Working out and feeling sore afterward is a good way to gauge whether you've challenged yourself enough. When you're lifting or moving weight it's common to feel sore a few days afterward, but not all muscle soreness is good. Sometimes the muscle soreness you feel is your body telling you that there is an injury and you should see your doctor to rule out any possible problems.
Kettlebell swings are a strength-training exercise that tones your upper-body and lower-body muscles. To perform a swing, stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a kettlebell with both hands and your arms straight. Squat downward and allow the kettlebell to swing between your legs. Straighten your legs and propel yourself to an upright position while raising the weight overhead. Because each swing is done quickly and fluidly, this activity is also a cardio exercise. It's important to keep your back straight, your stomach muscles tightened and your grip secure on the weight to avoid hurting yourself.
Muscles soreness and exercise go hand in hand; you may feel sore immediately following your workout or it may take a day or two. Both of these sensations are common and occur when you put your body under new physical demands. Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, takes 24 to 48 hours to begin and can disappear within 72 hours. This type of soreness results from microscopic tears in the muscles that occur during your workout.
If your back pain lasts longer than a week or impairs your daily functioning, it's possible you injured your back muscles and should see a doctor. Mayo Clinic says you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience muscle soreness along with extreme weakness, trouble breathing, a high fever or a stiff neck. You should contact your doctor if your notice redness, swelling, bruising, poor circulation or muscular pain that reoccurs each time you work out.
If you are experiencing DOMS, rest your back muscles for at least 48 hours before exercising again. During this rest period your muscles will repair and become stronger. Ice therapy, heating pads, massage and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can help alleviate pain. Use ice packs for up to 20 minutes at a time, no more than three times a day. Avoid using heating pads if there is any noticeable swelling; heat therapy on swollen muscles can increase inflammation and pain.
Spend at least five minutes performing movements like jumping jacks and jogging in place to warm up your muscles before doing kettlebell swings. Stretching before and after your workout will help improve your flexibility and prevent muscle soreness.
Approach each workout with safety in mind; ask a partner to watch you and help correct your form if necessary. Make sure you use a kettlebell that is heavy enough to challenge your muscles without causing strain. Start with a lighter weight and increase the weight only after you have mastered the proper form.
Ashley Farley has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. She is also a writer specializing in healthy living, fitness and nutrition topics. Farley has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is pursuing her B.A. in English at Wright State University.