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 Kettlebells?

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Grayfox

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PostSubject: Re: Kettlebells?   Wed May 26, 2010 9:29 pm

With genuine respect...
I admire kettlebellers, but I've mentioned that I already own more hardware than is truly necessary, ...but for the sake of discussion, what do kettlerbells add to training that dumbells and barbells don't...?
Granting that the swing of kettlebells is fun, good exercise, and maintains interest, all important elements in training, what do they contribute beyond a new stress on muscles to improve development?
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: Kettlebells?   Thu May 27, 2010 2:20 am

First off a quick note, you can swing a dumbbell. It's best when you use an adjustable DB & weigh the back of the DB more heavily than the front (as you get bigger discs you might need a gauntlet for the wrist area if you do the full style 'British swing' as the DB discs will be a bit painful on the wrists.
Here's a quick link detailing the old style British swing (swung to end like a snatch above your head, not just to chest height like Russian KB users advocate). Look at how heavy some of these guys get!

OK, now on to the alleged benefits of KBs:

1/ Lower centre of gravity makes some exercises different (stuff like the Turkish Get up) & some more comfortable (like the swing)
2/ Thicker handles means better grip work using the same weight
3/ Fuller range of motion in some moves (like the press - with DBs you start above the shoulder as the discs get in the way, with a KB you start at 'the rack' with the hand at a touch below shoulder height approx)
KB press


DB press


4/ Variations in hand & weight positions that aren't possible with a DB (holding the 'horns' of the KB, or adding grip by doing bottom-up versions of the press for example)

Bottom-up press


Saying all that basically I consider then as 'extra toys'. Given the choice a set of adjustable DBs are much more versatile & useful. Basically I suggest you get the bench barbell, dumbbells & rack first. Next up some when buying toys like med balls, stability balls etc I'd begin to think about KB's as they are somewhat limited. I bought them simply as a new challenge, not because I thought they were vital pieces of kit. I have found women to be more interested in KBs than any other weights I've got available (I had to buy a 4Kg & an 8Kg just to give some weaker ladies a go as they showed interest)...but basically I'd class them as 'extra toys', not 'must have' - sure there is a technique to using them that is specific to them, but there is with every implement you use.
They are good for doing cardio style weights (but you can do the same with DBs), good for doing pistols with added weight (looks more impressive going up & down with a cannonball type thing than a DB or med ball Very Happy - but still definitely a toy & only worth adding if you fancy a new challenge, not like the barbell & dumbbells that are vital.
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PhysCultureFan

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PostSubject: Re: Kettlebells?   Fri May 28, 2010 2:40 pm

Thanks to Pete and the videos posted, I really got the swings down, not problems even with a few big kettlebell weights but of course, not the extremely big big weights, Summer is here, I worked on them, got a fair swing but I'm glad I did not go to the store and get a big one myself.

Those pistols put quite a bit of stress on the ankles which I've rolled before, it was cool to see him do it but I'll be cautious to do it myself.
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PostSubject: Re: Kettlebells?   Sat May 29, 2010 3:38 am

If you've got instability in the ankle you might want to start with simple split squats & use the back leg to aid stability, get that area better, then move onto Bulgarian split squats, then partial pistols down to a box or step, then finally fully pistols when the ankle is stable enough. It's better to take these things slowly, than to rush & turn an ankle.

I reckon a combo of swings & get-up would be a pretty good duo to work hard on
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