Q:

What are cowbell weights?

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Quick Answer

Cowbell weights, which are also known as kettlebell weights, are shaped like cannon balls with thick handles. They are very versatile and ideal for a wide variety of exercises. Their thick handles require a different grip than traditional dumbbells and make the core muscles work harder during many routines.

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Full Answer

The mass of cowbell weights is directly below the thick metal handles, so they make for a more challenging workout than when using dumbbells, forcing the user to employ a variety of other muscles during common exercises. Cowbell weights were commonly used by Russian weightlifters more than a century ago, but they are only recently becoming popular in American gyms, according to Men's Fitness. They are perfect for explosive routines that build muscle mass and strength, but they also add a new twist to more controlled exercises such as chest presses or biceps curls.

One of the more effective exercises using a cowbell weight is the swing. The user stands with legs shoulder-width apart with one cowbell weight held with both hands in front of him. He then bends at the knees, hips thrust back, and lets the weight lower, swinging it back between his legs. This is followed by an explosive swing back to the original position, repeating the motion six or more times. This and other cowbell-weight exercises offer the benefits of a dumbbell routine with an intense cardiovascular workout.

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