Kettlebells aren’t typically thought of as an essential home gym item. Dumbbells, bands, balls – this is the kind of equipment that most people start out with and continue to use. However, kettlebells have a lot of benefits and provide a different challenge to your fitness as opposed to the items listed above. Here are some benefits to having kettlebells as a workout option:
1. Center of Gravity
Kettlebells are different than dumbbells in that the main part of the weight hangs lower than where you are holding it in your hand. This challenges your grip and forearm strength more-so than traditional weight work because that weight is harder to control. Grip strength has been directly correlated to overall strength, so this is definitely an area that you want to develop!
2. Combines Strength and Cardio
Obviously, the weight in the kettlebells provides the strength training portion of this combination. Cardio comes in when you move quickly from one exercise to the next, keeping your heart rate elevated throughout your workout.
3. Improves Weaknesses and Imbalances
When you do a lot of lifting with barbells, or even when most of your workouts are cardio-based, you don’t get a chance to even out muscle imbalances. Most of us are either right or left dominant in everything we do. As a result, repeatedly doing daily activities causes some muscles to get more work than others. Working individually with kettlebells is a great way to help even out these muscle imbalances.
4. Improves Joint Health
During pregnancy and postpartum, your joints can give you all kinds of issues! From the stress of the extra weight to the relaxin in your system, you may find that your joints can be pretty achy at times. Working with kettlebells helps you develop stability and control by strengthening the stabilizing muscles that surround your joints, thus causing your joints to be stronger. You may also find that your joints become more mobile and flexible throughout the intended range of motion.
5. Space Saving
You can accomplish lots of great workouts with just 3-5 dumbbells! Even heavier dumbbells aren’t super big, so they can easily be tucked away in a cupboard, behind a couch or under a coffee table. You don’t need racks of weights or a barbell taking up lots of space. Kettlebells are very space-conscious!
As you can see, kettlebells are a great investment to make for your fitness routine. You can find them at most large retailers and online as well! Look for a set that suits your current fitness level – you can always buy a few more as you get stronger!
Keep an eye out this week for some great kettlebell routines!