Why does the kettlebell dominate other equipment?
The Russian kettlebell owes half of its power to the proprietary RKC training system. The other half is due to the kettlebell’s design, namely a thick handle removed from a compact center of mass.
The kettlebell is the ultimate in conditioning the body for extreme decelerations. Think of all the sudden stops and direction changes on the football field. If you have not conditioned yourself to handle these forces, you will perform sub-par and run a high risk of injury. Traditional strength training, even the Olympic ‘quick lifts’, does not address this issue as the weight is either dropped or treated to a slow negative. As Brett Jones, RKC Sr. put it, "You cannot swing a barbell between your legs." You could try it with a dumbbell -at least until the sheer width of it takes your knees out. The compact kettlebell can be dropped from the lockout between your knees and way behind you where it will impact load your hips.
This dynamic loading sets up the hip muscles for a powerful contraction. The kettlebell is the definitive tool for developing the hip thrust, the power generator in all athletics. Be it a jump, a kick, or a punch, when expertly performed, it comes from the hip.
The kettlebell will make your back resilient. Unique Russian exercises condition your back from every conceivable angle, statically and dynamically. One would have to take up powerlifting, yoga, strongman, gymnastics, and a couple of other things to half way imitate the benefits of kettlebell training.
Kettlebell’s offset center of gravity maximizes shoulder strength, flexibility, and health. Most Russians have never heard of ‘rotator cuffs.’ Save for combat wounds, shoulder injuries are virtually unheard in the Russian armed forces. They train and test their personnel with repetition one-arm snatches with a 53 lb. kettlebell rather than pushups.
The kettlebell is an outstanding grip, wrist, and forearm developer. A thick and smooth handle combined with the ballistic nature of many exercises loads the grip like rock climbing. Bottom up cleans and similar leverage drills unique to kettlebells take care of the wrists.
The position of the handle allows dynamic passing of the kettlebell from hand to hand for a great variety of powerful juggling type exercises strongly endorsed by the Russian Federation State Committee on Physical Culture. These drills develop dynamic strength and injury-proof the body in many planes unlike conventional linear exercise.
The kettlebell will give you infinite freedom of lifting. It has been said that kettlebells to traditional free weights are what barbells and dumbells are to machines. Taming a kettlebell is akin to medieval sword, spear, and battleaxe play, liberating and aggressive.
The Russian kettlebell is a complete, no-compromise, extreme hand held gym. "We train with kettlebells in case civilization is temporary," stated the Philadelphia Kettlebell Club, "…don’t rely on anything you can’t carry."
The Russian kettlebell replaces all this equipment!
* Barbells * Dumbells * Belts for weighted pullups and dips * Thick bars * Lever bars * Medicine balls * Grip devices * Cardio equipment
Barbells.—Inventive gireviks don’t need a ton of weight to provide progressive resistance. We have yet to meet a man who can press an 88-pound kettlebell bottom up. We know 600-pound squatters who cannot duplicate Steve Maxwell’s Hack squats with the same kettlebell. On the lower end of the strength spectrum one can do basic deadlifts and squats with the same bell.
Dumbells.—The kettlebell can do anything a dumbbell can do at least as well and usually better. For example, the KB provides unsurpassed military press range of motion: it does not restrict your shoulder on the bottom and it stretches it on the top.
Belts for weighted pullups and dips.—Hang a kettlebell on your foot, Russian spec ops style, and off you go.
Thick bars.—Lifting two kettlebells with one hand is a lot more extreme than a thick barbell.
Lever bars.—Lay your KB on the floor and tilt it with your wrist strength or do Russian hammer curls.
Medicine balls.—Thanks to its handle, the kettlebell can be thrown more ways than a medicine ball, save for bouncing it off your six-pack.
Grip devices.—Soap up your hand and swing your kettlebell away. Not for sissies or beginners!
Cardio equipment.—We don’t need no stinkin’ treadmills! Every endurance stud who has given our kettlebells a try has reported that their conditioning benefits are untouchable.
Amazingly, the Russian kettlebell will make you good at many things you have not practiced. Gireviks’ report on our Strength Forum that they run faster, bend sixty-penny nails, bench or deadlift heavier, etc. -just from lifting kettlebells. The only time they see the barbell, a nail, or running shoes is during the test!
It’s like this old joke. A man asks his doctor after a surgery on his hand, "Doc, will I be able to play piano?" -"Absolutely!" The man is perplexed, "It’s funny, I could never play it before!"
The amazing Russian kettlebell "what the hell effect" notwithstanding, if you want to excel at a certain exercise, be it the deadlift or a heavy-duty gripper, you should practice it specifically in addition to your kettlebell training. To use a martial arts analogy, you will never be able to express all your strength in a punch if you do not work with a heavy bag.