In the beginning of May, I saw an online challenge to add 50 kettlebell swings to your daily routine. KB swings are one of my favorite movements, so I said "Why not" and jumped on the bandwagon (I also added 50 air squats per day as well for good measure).
Going into this challenge, I knew the benefits of including swings and squats into your
programming, but I've never done one of these types of challenges where you perform the same movement for 30 days so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. My hopes were that it would build some strength in my legs and help with some of my lower back pain.
Throughout the month of May I performed these 2 movements in addition to my normal workouts. For the KB swings I tried to go unbroken and used either a 53lb or 44lb KB, (there was one workout that I used two 44 pounders for double KB swings). For the squats, I broke them up as needed. If I accidentally missed a day, I made sure to make up for it with 100 the next day. At the end of the month for Memorial Day we participated in the "Murph" challenge (1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run) so I ended up with some bonus squats. By the end of the month I had accumulated 1500 KB swings and 1750 air squats.
What did I find?
As the month progressed I found it easier to go unbroken in the Swings (improved grip strength) and I was breaking off larger sets of squats. By the halfway point, I noticed that my legs definitely felt like they had a little extra spring. My lifts felt stronger and jumping felt smooth and effortless.. My mobility in my squats also improved throughout the challenge. Most importantly for me my low back and hips reaped serious benefits. I have suffered with low back pain and dysfunction for as long as I can remember. This has led to years of chiropractor visits, physical therapy, and massage therapy. Don't get me wrong, I stretch, I strengthen my glutes and core, I foam roll and do all the things that they tell you to do. I just have not been blessed in this area. So finding that including the 50/50 in addition to the accessory work and lifts that I perform helped to alleviate some of this pain was a real plus. Bonus - I lost 2 lbs.
If you are looking for an awesome daily challenge to keep you motivated and build strength in your posterior chain, definitely give this one a try. It was fun to see improvements and to feel better overall all by the 30th day.