The reason why there is so much debate and confusion as to why kettle bells are a superior form of training, is because too many people use kettle bells with little or no expert instruction. They make the critical mistake of trying to use kettle bells like traditional weights.
Traditional weight training is known as ‘Single-Plane Static’. Your body is in a fixed position while completing a lift and the movement is always linear. Muscle building occurs as a result of ‘muscle hypertrophy’. Most people associate this size with strength. However the size that is gained through traditional weight training contributes very little to strength.
In everyday life, your body constantly moves through 3 planes of motion.
These planes are the:
• Sagittal Plane – divides the body into left and right halves
• Frontal Plane – divides the body into back and front
• Transverse Plane – divides the body into upper and lower body
Resistance training, traditional weight training and resistance bands all target only Sagittal plane movement from fixed positions. The other two planes of motion, critical to human performance and function, are ignored. What’s more, 70% of all injuries occur in the Transverse plane, all the more reason why training needs to include this plane too.
This is what gives kettle bells the edge over traditional weight training.
So what’s the difference? Kettlebells are the complete antithesis of traditional weight training, using all 3 of the above mentioned planes simultaneously. The Transverse plane, in particular, is very heavily targeted. Kettlebell training is based on generating momentum, then perpetuating, redirecting and decelerating that movement. Almost every kettle bell movement engages literally hundreds of muscles at once. This results in functional strength without the bulky size. The very nature of kettlebell training triggers greater myofibril density and a higher rate of synchronized motor units. As a result muscles become incredibly dense, and strong, without adding bulky size.
There is no substituting the kettlebell. Even if you were to attempt a basic kettlebell movement with a dumbbell, for example a kettlebell swing, it still would not even come close. Whether holding the dumbbell with one hand or both hands, either by the handle or dumbbell head, there is still a direct line of force. The dumbbell is still balanced in design. The kettlebell, on the other hand, is asymmetrical by design. The simple act of picking the kettlebell up triggers engagement of all 38 core muscles.
Look at it this way. You can run on a flat, even surface, or up a steep uphill, rugged terrain. Both involve running, and may look the same, but one is a whole lot harder than the other. This is the simple, major contrast between the kettlebell and traditional weight training. The Kettlebell. . . Ball of iron with a handle. Simple, sinister, brutal. Ferociously effective for developing brutal strength, dramatic power and awesome conditioning. The warrior’s choice for the toughest, most demanding, highest-yield exercise tool on the planet. Guaranteed to forge a rugged, resilient, densely-muscled, functionally strong frame.
Steve’s ‘Swing fit” classes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7am. Burn fat and lose weight effortlessly.