When most people think of a home gym they see images of power racks and dumbbells lying everywhere with maybe a stationary bike parked in the corner too.
However, you don’t really need all of that stuff.
Not that I’m opposed to having some great equipment like that or that I haven’t owned it in the past but it isn’t really necessary.
All you really need to have a toned and powerful body is a kettlebell.
Just one funny, medieval looking cannonball with a handle attached to it is all you need to give yourself a full body workout.
The kettlebell also perfectly matches my philosophy on exercise because it allows you to get in as much quality exercise as possible without wasting time on anything that is unnecessary.
And you don’t have to just take my word for it either.
Just listen to Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Body, who was interviewed during an RKC kettlebell challenge and said that the only thing that a normal person needs to be fit is a kettlebell.
Read on below to see what a kettlebell can do for you:
A Complete Home Gym With One Piece Of Equipment
With a kettlebell you can do all of the traditional exercises that you could do with dumbbells but with a couple of added bonuses.
The first is that the way the kettlebell changes position as you lift it helps to strengthen your body in a unique way and the second is that you can use the kettlebell to do ballistic swinging exercises which have tremendous health benefits.
By performing these types of swinging exercises, the most famous of which is the kettlebell swing, you can reap the full benefit of your kettlebell.
What makes the kettlebell swing so unique is the combination of intensity and endurance put together.
Most endurance exercises are a form of steady state cardio where a mildly difficult activity is repeated continuously for a long period of time to strengthen your cardiovascular system.
However, the kettlebell swing is different in that it has you doing an explosive burst at the beginning of the movement and then lets your muscles get a brief rest as they simply guide the bell through the rest of the movement caused by the first initial explosion of power before having you explode again to fire the kettlebell forward and up again.
Training in this manner not only builds your cardiovascular strength but also builds a kind of “power endurance;”
Meaning your body is conditioned to be able to perform extremely powerful and explosive movements repeatedly over time.
That’s part of the reason why kettlebells have become so popular amongst martial artists who require their bodies to stay strong even after exploding with extreme force repeatedly.
Because of the kettlebell’s ability to be used for both conditioning and strength training it can truly give you a complete home gym with just one piece of equipment.
Why Kettlebells Are Better Than Dumbbells
With kettlebells you can perform all of the exercises that you can perform with dumbbells but with an added benefit.
Because of the unique shape of the kettlebell the weight is left hanging away from your hand and as you perform an exercise the center of gravity of the bell actually changes as you continue to move it.
This causes many more of the supporting muscles in your body to be activated as you perform an exercise than with a traditional weight.
For example, when you perform a shoulder press with a dumbbell the weight stays in the same place throughout the movement.
However, when you perform the same exercise using a kettlebell the weight starts facing forward and as you press the bell overhead it moves to face the back of your body.
This means that the supporting muscles in your shoulder, such as your rotator cup, must do a lot more work to balance and support the weight throughout the exercise.
The strange design of the kettlebell helps to build and strengthen all of the joints and supporting muscles surrounding them much more than any traditional weight can.
Another added bonus to working out with a kettlebell is an improved sense of balance.
Because the weight of the kettlebell hangs freely from your hand you must constantly react to the shifting center of gravity of the weight.
This not only helps to strengthen your supporting muscles and ligaments but also to help your overall sense of balance which can carry over into many other aspects of your life.
Exercising with a kettlebell also helps to improve your grip strength.
Have you ever used those little hand-gripper things to help improve your hand strength?
Well, if you start working out with a kettlebell I can guarantee that you won’t need them anymore.
Because of the ballistic nature of many kettlebell exercises, as well as the shifting nature of the weight in your hands, you’ll gain a remarkably stronger grip in no time.
Another aspect of the kettlebell that translates into overall fitness is that the way you hold a kettlebell more closely matches the way you grip regular objects in real life.
When you pick up a backpack or a pot of boiling water the weight is not centered perfectly in your hand as it is with a dumbbell.
Rather, it is hanging away from your body in the same manner that a kettlebell does.
By exercising with a kettlebell you are training your body to be better prepared and more efficient at performing the work it has to do; whether that work is athletic or just doing daily chores.
In my mid-twenties I used to have a weight bench with a barbell sitting in the rack that was surrounded by dumbbells.
Now the only piece of fitness equipment that I own is a kettlebell and I’m honestly in better shape now, in my mid-thirties, than I have ever been in my life.
By sticking to the basics and just using a kettlebell and my own bodyweight for resistance I’m able to get in a far better and more efficient workout than I ever could before with all of that extra equipment.
With the help of my kettlebell I’m able to do both incredibly powerful and efficient exercises, such as the kettlebell swing, along with additionally strengthening my joints and supporting muscles when doing the standard weight lifting moves I love, such as the shoulder press and squat.
So if you haven’t tried to work out with a kettlebell yet, what are you waiting for?
Run over to a friend’s house to give it a try or order one online from a trusted retailer like Dragon Door now!
Until next time; stay healthy, happy, and strong!