This is a guest post by Forest Vance, RKC. You can visit him at The Fitness Monster. Forest is talking today about one of the greatest reasons to use kettlebells: they are an incredible tool with a versatility that might surprise you. Thanks Forest. Enjoy!
Aside from their innate appeal, cool shape, and flat out awesomeness, the kettlebell is one of the most versatile training tools around. Anyone can train with them – from total beginners to world-class athletes. While they’re not anything magical, in my opinion, the kettlebell is the superior implement for building strength, conditioning, flexibility, and all-around fitness for many people.
Taken from russiankettlebells.com, here a few of the advantages of a kettlebell over dumbbells, barbells, etc.:
“… (kettlebells are) the ultimate in conditioning the body for extreme decelerations. Think of all the sudden stops and direction changes on the football field. If you have not conditioned yourself to handle these forces, you will perform sub-par and run a high risk of injury.”
The unique shape of the kettlebell provides a way to train for this that other implements can’t – the kettlebell is hands down the best implement for the swing.
“Kettlebell’s offset center of gravity maximizes shoulder strength, flexibility, and health.”
Doing presses, snatches, get-ups, etc. with a kettlebell no doubt offer a unique challenge that other implements don’t.
“The kettlebell will give you infinite freedom of lifting. It has been said that kettlebells are to traditional free weights are what barbells and dumbbells are to machines. Taming a kettlebell is akin to medieval sword, spear, and battleaxe play, liberating and aggressive.”Nuff said. They’re just cooler than dumbbells and barbells.
If you want to get really strong, you need to use a barbell to lift a lot of weight. If you’re a bodybuilder, there are a lot of exercises that are probably better done with a dumbbell or weight machine that are superior for hypertrophy. However, for most of us who are really just looking for all-around conditioning, strength, muscle tone, and flexibility, kettlebells are the answer!
So we’ve established that the kettlebell provides some unique benefits that other implements don’t. But another thing that’s great about kb’s is that almost everyone can train with them – from an eighty year-old grandmother to an elite athlete. This probably couldn’t be said for a lot of other tools.
For example, you can’t use an Olympic bar unless you can lift 45 pounds in your chosen lift, which is going to rule a lot of things out for weak and/or decondtioned individuals. However, almost everyone can do a dead lift with an 8k kettlebell – even if you have to elevate it on a platform.
Training an injured athlete? Can’t do Olympic lifts because you have a broken hand or injured shoulder? You can still keep your conditioning, dynamically load your hips, etc. with one-arm swings.
Convinced yet? I hope so. The kettlebell offers a uniqueness and versatility that gives it a special place in my heart. I hope you feel the same way – and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it!
PS: If you’d like to hear more about kettlebell benefits, getting strong, and fitness in general, visit Forest at thefitnessmonster.com. If you’re in the Sacramento area and would like to inquire about personal or group training with him, check out forestvancetraining.com.