Kettlebell Vs. Weights – The Main Differences and Benefits

By Tonny Wandella

People often confuse between working out with a kettlebell and weight lifting since the two routines seem similar with a slightly different approach.

For the most part, both workouts yield similar results that mainly manifest as muscle hypertrophy, increased strength, and improved bone mineral density.

Difference between kettlebell and weights

The main difference between kettlebell training and weight lifting using other tools is the type of movement you’ll be performing.

For instance, the kettlebell swing offers a full-body workout by recruiting the vast majority of muscles. On the other hand, performing dumbbell curls primarily benefits the biceps and some accessory muscles.

Benefits of kettlebell and weight training

Offers an efficient full-body workout

Kettlebell exercises offer a full-body workout, as the vast majority of muscle groups get recruited.

The most common mistake that beginners make is focusing too much on the heavy machinery found in the gym, which targets specific muscle groups. This feature is fine for high-performing athletes who want to improve the function of a specific muscle group. However, in beginners, it could yield the exact opposite result.

By counting on your lower body to coordinate the swinging motion while stabilizing the kettlebell with your arms, the entire muscular system is working to perform this exercise, which improves cardiovascular health and promotes muscle hypertrophy.

Working out with dumbbells can also yield similar results. However, if you focus on restrained movements or machines, you’ll lose the advantage offered by free weights.

Stimulate your cardiovascular system

As you swing the kettlebell in the air, your cardiac frequency will rapidly increase to meet the demands of your muscles.

This benefit is also shared by weight lifting, as the explosive movement stimulates the heart to pump blood and improve cardiovascular health.

Over time, the heart will adapt to the large amounts of blood that are being pumped, which leads to blood vessel expansion mediated by the release of sympathomimetic neurotransmitters.

Promotes better flexibility

Unfortunately, most people have a desk job and a sedentary lifestyle that progressively wreaks havoc on their physiological processes.

One common chief complaint seen in people of low physical activity is decreased flexibility and articular range of motion.

For instance, the hip joint is especially predisposed to motion issues, which calls for the need of regular stretching and exercise.

The good news is that kettlebell exercises depend on the coordinated rotation of several articulations (e.g., hip, shoulder, elbow), making it the perfect exercise to improve flexibility and reduce injury.

Similarly, lifting a barbell or performing complex exercises with dumbbells increases the articular range of motion and decreases the risk of injury.

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The Best Bodyweight Exercises That Anyone Can Do

By Mark Weeks

You already know that daily exercise is essential not only for your overall fitness and physique, but that it is also excellent for your brain health and memory, lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases, boosts energy levels, and aids in weight loss goals. The great news is you don’t need a gym membership or even access to a ton of weights to get a great full-body workout in! Check out this list of the 5 Best Bodyweight Exercises that anyone can do to strengthen their entire body!

5 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Full Body Strength

Here are the best exercises that anyone can do at home for full-body strength and conditioning, in no particular order. The great thing about these exercises is that they can all be made easier or more difficult and can be tailored to your current fitness level by simply switching up some of the training factors, like: weight used, adding resistance bands, doing more reps, less rest time, etc.

  1. Bridges / Hip Thrusts

Bridges and Hip Thrusts are amazing for glute activation and strength work, and there are so many variations that you can be sure you will never get bored. Bridges and hip thrusts work the hamstrings, core, lower back, abs, obliques, and hip flexors. The classic glute bridge will find you laying flat on the floor, feet planted about hip-distance apart, pushing through your heels to raise your hips to the ceiling and squeezing your glutes at the top. Hold for 1-2 seconds at the top position, keeping a neutral spine, and lower back to the ground. You can intensify this exercise in a variety of ways from adding weight, adding a resistance band at the knees, using a single leg, adding more seconds to the top hold, or altering your tempo in how fast you raise/lower your bridge.

  1. Lunges

An excellent move to work on both mobility and stability, as well as strength, is the lunge. The lunge is a part of any well-rounded lower body routine. Since lunges are a unilateral exercise, you can focus on equal strength on both legs. You can perform static lunges (no movement involved), walking forward lunges, reverse lunges, curtsey lunges, step down lunges from an elevated platform, and more.

  1. Squats

The squat is truly a full-body exercise, working everything from legs to core and back again. You can perform regular bodyweight squats, toss in a mini band for extra tension, or add weight in a variety of ways, from dumbbells at your sides, at shoulder height, or even pushed up overhead for a major core challenge. Once you’ve mastered the classic bodyweight squat you can also switch up the time under tension, or how many seconds it takes you to lower to the bottom of the squat position, how long you hold it there, and how quickly you drive back up.

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Dining Out Without Compromising Your Fitness and Diet Goals

By Mark Weeks

When you’ve got fitness or weight loss goals set in your sights, every decision you make throughout the day matters.

How many steps you take, how much water you choose to drink and how many veggies you put on each plate, all help you move closer to – or further away from – your ultimate goals.

One such decision that comes into play is dining out. No matter if you’re headed out to happy hour with coworkers, to a dinner party with friends, or to a big family meal, it’s important to know how to feel comfortable in making healthy decisions that don’t compromise your diet goals.

There are two important ways to look at dining out when you’ve got diet, health or fitness goals to achieve.

The first is how to make good decisions that help you stay on top of your nutrition and the second is how to make trade-offs so that you still enjoy those nights out.

In this article, we’ll talk a little more about both of those viewpoints.

Making Good Decisions While Dining Out

There are several things you can do to prepare yourself for a night out. If you’re headed to a specific restaurant, you can look up their menu beforehand and give yourself an idea of the choices you’ll have to make.

Going into the restaurant with a good idea of what you’ll order plus any changes you need to ask for will make the process a lot less stressful. A complete meal would be one with a lean protein, at least two vegetables and a healthy fat option.

Once you’re at the restaurant, here are a few tips to make your meal a little lighter/healthier:

  • Ask for sauce on the side;
  • Skip anything fried;
  • Ask for no added salt;
  • Stick with a grilled, lean protein option;
  • Swap pasta or rice for a side of vegetables;
  • Ask for a lettuce wrap instead of bun or bread.

If it’s a party or dinner where you aren’t sure what will be served, do your best to make sure your nutrition during the day is the best it can be.

Fill up on the good stuff early on so that the unknown at dinner doesn’t seem so scary. Remember to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day and try to drink a full glass of water before heading out. Eat a light snack before you leave home.

Munching on a small apple, a handful of almonds or some carrot sticks will help you avoid the bread basket at the restaurant or the bowl of chips at your friend’s house, and it will also help you with portion sizes during the meal.

Making Trade-Offs so You Still Enjoy Your Meals

Food choice matters and so do calories when you’ve got diet goals to achieve, but that occasional night out isn’t going to make or break your progress. While it is important to do your best to make healthy choices while dining out, it is equally important to have a flexible attitude towards your meals.

If you’re constantly stressed about food choices or about eating out, chances are your quality of life is going to suffer because of it.

Inflexibility leads to feelings of guilt or remorse when you, inevitably, make a less-than-healthy decision.

It can also increase the chances of binge eating or yo-yo dieting, not to mention you probably won’t be able to fully enjoy the happy hour, dinner party, family dinner, etc if all you can do is focus on the food you can or cannot have.

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