The kettlebell has gained great popularity in the last few years in part because it’s so effective and versatile. And while they are also fun to use, the kettlebell is far from the only alternative that’s available for the average joe. Starting to increase in popularity are other alternatives like:

  • - Clubbells

  • - Sledge hammers

  • - Slam balls

  • - Weighted bags

  • - Bulgarian bags

A lot of these alternatives aren’t actually that new and have been around for many years. It’s just now that they have become almost mainstream because of the rise in Crossfit type training and gyms offering MMA style training. Some of these alternatives are surprisingly versatile and can give you a real tough workout that’s different from the standard run of the mill workout. They often also work to keep your body unstable meaning you need to work harder to maintain your balance, thereby strengthening your core and stabilising muscles.



A post shared by M Δ X | PHILISAIRE (@maxthebody) onJul 12, 2017 at 4:31pm PDT

Clubbells look like a mini baseball bat, but they weigh in anywhere from 2 lb upwards. They enable you to work through ranges of movement that you can’t typically work with alternatives like dumbbells. A lot of the movements performed with clubbells are circular in motion so they are certainly going to work your shoulders (increasing flexibility and stability) but also your core and lower back. Another benefit of clubbells is since they are weighted and you’re swinging them, your grip strength will increase.

Sledge Hammers

Sledge hammers are a tool most commonly seen in combat training. They are used as a conditioning tool. I’m sure you’ve seen someone with a sledgehammer pounding on a large tractor tire. The head of the sledgehammer comes in various different weights so as you get fitter and stronger you can work out with a heavier hammer. Similar to a clubbell, because you’re swinging it around, you’re going to get a core and grip workout. You’re also going to increase your explosive power and aerobic capacity.

Slam Balls


A post shared by EHPlabs (@ehplabs) onOct 7, 2017 at 7:16pm PDT

Slam balls look like a medicine ball but they don’t bounce and they are made to withstand impacts. They are soft and feel like picking up a dead weight because they are typically filled with sand. They are great for developing power, strength and coordination.

Weighted Bags

These are canvas or leather bags with handles that are filled with sand. Like with some of the others above, the bag moves in such a way to create a level of instability when you lift it. This gives you a core workout in addition to using them for strength training. You can also use them to do other exercises that are impossible with traditional free weights. By using the sandbag for drags and carries, it will help to give you a great conditioning workout.

Bulgarian Bags


A post shared by EHPlabs (@ehplabs) onNov 9, 2017 at 4:12am PST

A Bulgarian Bag is similar to a normal weighted bag but with a difference; the shape. This type of bag is in a crescent shape. This is because it was designed specifically for wrestlers. The unique design is said to help with improving grip strength and endurance while also developing the shoulders, legs and core. Rather than handles on the bag, you actually grip and hold the ends as you do spins and exercises, giving you a rather unique workout.

So where to next?

If you want to try something a bit different, just want to hit your muscles in different angles, sick of your traditional training or cardio routines, or hit a plateau - maybe it’s time to try one of these alternatives. In all cases, you can get great results with the above equipment, so why not give them a try.