One of the main tools we use in our training sessions is Kettlebells. They are one of the best all in-one conditioning tools as they provide versatility and provide benefits you may not get from just using dumbbells or barbells especially when it comes to core training.
People often confuse between working out with a kettlebell and weight lifting since the two routines seem similar with a slightly different approach.
For the most part, both workouts yield similar results that mainly manifest as muscle hypertrophy, increased strength, and improved bone mineral density but there are some key differences.
Differences Between Kettlebells & Weights.
The main difference between Kettlebell training and strength training using other tools is the type of movements you’ll be performing. Virtually any exercise you can do with dumbbells can be done with a Kettlebell, but the reverse is not necessarily the case. The Kettlebell offers you more complex movements that really can’t be done the same wit dumbbells.
For instance, the Kettlebell Swing or the Kettlebell Clean both offer a full-body workout by recruiting the vast majority of muscles in the body. Opting to do them with a Kettlebell vs a Dumbbells enhances body awareness & coordination and requires you to use more core strength & stability as you can allow the kettlebell to “float” in your hand as opposed to remaining static like with a dumbbell.
Benefits of Kettlebell and Weight training
Offers an efficient full-body workout
Kettlebell exercises offer a full-body workout, as the vast majority of muscle groups get recruited.
The most common mistake that beginners make is focusing too much on the heavy machinery found in the gym, which targets specific muscle groups. This feature is fine for high-performing athletes who want to improve the function of a specific muscle group. However, in beginners, it could yield the exact opposite result.
By counting on your lower body to coordinate the swinging motion while stabilizing the kettlebell with your arms, the entire muscular system is working to perform this exercise, which improves cardiovascular health and promotes muscle hypertrophy.
Working out with dumbbells can also yield similar results. However, if you focus on restrained movements or machines, you’ll lose the advantage offered by free weights.
Stimulates your cardiovascular system
As you swing the kettlebell in the air, your cardiac frequency will rapidly increase to meet the demands of your muscles.
This benefit is also shared by weight lifting, as the explosive movement stimulates the heart to pump blood and improve cardiovascular health.
Over time, the heart will adapt to the large amounts of blood that are being pumped, which leads to blood vessel expansion mediated by the release of sympathomimetic neurotransmitters.
Promotes better flexibility
Unfortunately, most people have a desk job and a sedentary lifestyle that progressively wreaks havoc on their physiological processes.
One common chief complaint seen in people of low physical activity is decreased flexibility and articular range of motion (ROM). This compounds as we get older meaning it’s even more crucial for those over the age of 50 to focus on mitigating the loss of flexibility and ROM.
For instance, the hip joint is especially predisposed to motion issues, which calls for the need of regular stretching and exercise.
The good news is that kettlebell exercises depend on the coordinated rotation of several articulations (e.g., hip, shoulder, elbow), making it the perfect exercise to improve flexibility and reduce injury.
Similarly, lifting a barbell or performing complex exercises with dumbbells increases the articular range of motion and decreases the risk of injury.
In the end the best way to improve your body and fitness is by incorporating a wide range of tools. So if you aren’t already using Kettlebells in your training give them a try.
They’re a great way to change things up, keep things fresh and well… they’re just plain fun to use! 😀