I’m here to tell you that they could not be more incorrect.
Yes, the kettlebell is a molded piece of metal that is used in working out and comes in various sizes and weights, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Regardless of what your experience level or goals are, kettlebells offer more effective and efficient training programs and movements when compared to using dumbbells. Here’s why:
The unique shape of the kettlebell is one of the reasons it is so effective when training. The handle, which is thicker than most, if not all, will help strengthen your wrists and forearms, but most importantly, your grip. Anyone who trains on an advanced level will tell you that the key to gaining strength begins with having a strong grip.
The next part of the kettlebell is the ball shape that is connected to the handle and range anywhere from 8 to 105 lbs in weight.
While 105 lbs. may seem like an underwhelming weight for most experienced trainees, the fact that kettlebells offer a different center of gravity when compared to dumbbells actually makes it a more difficult weight to lift. The off-balanced and lower center of gravity forces you to use stabilizer muscles (lats, glutes) to keep steady when performing lifts and compound movements.
Now that you have the breakdown of the benefits of the shape of the kettlebell, let’s look at common exercises that will melt fat while increasing muscle mass and strength.
I implement several different movements in my own training regimens and in personal group training programs I offer to clients. These exercises focus on fat loss, improving conditioning, building strength and maximizing mobility. These movements are geared toward practical use in daily life and activities as well as making yourself more aesthetically pleasing.
While all of the kettlebell exercises I use focus on the four components mentioned in the paragraph above, the swing is the movement most commonly used to burn fat, increase mobility and conditioning and build strength. In addition to kettlebell swings, more complex exercises such as cleans and squats, goblet squats and Turkish get-ups are all important movements that hit all major points of focus and can be performed with kettlebells of any weight.
Kettlebells can also be used to perform traditional lifts such as bench presses, isolated rows, and shoulder presses. They are truly a universal training tool.
Unfortunately, just because you own a kettlebell (or two), does not mean you are using them correctly. Improper use of kettlebells is one of the most common reasons why people develop injuries while training. Incorrect use of a kettlebell, imperfect form and overtraining run rampant as the Cross Fit boom expands and can lead to very serious injury.
Just spend an hour at your local park, gym or in a bootcamp class and you’ll see, like I have, the epidemic that is taking over the fitness world. I promise you, watching 20 minutes of YouTube videos will not make you an expert, but it can certainly land you in the hospital.
For any questions or tips regarding kettlebells or any other training-related inquiries, Please contact me at 917-432-9418.