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Scand J Work Environ Health. 2011 May;37(3):196-203. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3136. Epub 2010 Nov 25.

Kettlebell training for musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this trial was to investigate the effectiveness of a worksite intervention using kettlebell training to improve musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health.

METHODS:

This single-blind randomized controlled trial involved 40 adults from occupations with a high prevalence of reported musculoskeletal pain symptoms (mean age 44 years, body mass index 23 kg/m², 85% women, with pain intensity of the neck/shoulders 3.5 and of the low back 2.8 on a scale of 0-10). A blinded assessor took measures at baseline and follow-up. Participants were randomly assigned to training--consisting of ballistic full-body kettlebell exercise 3 times per week for 8 weeks--or a control group. The main outcome measures were pain intensity of the neck/shoulders and low back, isometric muscle strength, and aerobic fitness.

RESULTS:

Compared with the control group, pain intensity of the neck/shoulders decreased 2.1 points [95% confidence interval (95% CI) -3.7- -0.4] and pain intensity of the low back decreased 1.4 points (95% CI -2.7- -0.02) in the training group. Compared with the control group, the training group increased muscle strength of the trunk extensors (P<0.001), but not of the trunk flexors and shoulders. Aerobic fitness remained unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS:

Worksite intervention using kettlebell training reduces pain in the neck/shoulders and low back and improves muscle strength of the low back among adults from occupations with a high prevalence of reported musculoskeletal pain symptoms. This type of training does not appear to improve aerobic fitness.

PMID:
21107513
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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