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Kettlebells Vs. Free Weights: The Smackdown

But traditional weights are still superior when it comes to maximizing your strength, argues a new study from California State University, Fullerton. The Cal State team asked 30 men to train with either kettle bells or traditional weights twice a week.

Brent Mccoy
• Saturday, 03 October, 2020
• 5 min read

After 6 weeks, the traditional-weight group had boosted their squat max 14 percent—an average of 18 pounds—compared to just 4 percent (5 pounds) among the kettle bell lifters. The kettle bell group completed the same number of sets of various swing movements and goblet squats—exercises not designed solely to build strength.

“We tried to use the kettle bells the way most practitioners would use them, emphasizing technique and using explosive movements,” explains study author Jared Co burn, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Cal State, Fullerton. Co burn says it’s not surprising kettle bell strength gains were smaller than those resulting from traditional resistance exercises.

“There is no better tool for adding load than the barbell,” says Dan John, a national masters champion in Olympic lifting and a strength coach in Draper, Utah. For those strength-building exercises that can require substantial weight—such as the bench press, dead lifts, squats, or snatches—John says only the barbell can meet the resistance needs of some lifters.

You can use kettle bells or dumbbells interchangeably for some exercises, such as bicep curls or lateral raises, John adds. Think of jumping to shoot or block a shot in basketball late in a pickup game, or swinging a golf club after 16 holes.

This exercise activates your hamstrings, back, and posterior chain of muscles and you’ll improve your speed, flexibility, and core strength, says David Jack, a Men's Health advisor and director of Teamwork Fitness in Massachusetts. It makes little sense to limit the free -weight tools you use to just kettle bells, when barbells allow for more weight, which leads to the greatest gains in muscle strength.

-Researchers from California State University, Fullerton, had subjects follow a six-week strength-training program using either just kettle bells or barbells. TYPICAL FREE -WEIGHT TRAINING USING BARBELLS AND DUMBBELLS MAY BE BETTER FOR INCREASING MUSCLE STRENGTH.

As we suspected, using typical free weights such as barbells can increase muscle strength gains far better than limiting training to just kettle bells. To prevent strength imbalances between the left and right side of the body, dumbbells are the tools of choice.

For combining cardio with free weights, the kettle bell swing is a great choice. Limiting yourself to just one tool, such as the kettle bell, is like a carpenter performing all his work with just a hammer.

Sure, it’s a great tool for hammering nails, but it makes a poor choice to cut wood. Whether one tool is superior to the others depends on numerous variables, including your preferred method of training and your exercise goals.

But you can hold small, 1- or 3-pound hand weights to add some intensity to walks, runs or similar cardio activities. The relative strength-training benefits of kettle bell and more traditional free -weight training depend on several factors, including the types of exercises you perform.

A 2012 study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” compared two groups of men performing typical kettle bell and free -weight exercises. The study found no significant differences in vertical jump or body composition improvements between the groups, but the free -weight group scored “significantly greater improvements in strength,” based on participants' performances in the back squat.

Philip Davis reported on the Dragon Door website that he improved his performances on military physical fitness tests after he added kettle bell exercises into his fitness routine. If you're training to be an elite lifter or you hope to enter powerlifting competitions, you can certainly incorporate a variety of exercises in your routine, including kettle bell activities.

** Standing Shoulder Press With Kettlebellsvs Dumbbells There Are Benefits To Using Both **. Dumbbell or kettle bell shoulder press is a great exercise for building overall strength and size in your shoulders, as well as working your core and abs to hold a strong upright position throughout the exercise. Using dumbbells or kettle bells to perform the shoulder press works the stabilizer muscles in your shoulders and upper arms, which helps with functional strength and helps to avoid injury. It is preferable to use either dumbbells or kettle bells, rather than a barbell, as it gives you a broader flexibility of movement and is not so restrictive. Restriction of movement is harsh on your shoulder joint and can lead to injury. You should keep your belly button pulled back to engage your underlying core muscles and brace your abs while you perform the exercise to hold yourself in a strong position with your spine in neutral alignment. Take a look at our video tutorial where I guide you through the exercise and outline the main technique points of how to do a perfect dumbbell shoulder press. If you need something to print off and take to the gym as a reminder, the step-by-step exercise technique is provided here for you:How To Do A Dumbbell Shoulder Press Step-by-Step Technique. Step 1: Stand in a strong athletic stance, with the dumbbells/ kettle bells at the side of your feet, making sure your feet are just past shoulder-width apart, your back is in neutral alignment, and your core is tight. Step 2: Bending your knees, and keeping your back straight, lower down to pick up the dumbbells/ kettle bells.

Stand back upright and curl the bells up, then twist your hands so your palms face outward and the bells rest on your shoulders. Step 3: Breathe in, then as you breathe out, press the bells straight up and squeeze them into the center, above your head. Step 4: Breathe in as you lower the bells back down to shoulder height. Step 5: Complete the prescribed number of reps, then bending your knees and keeping your back straight, lower the bells back to the floor.** Pro Tip: We recommend starting 3 sets of 15-20 reps.**. If you want to start putting on muscle TODAY, check out our Fit Father Old School Muscle Building Program at https://www.fitfatherproject.com/youtube-osm-program. If you feel your lifestyle could use an improvement, then check out our FF30X 30-Day Transformation Program at https://www.fitfatherproject.com/youtube-ff30x-program. Your friends here at the FFP, .-Dr. Palazzi + The Men’s Health Experts @ The Fit Father Project. Show Description I often get asked by people if they should buy kettle bells for their home gym, or if they can just use their dumbbells for the same exercises.

By the same token, I show you the exercises I do that definitely work better with dumbbells. All my clients who is a workout at home are hooked on their kettle bells once they learn how to use them properly. Plus a bonus video to teach you the full version of the Turkish Get Up!find the series here:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoBoGjVPjNsv_cVHZklGXRVCDJVI8Ab0u. Ready to buy some kettle bells now?

I have partnership with ProSourceFit, a site that has top of the line quality fitness equipment for your home. General Fitness: Dumbbells One study showed that, compared to dynamic moves with kettle bells, basic weightlifting exercises (think. Dumbbells have long been a fixture in gyms thanks to their wide variety of uses.

So, you may wonder why the kettle bell—an iron-cast piece of equipment that looks like a ball with a handle (which dates back hundreds of years)—is something you should pick up. Kettle bells look like small cannonballs with handles attached, and dumbbells have a center bar with weights on each side.

A kettle bell is a cast iron weight shaped like a ball with a handle on top. Similar to the strength component above, kettle bells and dumbbells both have the potential to help improve a lifter’s power.

Kettle bells have become extremely popular over the past few years, endorsed by sports teams, celebrities, personal trainers and rehabilitation specialists. For example, kettle bells are better for more efficient swing movements while dumbbells are better for bicep curls.

Kettle bells can be used in the exact same way as dumbbells, says Johnson (think: overhead press, bicep curls, rows, lunges — you name it). Similar to dumbbells and barbells, the kettle bells can be used for lower body exercises such as kettle bell swings, squat, dead lift, lunges and upper body exercises such as shoulder front raise, lateral raise, overhead press, etc. Kettlebell expert Jason Brown says that kettle bells are more effective than dumbbells for burning fat.

From Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging by Ben GreenfieldVictory Belt Publishing, 2020 Kettle bells can be used one at a time or one in each hand. From Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance by Kelly Sterrett, Glen CordozaVictory Belt Publishing, 2015from Power to the People!

Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American by Pavel TsatsoulineDragon Door Publications, 2000 Kettle bells area little harder to get in the swing of (we couldn’t resist the pun! ), because you have to figure out how to control the weights and not send them flying through a window or into your neighbor.

From Fitness For Dummies by Suzanne Schoenberg, Liz NeporentWiley, 2010 Machine weights provide much more stability to the movement and usually present a much lower risk of injury, as long as they are used correctly. From The Essential Guide to Fitness by Rosemary Marches, Julie Taylor, Kirsten FaganCengage Learning Australia, 2019 Position Whether you are using dumbbells, a barbell, or a machine, the performance is very much the same.

From Bending the Aging Curve: The Complete Exercise Guide for Older Adults by Joseph F. SignorileHuman Kinetics, 2011 • Both benefit from weight training. From Stronger After Stroke: Your Roadmap to Recovery by Peter G LevineSpringer Publishing Company, 2008

1 www.menshealth.com - https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19534489/kettlebells-vs-free-weights-the-smackdown/
2 www.muscleandfitness.com - https://www.muscleandfitness.com/flexonline/training/trial-kettleballs-vs-free-weights/
3 livehealthy.chron.com - https://livehealthy.chron.com/difference-between-using-weights-kettlebell-4585.html
4 noahstrength.com - https://noahstrength.com/fitness/kettlebells-versus-dumbbells/