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I am aware that swinging weights does not optimally activate the targeted muscle, but I do not understand why everybody says you can get hurt swinging a weight. Athletes in other sports have been swinging weights many times more violently than weightlifters without hurting themselves. Take baseball batting and shot put for example:

shot put

Cheat reps, which require swinging, can help push a muscle to failure. But if swinging is dangerous, why are cheat reps suggested for advanced bodybuilders? There's a contradiction here.

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why are cheat reps suggested for advanced bodybuilders. Do you have a source for this statement? –  Steeven Aug 10 '11 at 9:27
    
How would you swing a weight during weight lifting, because I do think there's a difference in how the movement is performed. Btw a disc thrower would probably be a more appropriate example of someone 'swinging' a weight ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Aug 10 '11 at 9:28
    
@Steeven I think the concept of cheat reps are prevalent enough in literature and training circles that no source is needed to claim they are often suggested (different from making claims about their effectiveness). –  Greg Aug 10 '11 at 17:29
    
@JoJo The purpose of these cheat reps is to continue stimulating a muscle when it's too exhausted to complete a proper rep on its own. It has to be done carefully in order to avoid injury by putting too much torque/pull on a body part that isn't built to withstand that. –  Greg Aug 10 '11 at 17:29
    
@Ivo One example is leaning backwards while doing curls. You end up using your back (and some leverage) to complete a last rep that you can no longer perform normally with good form. –  Greg Aug 10 '11 at 17:30

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

With every action, there is a proper and correct technique to do it safely. This applies to every action from throwing a baseball, shot put, discus, to swinging a bat or manipulating melee weapons.

The danger lies in failure to do the technique properly. This is why each of these activities are typically taught by an instructor and with little or no load. The consequences of swinging a 5 lb bat with bad form is going to be much less than the consequence of swinging a 95lb weight with bad form.

Proper form in each of these typically keeps the thoracic portion of the torso rigid, or in the correct orientation so that the load is absorbed top to bottom as opposed from side to side.

The number one danger of swinging weights in any form is the shearing forces that pull on the spinal column.

Keep in mind that kettlebell routines are designed around swinging a weight. The key is proper technique. That is why the "cheat reps" are not recommended for beginners. It takes time to strengthen the core to what it needs to do those reps, as well as develop the technique to do it safely.

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What is the correct way to gyrate violently like a baseball batter without hurting the spinal column? –  JoJo Aug 11 '11 at 6:00
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Believe it or not, they aren't "gyrating violently". The spinal column is fully supported, and the back is upright. Most of the torsion is provided by rotating the hips which generates the necessary power and does not twist the spinal column. I'm not a baseball coach, but I do watch the movements carefully. The same principles that apply to martial arts for power generation are used in many sports. In short, power comes from the hips, not the back. –  Berin Loritsch Aug 11 '11 at 12:13

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