Adjustable Kettlebells vs. Medicine Balls

Barbells and/or dumbells are among the oldest exercise equipment ever invented. In fact, since it was first crafted, many different types of exercises have been developed. Along with this development came the numerous inventions or variations in strength training equipment. These include adjustable kettlebells and medicine balls.

Some debate over which piece of equipment is a better investment. While ketllebells have been enjoying increasing popularity among home gym equipment, medicine balls are a constant part of most commercial gyms. So which is really better? Let's have a closer look at each one.

The Medicine Ball

First used in Persia around 3000 years ago, a medicine ball is an weighted exercise ball which is around 14 inches in diameter. It's weight ranges from 2 to 25 pounds, and in the 19th century it was named one of the four horsemen of fitness, along with barbells.

Most medicine balls are perfect spheres, but some have handles. Often, these handles serve as hand security or to accommodate a strap which helps swings the ball. The handles are often used on feet exercises. Apart from plain spheres and those with handles, other medicine balls have versions in which there is a rope on one side of the ball or two pieces of rope on either side of the ball. These are known as powerballs, tornado balls, and slamballs.

Though used in strength training, medicine balls are more commonly used in rehabilitation training. It is commonly used to improve abdominal strength and core strength, but it can also be used to increase strength on a specific muscle. Apart from this, it builds resistance and increases flexibility. The exercises are relatively easy, which is probably why they are used to rehabilitate patients.

Even the ancient Greek Hippocrates advised that some of his patients use a medicine ball to strengthen their bodies. (During the time of the Greeks, medicine balls were made of sewed animal skin stuffed with sand.)

Adjustable Kettlebells

Like medicine balls, kettlebells have also been around for some time. The original kettlebell was a cast iron cannonball type contraption which weight 16kg. The biggest difference between a kettlebell and a medicine ball is that kettlebells always have handles. This feature, and the fact that the equipment's center of mass is extended just beyond the hand, allows a lot of swinging movements.

Most kettlebell exercises are designed to mimic everyday activities. They often focus on strengthening the shoulders, lower back, and legs while increasing endurance. This is done by combining cardiovascular routines with strength and flexibility. Like medicine balls, workouts are very easy, and they can be done at home.

So which is better?

The truth is that, the better piece of equipment will depend on what exercises you need to do. These will be dependent on your goals. Off hand, however, adjustable kettlebells are a more practical investment because they are adjustable. Investing in medicine balls will require that you buy several balls in order to progress in your weight training.


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