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Kettlebells?

post #1 of 310
Thread Starter 
Would someone please clue me in on the virtues of kettlebells? I see from perusing the threads here that they are enjoying quite a comeback. My gym rat wife has also alluded to their popularity. Back when I was training hardest--between 1964 and 1984--they just seemed sort of pointless and archaic. A few outfits offered kettlebell handles for dumbbells, but for the most part they just seemed to hark back to the era of Indian clubs, globe barbells and Eugen Sandow. What's behind their renascence?
post #2 of 310
Because the human body has evolved so much in the last 5 years, basic conditioning workouts no longer elicit any performance increases. Oh, and my muscles need to keep guessing.
post #3 of 310
Different form of weight maybe? Like chains on a squat bar?


post #4 of 310
It's a little more comfortable to do certain kinds of exercises with them I guess, like one armed snatches, and some jiujitsu specific conditioning.
post #5 of 310
waht works, just works bringing back the OG way. It is just another form of lifting, everyone has there preference. kettlebells are no joke by any means, and have an extensive amount of work outs that will kick your butt
post #6 of 310
my take on it - they are a little less comfortable and a little more akward. you are basically using an unstable type of weight with a difficult grip. more modern weights are made to make a specific movement focused and relativly comfortable. KBs make you work hard to balance and to swing the weights into position, sometimes even to grip them.

when I first started working with KBs I was lifting pretty good amounts of weight with barbells. I thought that I would be able to start with a relativly large KB, I found that I needed to work for a few weeks with one of the smallest, because the work was totally disimilar to what my body was used to.

a typical kb work out also does pretty good cardio work.
post #7 of 310
I haven't used them personally, but globetrotter's description sounds about right. I disagree with those ardent proponents who claim that KBs are the ultimate in training. They're just another tool, and are good or bad depending on how you use them and what your goals are.
post #8 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philosoph View Post
I haven't used them personally, but globetrotter's description sounds about right.

I disagree with those ardent proponents who claim that KBs are the ultimate in training. They're just another tool, and are good or bad depending on how you use them and what your goals are.

+1.

what is best about kettlebells? you can get a great work out for about $300 worth of equipment that has a 1 sq foot footprint, and that workout can work strenght and cardio pretty well .
post #9 of 310
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
+1.

what is best about kettlebells? you can get a great work out for about $300 worth of equipment that has a 1 sq foot footprint, and that workout can work strenght and cardio pretty well .

But can't the same be said for dumbbells with sufficient plates? For years, because of space limitations, I trained exclusively with dumbbells and built a pretty good physique and was no weakling either.
post #10 of 310
Probably. I guess the main difference is that the KB handle design makes certain types of moves easier.
post #11 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philosoph View Post
Probably. I guess the main difference is that the KB handle design makes certain types of moves easier.

actually, I would say harder - I have used dumbells and KBs, dumbells are great for some excersizes, KBs are a little more ackward to swing around, and because of that they require the use of a lot of differnt parts of your body. most KB excersizes involve first swinging the bell up from the ground into position, which involves a sort of circular leveraging motion, and then a pressing potion, and then a swing down. the pressing parts are very similar to what you would do with a dumbell (although they may have the added advantage of a larger grip which coulc cause extra work for your wrist) but the swinging parts work your core and back.

I have done a lot of dumbell work over the years, including pretty heavy ones. I have very seldom felt that I was struggling to ocntrol them. with kbs, even smaller ones, you feel a lot less on balance and in control, which requires a little more focus and working more muscle groups, I think.

I would suggest that, pound for pound, you can probrably work your arms and maybe chest and shoulders with dumbells better, but back and core you will get a better workout with kbs, although I guess it depends on how you work.


as an example - I have 10 kilo dumbells that I got long time ago and don't use at all any more, because it is too small to be usefull. I used them for concentration curls and tricep extentions. I also have a 12 kilo kb, which is actually still useful - I swing it from the ground to a position on my shoulder, and then press it above my head. while I can do this with a 16 kilo weight, the 12 still gives me a good workout.
post #12 of 310
They look better as a doorstop than standard barbells.
post #13 of 310
Hey Gang,

Great question. I love 'em, but as already stated here, they are just a tool. The bigger reason for their growth lately is that most all of the traditional KB drills work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. So, they they fit perfectly in the functional strength movement.

Also, they tend to combine both cardio and strength in a short, intense workout. So, great way to get it all in when you get to an age where 4 hours at the gym every day doesn't really work.

Plus, they're just plain fun. Variety is good. Boredom is bad.

I've collected a ton of info and kettlebell video tutorials you can check out for free. I say find somebody local who owns some kettlebells and see if you like it.

Best,
Jeff
post #14 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
actually, I would say harder - I have used dumbells and KBs, dumbells are great for some excersizes, KBs are a little more ackward to swing around, and because of that they require the use of a lot of differnt parts of your body. most KB excersizes involve first swinging the bell up from the ground into position, which involves a sort of circular leveraging motion, and then a pressing potion, and then a swing down. the pressing parts are very similar to what you would do with a dumbell (although they may have the added advantage of a larger grip which coulc cause extra work for your wrist) but the swinging parts work your core and back.

I have done a lot of dumbell work over the years, including pretty heavy ones. I have very seldom felt that I was struggling to ocntrol them. with kbs, even smaller ones, you feel a lot less on balance and in control, which requires a little more focus and working more muscle groups, I think.

I would suggest that, pound for pound, you can probrably work your arms and maybe chest and shoulders with dumbells better, but back and core you will get a better workout with kbs, although I guess it depends on how you work.


as an example - I have 10 kilo dumbells that I got long time ago and don't use at all any more, because it is too small to be usefull. I used them for concentration curls and tricep extentions. I also have a 12 kilo kb, which is actually still useful - I swing it from the ground to a position on my shoulder, and then press it above my head. while I can do this with a 16 kilo weight, the 12 still gives me a good workout.

Ah. I see what you mean. I would have thought that the handle position would have made it easier to do swings, where with a DB the ends might get in the way of your wrist, but I can see why controlling the KB pendulum would take more effort.
post #15 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philosoph View Post
Ah. I see what you mean. I would have thought that the handle position would have made it easier to do swings, where with a DB the ends might get in the way of your wrist, but I can see why controlling the KB pendulum would take more effort.

its one of those things that is worth while trying - the first time I touched one, I was doing 100 kg bench presses and squats as my standard weight for 3 sets of 8. I thought that I would be able to start with a fairly heavy kb, and it killed me after a couple of moves. I ended up using one of the smallest ones available for a few weeks, until I got used to the movements. I still can't use the ones that are considered "intermediate" - the 24 kg ones.

but, like you said and was repeated, it is just another tool, and it depends what you do with it. I don't think that you can get really big with kbs, for instance.
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