Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells

Kettlebells have taken the fitness world by storm over the last few years, with most Gym’s making them available and even classes dedicated to the use of Kettlebells. So what’s so great about them? Should you switch to using a Kettlebell in your work outs?

Kettlebell

Read ahead and find out more.

Like Dumbells, Kettlebells offer varying results depending on how you use them.

Kettlebells are great when combined with cardio exercise as they offer the ability for extra range of motion by being able to swing them and can, depending on the exercises work a wider variety of muscle groups than other free weight exercises.

Word of caution; find a Kettlebell weight that’s suitable for swinging, otherwise you might end up hurting yourself, someone else or breaking something!

 

Some advantages of Kettlebells

  • Kettlebells sit better in the hand when performing exercises that ‘swing’, ‘snatch’ or ‘lift’ the weight.
  • Kettlebells Allow for a better cardio workout allowing for the ability to swing the kettlebell.

Some advantages of Dumbells

  • Sit better in the hand when performing more traditional exercises, particularly those that ‘press’ and ‘push’.
  • Better for strength exercises due to the ability to load and balance weight.

 

The thing to keep in mind here is that both Kettlebells and Dumbells are great. Neither of them are better than each other as they are different. Different in the way they are used, the muscle groups exercised and the results to be had.

There are certainly some free weight exercises that favour the use of Kettlebells and vice-versa. A few that came to mind we’re;

(Disclaimer: You should consult your trainer or a fitness expert before performing these exercises)

Kettlebell High Pull

Works out: Legs, Arms, Glutes, Shoulders

Placing the Kettlebell on the ground in between your legs, stand shoulder width apart and squat down to grab the Kettlebell. Push through your heels using the force of your hips to stand up, while driving your elbow up past your ear until your arm ends up in a ‘chicken-wing’ like position. Lower the Kettlebell back down to the ground. Repeat 10-15 times for each arm.

Kettlebell Back Row

Works out: Back

Find a bench, place your left knee and right hand on it and make sure your back is flat. Your hand should be directly under your shoulder, while your leg directly under your bum. Position your right leg out wide to balance. Pick up Kettlebell with right hand and pull up slowly keeping your right arm close to your body, then slowly lower the Kettlebell. Repeat 10-15 times, swap over to the other side.

Speak to your trainer about more Kettlebell exercises you can incorporate into your routine.

 

So would we recommend dumping the dumbells and moving to the Kettlebell revolution?

No. If anything, we’d recommend finding the right tool for the exercise and the result you’re looking for. In some exercises, a Kettlebell is interchangeable with a dumbbell, but it may provide a different end result due to the way it’s held in the hand and you would operate a Kettlebell.  As mentioned above, for the most part they have their own exercises that provide their own results and the use of Kettlebells should be considered with that in mind.

When in doubt, speak to the team and your fitness centre or personal trainer about what type of exercises you can substitute Kettlebells in for and what the difference in result might be.

23Jun
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24-Hour Gyms: The Low Down

24-hour gyms24-Hour Gyms are all the rage at the moment, with gym owners realising that flexibility is another big competitive tick on their side when it comes to attracting new customers.

What you need to know about 24-Hour Gyms;

  • Fees;
    • There’s usually a low weekly for fortnightly rate, which is direct debited from either your credit card or bank account.
    • There’s usually a ‘joining fee’, which vary depending on the gym
    • There may be a fee for the proximity / ID card which allows you access to the facility.
  • Facilities
    • 24-Hour Gyms are generally only staffed during peak periods (morning, evening, some afternoons), while Personal Training services tends to be more flexible with times.
    • Most facilities are generous with equipment, with some only offering the standard equipment, while others offer full Personal Training and Class/Group based fitness. It’s always best to ask what the complete range of services is as some Gyms may offer better value for money.
    • Most Gyms are in locations that are in easy to get to and convenient locations. If you intend on working out after hours when the Gym staff aren’t present, it’s always best to ensure your safety is first and park in lit areas, or train with a friend if at all possible, despite how well you know the area.
  • Equipment
    • As most 24-Hour gyms are quite new, you’ll find the equipment is generally newer too, with lots of great features. For example, one 24-Hour gym we checked out has all new Matrix treadmills, cross trainers and bikes which all allow you to plug-in you iPhone or iPod and listed to music (while your device charges), or plug-in your headphones and watch/listen to TV using the monitor on the screen. We also noticed after we finished our run on the treadmill, it wanted to update our Nike+ app with the workout information. Quite neat!
    • The range of equipment at each 24-Hour Gym will vary. Generally space is the limiting factor and the smaller the suburb/area, the smaller the gym might be with a smaller range of equipment, so always make sure you take a tour of the facility before signing on the dotted line.

 

Things to keep in mind when joining a 24-Hour Gym;

  • Most 24-Hour Gyms are run by club managers who in turn are also a franchisee or licensee of a brand or franchise, like Snap Fitness or Anytime Fitness. These club members DO have the power to negotiate their fees, so don’t hesitate to have a chat and see what kind of saving you can get your hands on.
  • Most, if not all 24-Hour Gyms have a 30-day cancellation clause in their contracts. This means you need to give 30-days’ notice if you intend on cancelling your membership. During this period, you’ll be billed for the 30-days.
  • It’s fair to say that most 24-Hour Gyms are for those who know (or think they know!) what they’re doing at the Gym. With limited Gym staff, there may be reluctance for Gym staff to offer assistance for any length of time when their focus is on running the club and keeping all members safe. Having said this, most 24-Hour Gyms have Personal Trainers employed, who we would recommend using their services for those that aren’t sure what they should be doing.

Aside from the franchised 24-Hour Gyms, there are plenty of independent gyms popping up around Australia, who are always ready to do a deal to stop you from spending your money with one of the big-boys, so don’t forget to haggle a little bit and see what you can do!

24-Hour Gyms are a great idea, but they might not suit everyone. It’s always best to go in and have a chat with the folk at the 24-Hour Gym you’re considering, and then consider your alternatives, such as dedicated personal training studio, or full service gym.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks where we compare the differences between 24-Hour Gyms, Personal Training Studios and Full Service Gyms.