The Right Tool for the Right Job: Kettlebell, Dumbbell, or Barbell

Kettlebell, Dumbbell, or Barbell?

What are the benefits of using a kettle bell instead of a dumbbell? What’s the difference between them? Why use one over another when there are so many other options available today?

These questions and others like it have been asked time after time since the beginning of human history. There is no shortage of answers to these questions; however, most people don’t bother to learn more than they need to. They just go with what feels right at the moment.

The question of which tool is best for a given task usually comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer a lighter weight and some prefer a heavier weight. Others want to train their body in different ways while still keeping it healthy and strong. You might even think that you could pick any two tools out of a hat and get similar results because each tool does something slightly different from the next.

However, this isn’t necessarily true!

In fact, if you’re not careful, picking the wrong tool can actually make things worse rather than better. When choosing a tool for your training program, you must consider all of its advantages and disadvantages. If you choose the wrong tool for a particular purpose, then it will probably hinder your goals in the long run. Not to mention, you may also develop muscle imbalances and improper movement patterns from using the wrong tool.

What exactly is a movement pattern?

It’s a fancy way of saying how your body is configured (or organized) to execute a particular task. For instance, if you are trying to hit a ball with a bat, you would set your body into “batting position.” This is your movement pattern for batting. Now, if you were to try to hit a ball with a hockey stick, your body would set up in a different way. This new position is your movement pattern for hockey.

If you’ve ever tried to play another sport after not playing it for many years, you might have noticed that you had to re-learn some of the basic movement patterns. This is because your brain stored the “program” for that particular pattern but lost it over time after not using it. This is why it’s important to continue exercising even after you’ve acquired good movement patterns. You never know when your brain will purge those patterns if you don’t use them on a regular basis (this is also why people who haven’t flown a plane for many years sometimes forget how to do it).

In fact, this is the whole concept behind the popular videogame franchise called “Guitar Hero.”

Sources & references used in this article:

Incorporating kettlebells into a lower extremity sports rehabilitation program by J Brumitt, HE Gilpin, M Brunette… – North American Journal of …, 2010 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Mechanical demands of kettlebell swing exercise by JP Lake, MA Lauder – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning …, 2012 – cdn.journals.lww.com

The Complete Guide to Kettlebell Training by A Collins – 2011 – books.google.com

Kettlebell swing training improves maximal and explosive strength by JP Lake, MA Lauder – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning …, 2012 – cdn.journals.lww.com

The complete guide to functional training by A Collins – 2012 – books.google.com

Breaking Muscle UK by A Read, KV Barbells – breakingmuscle.com

The strength builders: a history of barbells, dumbbells and Indian clubs by J Todd – The International Journal of the History of Sport, 2003 – Taylor & Francis