Q: What’s the difference between a kettlebell and a dumbbell?
A: A weight is a weight, right? Not exactly. A kettlebell’s unique shape shifts the weight’s load away from your hand, which allows you to perform a variety of ballistic [or swinging] exercises like the Kettlebell Swing, Clean or Snatch, which are difficult to execute with dumbbells. (Watch Roy Hibbert perform Kettlebell Swings.) The more fluid movement enabled by the kettlebell keeps your body in motion, simultaneously building strength, power and endurance, while burning calories at a high rate.
When you swing a kettlebell, it places a force on your body that requires your core to stay engaged in order to keep you upright. Performing the move will help you develop a rock-solid core in a standing position, which translates to better on-field performance. (Read: Harness the Benefits of Kettlebells.)
If you have never used kettlebells, don’t be reluctant to try this type of training. The exercises may look complicated, but many times they are easier to learn and master than traditional lifting movements, especially Olympic lifts. Start with the Kettlebell Swing, and after you’ve mastered it, progress to more advanced exercises.