Kettlebells are relatively new to the fitness scene, so a lot of people may not know much about them.
Like all the new fads that explode onto the fitness scene, people become obsessed with them and essentially throw all other weights out the window and start exclusively using the new weight.
You may be wondering to yourself, are they worth it? What makes them different from regular weights?
Well not to worry, we’ll be answering these questions and more in this article so that you can learn all about the new craze of kettlebells and whether to incorporate them into your workout routine.
What Is A Kettlebell?
Now if you’ve never seen a kettlebell this description may make you raise an eyebrow, surprisingly enough it doesn’t look like a kettle at all, it looks like a cast-iron cannonball with a handle on top.
But it’s uneven weight distribution makes it the perfect addition to any workout, but we’ll discuss more about that later.
They range in weight varying from 5lbs to over 100lbs, they may look small but don’t let its appearance fool you, it’s a mighty little thing.
Are They Effective?
It depends on your definition of effective, but in the grand scheme of things, yes they’re definitely effective for a workout routine.
Many fitness fanatics will opt for kettlebells over regular dumbbells as they boast many advantages, here are a few:
The Weight Is Uneven
With a dumbbell, the weight is evenly distributed on each side and you can only lift it with one hand, the kettlebell differs a lot in this regard.
A kettlebell’s weight is uneven. You may think this is a disadvantage, but it’s actually an advantage to your strength training.
You’ll have to work a lot harder when lifting a kettlebell to ensure they remain balanced with your body and movement, this means you’ll be working your stabilizer muscles a lot more and getting a better workout than just using dumbbells.
One Kettlebell Can Be Used For All Your Workouts
You can use the same kettlebell in each different workout you are doing, for example you can do squats, lunges, bicep curls, kettlebell swings and a lot more in one sitting without changing the weights.
Whilst you may want different weights for different parts of your body that you’re training, it’s not entirely necessary and using one weight for all parts of your workout can be a strength plus cardio workout all in one.
More Calories Are Burned
Like we said in the earlier paragraph, having a strength plus cardio workout will always burn more calories than just regular strength training.
Kettlebells simulate how you move in real life, side to side, in and out, up and down etc rather than using a dumbbell that just moves up and down.
In doing this, your stabilizer muscles are activated and you’ll engage your core in these workouts which can be amazing for not only weight loss but also fitness levels.
You’ll burn calories with the kettlebell with every move and with certain types of kettlebell workouts you can burn the equivalent of running miles in just a single workout.
Movements Are More Fluid
Moving in all different ways with the kettlebell also means that you’re working muscles that may not get worked in a typical dumbbell workout.
Lots of the kettlebell exercises will include swinging or rotating, which means your body won’t stop working throughout the whole time you’re doing it, it’s a great all round workout when you’re not wanting to specifically target any one muscle.
Kettlebell Vs Dumbbell
To give you the best idea on how they differ from each other, we’ll give you a comparison of both of these weights to see which one ranks higher.
To build strength you often need stability, that’s not to say that kettlebell training isn’t good for strength training- it really is.
But many bodybuilders will live by the rules of the heavier you lift, the stronger you’ll become, and to lift heavy weights you need stability.
You can add weights to each side without becoming unsteady on your feet, which is an advantage that kettlebells don’t have.
The kettlebell’s construction makes them a serious winner here, the way they are made makes them great for a number of dynamic workouts and will allow you to complete high intensity training without limiting your range of motion.
It also allows you to work a lot more in a shorter amount of time, which proves its efficiency once again.
Many people believe that dumbbells and kettlebells are on an equal playing field when it comes to weight loss, but personally we believe that kettlebell training holds a slight advantage.
You can work a lot more with a kettlebell and it requires a lot more work to make sure it stays balanced with your body and movement, with a dumbbell you know the weight is evenly distributed so it will be easier to do a workout of the same intensity.
There’s also a range of exercises that you can perform with a kettlebell that you can’t with a dumbbell.
You can swing and rotate a kettlebell, allowing your heart rate to rev up, whilst you could potentially do that with a dumbbell it’s probably not the most efficient way to do your workout routine.
Personally we think kettlebells are worth it, but it’s up to you what you think after reading this article.
They seem to stack up higher than dumbbells as they allow you to perform more workouts and work more muscles a lot more efficiently. But if pure strength is what you’re after then a dumbbell may be more suited to you.
They’re effective for any type of fitness enthusiast, but if you really want good results and are unsure on which to use then there’s no harm in choosing to use both kettlebells and dumbbells in your workout, try them out and see what you think!