I have had many years of experience with all forms of training. As you may know by now I am a huge proponent of the kettlebells. Kettlebells are a wonderful strength training device that can be used for multiple purposes within the context of an exercise strength and fitness program. A common theme that I find myself addressing when it comes to kettlebell training is that people think that much of the same movements can be achieved with the use of dumbells and this is simply not true.
To start, I am not bashing dumbells in this article. Dumbells are an essential component in designing an effective strength and conditioning program. The truth is that some of the same movements can be mimicked with dumbells like you would do with kettlebells, but the fact remains that they are vastly different.
For starters, the uniqueness of the kettlebell lies within it’s design. The handle is extended away from the majority of the weighted portion of the bell giving it a sense of awkwardness. Because of this design you will find that the kettlebell is always pulling away from your center of gravity. This causes you to constantly have to counter-react the “pulling away” sensation, therefore you get stronger without even realizing it. The dumbell does not offer this unique quality. It simply rests close to the palm of your hand and there is no real counter-reaction along with the act of stability. Its really just about stabilizing the dumbell.
Now having said this you can really multiply this awkwardness and instability factor with the kettlebell by incorporating it in dynamic movements such as swings, overhead snatches, and turkish get-ups. It will certainly utilize gravity to OPTIMALLY tension and develop your body unlike anything you have tried before. The dumbell is good to use for similar lifts, but once again you don’t get the benefit of the “pulling away” factor like you do with kettlebells. Now you may enjoy doing traditional presses with dumbells more so than kettlebells, but the fact is that you can also do these lifts with kettlebells as well. All I am trying to say is that the kettlebell is simply a tool in the toolbox of fitness. Now knowing this I would say that it is the most valuable and versatile piece of equipment in the toolbox!
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I’m Brandon Richey the Strength and Conditioning Pro!