• 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.

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