjoying a nutrient-dense diet are all excellent complements of kettle bell exercises. While a person’s genetics influences their risks of developing certain conditions and may be partially responsible for setting an ‘expiration date’ within our cells, proper exercise, diet, and rest could potentially add several years to your life.
As such, including kettle bell workouts in your daily routine may certainly be worth the time, energy, and effort. Incorporating a kettle bell into your workout routine could help you burn stomach fat, increase your ab strength, and improve circulation and balance.
Kettle bell workouts may also help you achieve better posture, aerobic endurance, joint mobility, and flexibility. Not only could regular workouts lower stress levels and decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis, but they could also help you focus more effectively.
With over 15 years of experience in this great city, our handpicked Corporate Chair Massage Team is the BEST in NYC! Commitment, compassion, connection, and charity are the pillars of our company. Your corporate / event planner will often make an appearance at your office to ensure things are running smoothly.
MEDICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER This website may discuss topics related to health, fitness, nutrition or medicine. Richard A. Lehman, Let, CSS, owner and CEO of Compliment Your Body, LLC has over fifteen years of experience in the health and wellness field.
During his career he has worked in a multitude of settings, including spas, chiropractic offices, and on the field at Iron Man competitions. Link to The Proton Fasting Mimicking Diet Review link to 11 Best Types of Massage for Tennis Elbow
With the number of women involved in lifting weights steadily rising in recent years, however, more studies are popping up discussing the effects of exercise protocols on women. One such study done on women and exercise was done by a group of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in 2015. The researchers shared a curiosity about how women’s bodies react to different types of exercise.
The research group studied the efficacy rates of different activities included in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) using kettle bell and free-weights. The takeaway message of the research is that increasing anaerobic power capacity through lifting kettle bells is a good thing for your muscular health.
Even if power and speed aren’t your goals, you’ll feel better during your workouts and recover much faster post-workout. Besides increasing your anaerobic capacity, load-bearing exercise such as kettle bell lifting is especially important for women to avoid suffering the effects of osteoporosis.
As women age and go through menopause, levels of estrogen decline, which results in loss of bone density, called osteoporosis. Instead of spending hours in the gym doing the same boring split-body routine, you can learn new movements that challenge your entire body and mind — which makes working out more fun!
While there is definitely a learning curve to getting started with kettle bells, your body will quickly gain the strength and endurance to make the challenge worth it. These cannonball-shaped weights, with a handle that requires you to work to manipulate its off-center mass, encourages balance in older exercisers just when they most need it.
Best of all, both men and women can counter the loss of muscle mass associated with aging with a strength-training modality that also provides impressive cardio benefits compared with barbells and dumbbells. In addition, “know your limitations; if you have chronic back pain, you’re not going to perform the swings,” states New York-based kettle bell trainer Lorna Seaman.
“Incorporate movements that enhance specific ranges of motion -- such as the halo, presses or rows,” Seaman recommends. First master a modified squat that entails holding the bell in your hands while sitting and standing from a chair, Seaman suggests.
“If you can perform a squat -- it doesn’t have to be deep -- and have the ability to hold a dumbbell with a straight arm in the overhead position, then begin larger movements such as gentle swings, push presses with the use of legs or high pulls,” she says. These moves help build lean muscle and maintain bone strength, endurance and balance as well as reaction time, she notes.
A lot of people are under the impression that the use of kettle bells are some gimmicky fad that burst on the fitness scene within the last decade or so. The benefits of Kettle bell Training are backed by valid science & extensive studies conducted in the exercise industry along with many hours of practical application experience.
While referencing all this science and studies lends credence to the effectiveness of using kettle bells, I only need to trust my own experiences with these amazing implements and the great results I have gotten myself and for those who have practiced with them under my guidance. A supreme benefit to Training with kettle bells is that they elevate the heart rate and work many major muscle groups at the same time.
Plus you will build lean muscle and turn your body into a calorie burning, fat eradicating machine while at rest experiencing this incredible metabolic effect many hours after the workout! If you are going to put forth the time and energy to work out, why not choose a program where you can get great back- end benefits like this for your up- front efforts?
If you were to read no further, just that reason alone would be enough to position most people for success in their quest for their ideal body composition. Unfortunately, that hack trainer over at the 24-hour super-duper mega techno gym considers throwing you on a treadmill like some mindless hamster followed by doing some curls and crunches a total body workout.
Spare yourself the disappointment and frustration of participating in thoughtless and ineffective workouts like this if you really want to improve your fitness. Many of my reasons I state in this article for why I use a kettle bell in my training also cover what a total body workout should consist of.
Hopefully, you realize that our stay on this planet is finite and that we don’t have a lot of time to waste doing unproductive things. I train with kettle bells because they allow me to design safe, brief, sustainable workouts to experience Maximum Fitness in Minimal Time leading to Stellar Results.
Everybody talks about the ‘core” and all of its virtues, but really never train it too productively from what I see while walking around gyms in different cities I visit. Rarely do I witness worthwhile or meaningful efforts to train the core besides people throwing together some type of crunch or setup routine they have etched in their brains from somewhere in time.
Many kettle bell exercises will give you a metabolic effect similar to sprinting, BUT without beating the hell out of your knees, ankles or joints. The challenge is to pursue a fitness program consisting of exercises that will not only give you a productive workout, but promote an existence of rich, pain free movement as well.
High-repetition kettle bell exercises, such as swings and their variations really get your heart rate up and push the limits of your cardiovascular endurance. Kettle bell exercises push your muscles, especially those in your core, to keep working repeatedly for long periods of time.
This builds muscular endurance, which helps maintain posture and form in your workouts as well as throughout everyday life activities. Good posture prevents injuries, unhealthy muscle tension, and other aches and pains we all seem to have accumulated to varying degrees over our lifetime.
The good news is that you can get incredible fitness and health results with just 2-3 short kettle bell workouts per week in conjunction with a well-designed program. I loved the fact that I could get in a challenging and fun kettle bell workout that literally addressed every fitness goal I valued with a minimal time investment that yielded maximum results.
This really uncomplicated my routine, freed up more time to devote to other responsibilities/leisurely pursuits and boosted my fitness and health to levels that surpassed my expectations. This is very true if you define quality as moving better and pain free, performing daily tasks more efficiently and confidently, enjoying new levels of activity and finally achieving that ideal lean, tight and strong body worth bragging to the heavens about!
I’m convinced that sound, thoughtful and challenging physical training in general does wonders for your mental well-being and will contribute to a positive outlook on life. Furthermore, kettle bell exercises are extremely efficient at building lean muscle mass, which elevates the metabolism and helps maintain a healthy body weight long term.
Kettle bell training will help you forge your ideal body without wasting a lot of unproductive time in the gym. If you value a physique that looks as good as it moves and will get you excited about parading around in a bikini or bathing suit again then the kettle bell is the fitness ally you should partner up with.
Whether it is building muscle, losing fat, improving coordination, conditioning, increased joint mobility or just trying to perform better — kettle bell training can get you to your fitness goals. Thoughtfully programmed variety is beneficial because it keeps the body challenged, which helps avoid training plateaus.
Add new exercises only if you can justify its purpose in furthering your training goals, it’s safe and you can perform them competently. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced trainees will all be challenged since there are so many exercise regressions and progressions that can be applied in a kettle bell training program to keep all levels engaged and moving forward with their goals.
If you can’t move well and with a requisite amount of strength, then your quality of life and performance of your everyday activities will suffer. Heed my warning and train in such a way where you will promote and preserve your joint mobility and pain free movement quality.
Renowned coach Steve Maxwell stated that in his many years of teaching fitness worldwide, he has never had a client tell him that they wished they had done more bench presses over their lifetime. Instead, they all overwhelmingly regret not practicing and staying connected to exercises that improved their movement quality in order to live an active pain free life.
This is a great warning that I wished I would have heeded in my younger training days, but fortunately it is rarely too late to improve your movement quality if you have the desire to take action and practice meaningful exercises. I absolutely love the comradery of training with others in the mutual achievement of fitness goals as I am the consummate social animal and am not the grim guy with the ear buds training in the corner of the gym screaming to the heavens on every cheat rep with a perpetual scowl on my face.
But, let’s put some perspective to this — Kettle bells won’t cure cancer, give you superpowers, suddenly make people leap from their wheelchairs and spontaneously River dance or bring about world peace anytime soon. While kettle bells play a huge part in the programs I design, they are by no means the be all and end all fitness modalities.
But if you want to torch the fat, increase mobility, get lean & strong, develop killer legs, tighten your butt & perform better physically and live a life of active vitality and longevity, then a well-designed kettle bell based program may be for you. If you like the fitness benefits you can experience from training with kettle bells, then take action and dare to transform your body and your quality of life.
Grab a friend, spouse or loved one or go it alone and give kettle bell training a shot if you want to experience meaningful results, achieve that ideal body and even have some fun and excitement. Many gyms and health clubs wanting to jump on the kettle bell bandwagon and cash in on their dynamic reputation and “cool” status for propelling one to their fitness goals will make the knee-jerk decision to add them to their facility with little thought as to their proper use or how to integrate them safely into their master plan if they have one at all.
I have been to more facilities than I care to remember that will just let trainees and trainers do all kinds of unsafe movements and buffoonery with a kettle bell ranging from truly cringe worthy technique to using the kettle bell to gang dance around in some kind of disjointed routine of meaningless expenditures of energy. I couldn’t take my eyes off of this ridiculous and unsafe performance — much like one does when they are about to witness a car crash or train wreck.
When confronted with attitude and logic such as this, I usually politely excuse myself quickly as dealing with clueless characters like these types is pointless. People get hurt when they don’t take the time to learn safe, sustainable technique or take instruction from inept, unqualified, unprepared instructors who do you, me, the kettle bell and the fitness industry a colossal disservice by muddying the effectiveness and reputation of this excellent tool.
Regarding scenarios such as this, trainees and trainers will usually get hurt at some point due to their lack of proper technique training and then ridiculously blame the kettle bell for their shortcomings instead of their own ineptness and failure to learn proper technique and program design as to the reason for their failure or injury. In the wrong hands the kettle bell becomes nothing more than an Attractive Liability for irresponsible gym owners, trainers and members who are either ignorant of sound technique or their colossal egos dictate that they are above learning from others with greater skill than their own.
I politely questioned one gym owner why he lets his admittedly unqualified staff have free rein of the kettle bells without any legitimate training. I told him you are allowing your staff to teach horrendous technique to your client base in a dangerously unsustainable manner.
Don’t get me wrong- everybody at some point regardless of their experience or qualifications will sustain some type of injury or tweak a muscle here or there performing any exercise using any fitness tool. Proper kettle bell training works everything — the core, heart, lungs and entire body from the toes to head.
While I use and advocate many fitness tools, the kettle bell does represent the foundation of my training play book because they simply are that damn good, and they work. With proper instruction, kettle bells are easy to learn, yet will keep you challenged and progressing without boring the hell out of you.
I have been using kettle bells for over a decade and I have yet to experience boredom or lack of enthusiasm and I have sampled just about every fitness tool and method out there. Research and clinical studies show that flexion of the osteoporosis spine, especially in situations where force is applied, can lead to compression fractures of the vertebrae.
Unfortunately, this scientific fact is not well known within the fitness community and, as a result, there are Personal Trainers (and some medical professionals!) Encouraging exercises (like traditional crunches) that cause flexion and potentially put you at risk of a compression fracture.
Crunches Chest Fly Chest Press Knee Extensions Lat Pull down (behind the head) Seated Rows Toe Touch with a Twist (Rotation) Hamstring Stretches Backstretches Cardiovascular Exercises that encourage flexion It is up to you to take care of your bone health and either avoid the exercise or ask your Personal Trainer make appropriate modifications.
It also has (and this is important) exercises you should do if you have osteoporosis based on your activity level and risk of fracture. These clients find that some Personal Trainers do not adequately considered their bone health when assigning them an exercise program.
Many of the osteoporosis exercises to avoid, covered in this blog, encourage either flexion or rotation (or, in some cases, both movements). Let’s start with the most popular of exercises: the traditional crunch or sit-up — used by many people to build their abs.
After you provide your email address, you will receive seven consecutive online educational videos on your bone health — one lesson each day. The following is a detailed description of the exercises you should not do if you have osteoporosis, osteopenia or low bone density.
Traditional “crunches” (also known as sit-ups) are popular with most exercise programs for development and strengthening of the abdominal muscles. Due to the risk associated with vertebral fractures, this exercise is not advised for people with low bone density, osteopenia or osteoporosis.
There are many other exercises you can do to strengthen your abdominal muscles that are safe and do not place your spine at risk. This blog post lists several safer Abdominal Exercises for Osteoporosis.
When using gym equipment, most women have to adjust their body position to accommodate the machines. The Chest Fly machine may cause undue stress on the vertebrae, possibly risking a compression fracture for people diagnosed with osteoporosis.
When using gym equipment, this exercise (like its sister exercise, the Chest Fly) causes undue stress on the vertebrae, possibly risking a compression fracture for people with low bone density or osteoporosis. This exercise encourages a “slouched” posture, potentially risking a fracture of the vertebrae for people with osteoporosis.
In my experience, most individuals find it difficult to maintain their posture while repeatedly doing this exercise and, over time, they gravitate back to the slouch position. Doing a lat pull down behind your head, as illustrated in the photo on the right, places excess stress on your shoulders, neck, and spine.
I strongly advise that you do not do this exercise this way as it can cause a number of problems including shoulder pain. Tuck your shoulder blades towards your pockets on the back of your pants as your elbows descend.
This exercise, when done incorrectly, encourages a “slouched” posture, potentially risking a fracture to the vertebrae for people with osteoporosis. Note the curvature of the upper back caused by the model leaning forward to follow the cord.
This exercise can be performed safely when the person assumes a better posture — as illustrated in the picture. The challenge for most people will be to maintain a straight posture when they pull, pick up, and return the pulley to the rack.
The toe touch with a twist is often the staple flexibility exercise in many Personal Training routines. The problem with this exercise is that it encourages a twist and bend in the spine, potentially risking a fracture to the vertebrae for people with osteoporosis.
In this blog post on the hip hinge and standing forward bend, I explain why this movement is problematic. However, for those of you who insist on doing this exercise, I explain one way that you can safely modify the forward bend.
This stretch (and its variations) encourages flexion, potentially risking vertebral fracture for people diagnosed with osteoporosis. Note that in the demonstrations, the model has a curvature of the back caused by the forward lean.
In the Flexibility section of the Exercise for Better Bones program, there are excellent and very effective hamstring stretches that do not put your spine at risk. This backstretch exercise position, illustrated in the photo, encourages flexion of the spine with a lot of loading — potentially risking vertebrae fracture for people with osteoporosis.
Remember maintain proper posture and avoid positions that cause flexion of the spine while doing your cardiovascular (or weight-bearing) exercises. At most gyms, this bench is the starting point for both the bicep curl and the tricep extension.
The preacher curl bench forces you into a slouched position — a posture that is associated with increased compression fractures of the spine. I strongly advise people with low bone density not to do this exercise because it places the subject in a flexed position.
The problem with this exercise is that it is virtually impossible to safely get on and off a bench without flexing your spine. Note in the picture that the client is having to slouch or flex forward to reach the handles.
After consulting with the two gentlemen, I made the following modifications to their exercise programs to make them more effective and safe for someone with osteoporosis. The added bonus that free weights deliver, when done with good posture, is that they allow your deep spinal muscles to kick in and help you build stronger bones in your spine (vertebra).
Other than martial artists, and competitive tennis, soccer and volleyball players, few recreational athletes need to develop their rectus abdominal. Lying flat on your back to stretch your hamstrings will reduce your tendency of bending forward at the spine to touch your toes.
Executing a bench press from the floor allows you to roll down and back up in a safer manner. With guidance, the use of a burst resistant ball also allows you to execute a bench press with safer ascent and decent.
Replacing a bench press with a push up has the added benefit of increased loading through your wrists. After you provide your email address, you will receive seven consecutive online educational videos on your bone health — one lesson each day.
Individuals with osteoporosis need to practice caution when doing certain Pilates poses and exercises. If your instructor is not aware of your condition, then you should alert him or her and inquire about appropriate modifications before starting a Pilates program or session.
As a general rule, students should modify their Pilates programs as they progress in age. Pilates' instructors need to be aware of the risks to clients with low bone density of forward bends that involve spinal flexion.
Certain Pilates poses can increase the risk of vertebral fracture for people with low bone density or osteoporosis. Pilates poses that involve forward flexion of the spine need to be modified or avoided.
Certain exercises, including some yoga and Pilates poses, can cause strain on the vertebrae of a person with osteoporosis — to the point where the risk of a compression fracture is quite high. As a result, certain yoga and Pilates poses need to be modified or avoided for people with osteoporosis.
Time to move onto an exercise program that builds bone strength and reduces the risk of fracture. With a high rate of bone breaks and fractures amongst the elderly and osteoporosis as a major symptom in postmenopausal women, bone density problems are common and alleviating them is a goal all people should strive for, ideally before the problem even starts.
Osteopenia is when bone density begins to slip and is a warning factor for osteoporosis. In fact, high bone density may also put individuals at greater risk for injury, although it is not as common and likely results from some other disorder.
The creation of new bone, and how dense, strong, and well-rounded it is in content can be at least partially manipulated by our activities. The researchers took a group of older women who were all in a state of osteopenia or osteoporosis and more or less told them to go big or go home.
The women did heavy squats with less than five reps per set and performed the concentric portion as fast as possible. In the control group, bone mineral density was slightly reduced.