“Adding kettlebells to your home gym opens up a wide range of variations to many staple movements and many more that can only be appropriately performed with a kettlebell,” says Dan Bulay, CPT, co-owner of The District Training Facility, and Everlast coach.
From squats to curls to presses, kettlebell variations allow you to challenge your muscles in different ways—and that promotes progress. Plus, some signature kettlebell moves, like kettlebell swings, can’t be comfortably replicated with a dumbbell.
While both home gym staples share a similarly small footprint, kettlebells zig where dumbbells zag. “Kettlebells provide a change in weight distribution compared to a dumbbell,” says Bulay. “Due to the shape of a kettlebell and the varying ways to hold it, it’s possible to increase the difficulty of any physical movement during a workout.”
It’s true: Holding the kettlebell by its base, its handle, or even upside down affects everything from difficulty level to how the muscle is being stressed. Bulay says that’s all thanks to physics and biomechanics: “Holding it in different areas changes the lever and momentum to provide either more or less difficulty and/or stability.”