A kettlebell swing works the whole body, though you might really feel the effects in your hamstrings. A perfect swing requires that you sink back into your hips, much like a squat, before swinging the kettlebell upward. If your hammies are totally screaming at you after a round of swings, give them a little rest before going back at it again. You'll come back stronger and more powerful so you can give your kettlebell swing 100 percent.
Stretch before and after kettlebell swings. It your hamstrings are bothering you, try stretches that focus on that muscle group. Sit on a mat and spread your legs out on either side, reaching to the left side and then your right side to help stretch out cramped-up hamstrings. Then, move into a runners lunge, dropping low to the floor to get the most out of the stretch.
Walk out the pain. If your pain is muscular, walking can help keep it limber and supple as you recover. If you think the pain is from a strain -- it's sharp and it's hard to move -- then you should see a doctor and go on full rest. Mild pain from a regular workout, however, can be helped simply by moving around as much as possible to avoid the muscle becoming stiff.
Add some ice if the pain is bothering you. Heat may soothe the pain temporarily, but ice can help keep it numb as well as speed the recovery process.
Massage your hamstrings with a foam roller. Sit on a foam roller and slowly propel your body backward and forward so the roller glides over your sore hamstrings. The added pressure can help alleviate soreness -- plus, it just feels good after a hard workout.
Focus on working another muscle group the day after you do around of kettlebell swings. Kettlebell swings work your lower body and arms, so focus on your core and shoulders the next day so your hamstrings have some time to recover after a rigorous workout.
Check your form. If you're feeling pain every time you do kettlebell swings, you might not be properly supporting your lower body. Start by holding the kettlebell by both hands in front of your body with your feet shoulder-width apart. Rock back and sit down into your heels, almost as if you were doing a small squat. Then, push your hips forward as you raise the kettlebell up and above your head before resisting it back down to a start position. Practice your posture and stance so no one muscle group is doing all of the work and you'll probably experience less pain overall.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.