One of our practices is to use a foam roller and/or lacrosse ball for myofascial release before every class and afterward as well.
Mobilize in Every Class
Foam rolling / lacrosse ball use mobilizes muscles and fascia and the body sends blood and nutrients to those areas. This primes the body for vigorous physical activity. This practice can help break up adhesions in the fascia that help to loosen up muscles and may help prevent injury.
We also mobilize before class with standing or ground-based dynamic body movements such as half windmills and hip-flexor stretches, light kettlebell movements and lifts (such as halos, bottoms up, good mornings, hip openers, t-spine and lat warmers) and we use the TRX and Clubbells in different ways to get the body mobilized we start the kettlebell circuit, chain or complex. We do some static stretching at the end of our training sessions. We especially like the Brettzel, Bretzel 2.0, frog, up and down dog, tailbone to heels after training.
No matter how much we mobilize before and after class, focus on perfect technique, and dial in the right volume of lifting and moving during class, muscle twinges can occasionally occur.
Be Aware that Former Injuries Pose Risks
Many of us have a lifetime of health issues, former sports injuries and mild weaknesses and asymmetries that we are working to improve, so we are diligent about stretching, moving often, resting, hydrating, eating nutrient-dense whole and natural foods and managing stress the best we can.
At MoveStrong Kettlebells, we ask members to inform the coaches if an ache or pain pops up at any time. And they are very good about doing so.
Address Twinges Immediately
A muscle twinge can be a tightening, spasm or a slight pain. Whatever it is, we assess what might have caused it. Is it a previously injured area? That is important to know because the most likely place to be injured is the location of a former injury. What movement caused an issue? We may want to leave it alone. We may need to stretch and/or foam-roll it. It depends. It may be something that needs attention from a medical professional depending on the severity and if it keeps popping up.
Whatever it is, we take it very seriously.
Technique, Technique, Technique
We will always review technique to make sure you are moving with good alignment and with the best technique you can produce for your body.
My father-in-law, God rest his soul, did wood-working after he retired. He used to say measure twice cut once because it saves time and energy in the long-run. We do that as well.
We address the twinge with great care and attention immediately to prevent it from becoming an injury. Sometimes a couple days of rest now can prevent a couple months off from training to nurse an injury later.
If you are training at our gym, and training at home, or at other gyms as well, it makes us less effective as coaches because we are not able to fully manage your programming, training volume and recovery. If this is the case, you will be managing more of that on your own, and you will need to be very careful not to overtrain; overtraining puts you at risk for injury.
We'll Keep You Safe and Safely Progressing
If something repeatedly causes an issue, we'll adjust or remove it. If lunging hurts your knees due to prior knee issues, but squatting doesn't, squatting is an excellent substitution. However, we will continue to work to get your lunge form corrected with regressions to keep you progressing safely and without pain.
If your shoulder is healthy, but you have had prior shoulder issues, and you tell us that you want to skip a certain lift or movement, that is no problem. We can always adapt another movement that will keep you progressing toward your goals.
Kettlebells can be a great tool for restoring mobility, stability and strength with the right individualized programming and eagle-eye coaching. Kettlebells are not a cure-all. Picking up heavy stuff is serious business and there is no one-size fits program. Work with an RKC kettlebell-certified coach who has a DO NO HARM philosophy.
You May Need to see a Medical Professional
If there is pain, we refer our members to trusted medical professionals such as Columbus Chiropractic and Rehabilitation to address the issue before it becomes a full-blown injury. We are strength and movement coaches, not medical professionals, so we do not diagnose the issue.
Our members are very good about sharing feedback from the day or two before. We ask before every class, every day, how are you feeling? Is anything hurting or feeling abnormal? We ask them not to attend class if they didn't get good quality sleep because it can put them at risk for injury. Mindfulness is required when using kettlebells.
Kettlebells are Safe When Taught with the RKC Methodology
Honestly, because hardstyle kettlebells are very safe to use with the RKC methodology/technique, hands-on RKC/HKC coaching, and with appropriately weighted bells, people rarely have injury issues. If something fires up, it is usually a prior injury area that is at risk when technique isn't spot on.
It is our job, as coaches, to check and recheck technique and intervene when someone isn't handling a kettlebell correctly. We ask people to put a kettlebell down if the weight is too heavy or the technique is off. That is an act of injury-prevention. This is why you hire a coach ... to keep you safe and safely progressing. We don't care if your heart-rate didn't get up that session because we worked on technique instead of doing a high-intensity circuit. We are teaching you to fish, not giving you fish so technique trumps intensity every time.
This is a long-term, life-changing view of exercise as a tool for improving overall health
You earn the right to lift heavy by demonstrating perfect technique for your physique. This is what allows us coaches to sleep at night ... knowing that we did the best we could to keep our gym members safe and safely progressing.
To summarize, here are the ways we can address a muscle twinge:
- Stop and assess where it is firing up
- Check and correct technique / run the FMS if needed
- Foam roll or mobilize (stretch) the area in question / use biofreeze to temporarily calm the area / or completely leave it alone!
- Use a lighter kettlebell, no kettlebell or change the tool altogether
- Regress the movement or lift
- Momentarily rest or stop for the day ... or for several days ... or longer
- Mobilize at home using FMS correctives to support what we are doing in the gym
- Eat healthy foods and rest to reduce systemic inflammation (an injury risk factor)
- Avoid using anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibruprophen) as they can wreak havoc in your gut and slow down soft tissue repair and not give you the pain feedback you need to know how to care for it
- See a medical professional for pain, lingering issues or immobility
Contact Us to Learn More
Do you have questions or concerns about getting started with us? Contact Lori. We welcome new students post-rehab if you are cleared by a medical professional to train.