Why I Am Injured Today

This whole page would be about how and why I got injured. I got advice on what to do during a back injury on page 2 so skip ahead if that’s what you came for.


Let me start by saying my back is currently injured. I got injured but not because of training (or overtraining) but due to my job that requires me to literally sit in front of the computer all day with a non-cushioned chair. I’ve been working as a freelance writer for more than two months now and I believe it has taken its toll on my back despite my training and the many ways I try to be as mobile as I could.

It’s so ironic that I got injured despite my article on how to NOT get injured. Well to be fair to myself, I didn’t get injured while kettlebell training. In fact, my back was starting to feel stiff/tight in the past two weeks and it has definitely affected my training. I began noticing how my swings have relied more on back despite my efforts to pull energy from my legs. I literally focused on hinging and leg power but my swings weren’t working right. I shrugged it off nonetheless and continued with my program. The next day was my “heavy” day. I was supposed to double swing a pair of 32’s 100 times and squat the pair 10-15 times in 15-20 minutes. (I’ll write about my personal program once I actually finish testing it)

It was also funny how I felt tightness on my back that morning but did the workout anyway. I knew I could get injured but I underestimated the odds and they worked against me.

Before you judge my lack of common sense of training despite a plausible reason not to, I’m used to training with double 32’s. In fact, I’ve been double swinging, double cleaning, double squatting, and double pressing a pair of 32’s for at least a year. Not to mention how I can swing a pair 60 times in less than 5 minutes. Which is why it took me by surprise when on my 4th set my form was starting to break and my back was leaning towards the front more than it should. For newbies, when your back starts to lean in after each swing, take that as a sign to stop and evaluate your form. When your back leans in like that it means your lower ‘s connection to your upper body isn’t 100% there. Veteran swingers know that you’re not supposed to let the bells pull you and instead you pull them back.

Despite my knowledge of this possible form error, why did I still continue with the 5th set? Simple: I was stupid enough to let my pride step forward and my common sense step back. I couldn’t accept the fact that I was already winded at just 40 swings and I wasn’t even past the 5 minute mark yet. I challenged the injury and I lost. I ended up letting go of the bells and I was sweating too much for 5 minutes of kettlebell work and I also felt something wrong with my lower back. The kind of pain you definitely know is not supposed to be there. I finished my Thursday workout with squats and pushups.

I ended up hurt really bad the rest of the day. In fact I got hurt so bad that I decided to never sit down when I work again. There are no available standing desks available here in the country yet and I needed to work without sitting down. I did what any desperate person would do in my situation: improvise.

I’m six-foot tall and my back wasn’t liking the whole “sit down the whole day for work” routine and this was the result.

standing desk 1

After that day, I worked out with push ups and squats on Friday and a rest day on Saturday. Safe to say I felt a lot better Saturday night so I thought “Maybe I can resume swinging at least a 32 kg bell.” Which I did this morning. My proposed workout today was 5 single arm swings and 5 single-racked kettlebell front squat per arm for 10 sets.

Everything was fine up until I passed the 10 minute mark. Then when I did one squat, my torso leaned forward on the way down and I heard my lower back muscles scream. I usually shrug this one off but due to my injury, I stopped right there. I realized I aggravated my healing injury. After that moment, I knew what would happen: I would not be able to workout with my kettlebells again for the next 4-5 days. I knew this because this sort of injury happened to me before and this is injury number 3. The first two involved me lifting more than I could which happened roughly 3 years ago. This one involved me lifting despite a minor injury which got worse afterwards.

I went to a massage therapist and she told me, while massaging my back, that I had A LOT of tight muscles. She even guessed what I do for a living based on the tightness of my arms and shoulders. I told her about my work and how, when it got so hot during the summer, I would just take a cold shower to remedy the heat. I did that for a couple of weeks and I ended up causing back and shoulder stiffness which led to my “pinched nerve” injury. The pain was relieved but it was still there specially when I breathe deep (like breathe in to your balls deep).

Right now I’m still in a bit of pain but not as much as I’m supposed to be thanks to my therapist. So what do I do? Do I skip all my workouts?

NEXT: What to do when your back is injured

Robert James
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