YBell vs Traditional Workout Equipment
Choosing gym equipment can be challenging. There are so many options available, and more niche products are coming out each year. Where do you start? As fitness professionals, we commonly hear remarks like “Kettlebells are great for you.” or “Dumbbells are the way to go.” So, what’s the right answer?
We will be discussing what equipment may be the best option for you and dive deep into the pros and cons of each to ensure the best fit. It’s important to understand that exercise equipment is a tool. Learn what tools make the most sense for you and your clients when designing your toolbox.
When choosing what equipment to purchase, there’s a lot to consider. One of the first questions to ask yourself is, “What’s the goal of the workout?” Are your clients trying to lose weight, gain strength, increase energy, etc.? Are you purchasing equipment just for yourself or for your clients? In other words, can it be used by individuals new to exercise and the elite? There’s more to consider, but let’s skip to the punch line: You’ll likely want a multi-use tool like the YBell Neo for any of the following goals you have in mind.
YBell is a four-in-one piece of fitness equipment that grants a ton of variety to all, no matter what the goal of the workout is. YBell is an intricately designed tool that combines a kettlebell, dumbbell, double-grip medicine ball, and push-up stand all in one. By simply changing your grip, you’re changing the weight distribution and the type of tool you’re using it as. Not only that, when you combine two YBells, it opens up a whole new category of fitness and athleticism. The impressively designed YBell has a lot to offer.
How does YBell stand out against traditional workout equipment?
Let’s dive deep into understanding what benefits specific exercise equipment has to offer, potential cons, and other considerations to ensure you’re making the right choice when outfitting your in-home gym, club, or studio. You’ll quickly see why YBell stands out as an excellent option and why it’s the one piece of equipment for Every Body.
YBells vs. Kettlebells
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced fitness professional, you’ve likely used kettlebells. There’s a slight learning curve with kettlebells, but when you learn to use them correctly, it opens up a world of options. Kettlebells offer many skills, including strength, power, coordination, functional movement, rehabilitation, and cardiovascular conditioning. When used correctly, kettlebells can help with almost any goal your client is trying to achieve.
If you’re a hardcore kettlebell lover, I can understand why you might raise an eyebrow in questioning if a YBell can hold up to the standards you expect from a kettlebell. After all, a kettlebell’s unique shape and weight distribution is the reason why it works so well. However, the unique shape of the YBell Neo mimics the same weight distribution when you grip any of the three outer handles the way you would a kettlebell — we call this an Outer Grip.
To mimic a kettlebell swing, for example, you can use one or two hands on one YBell the same way you use a kettlebell. Or you can use two YBells to do alternating kettlebell low swings and kettlebell high swings. Better yet, if you’re familiar with the bottoms-up positioning for a kettlebell that’s commonly used for shoulder stability training, the YBell works perfectly for that too!
YBells vs. Dumbbells
When designing a workout to help build strength amongst many other skills, dumbbells are also a phenomenal tool. Dumbbells are incredibly versatile and easy to use with beginners and advanced athletes. Similar to kettlebells, they offer various capabilities, including strength, hypertrophy, coordination/stabilization of musculature, functional movement, rehabilitation, and even cardiovascular conditioning.
Unlike the kettlebell, where the weight sits in the middle, a dumbbell’s weight is evenly distributed. This shifts the stress to be more isolated on the specific muscles or joints of your choice. In other words, you can isolate specific muscles in different ranges of motion, even unilaterally, compared to kettlebells.
Holding the YBell from the inner handle — called a Center Grip — offers the same even weight disruption of a dumbbell. Using a Top Lock grip on the YBell, you can shift the focus to the upper part of the arms and stabilize your wrists when performing curls. You can also use a Loose Grip, where you let the YBell form an upside-down triangle, which allows you to position the YBell on your shoulder for dumbbell presses or hammer curl squats.
Generally speaking, the benefits of either a dumbbell or a kettlebell are similar, but each packs a unique punch. Choosing a tool like YBell that offers both of these capabilities is an overall win.
YBells vs. Medicine Balls
A medicine ball is a weighted ball that is often the same size as a basketball. They’re commonly used for strength, coordination, speed, power, and cardiovascular training. It can pack a punch into your client’s routine. Medicine balls differ from dumbbells and kettlebells in their shape, how they’re held (with two hands), and the ease in moving them around. This makes them an excellent fit for functional exercises or movements out of the sagittal plane of motion.
The YBell is not a ball, of course. However, with its unique triangular shape, you can easily hold it by two handles using an Under Grip, which offers the same feel and stability that a medicine ball has to offer. This allows you to use the YBell for traditional double-grip med ball exercises like squats, lunges, presses, or more advanced exercises like squat jump punches and skip lunges.
YBells vs. Push-up Bars and Push-up Stands
Push-up bars or stands are often an underrated tool. Push-up handles are designed to increase the range of motion at the bottom of a push-up. Increasing or changing the range of motion is an excellent way to increase strength and lower injury risk. Another fantastic bonus that push-up bars have to offer is the ability to stabilize or stack your wrists. Clients will often mention they are having pain in their wrists when they put all of their body weight on them during a push-up. Push-up handles can assist with that obstacle.
When purchasing push-up stands, they must be extremely stable so that they won’t rock out to the side. The base of the YBell is an excellent illustration of this. By placing the YBell on the ground and gripping the top handle — that’s called Top Grip — the shape and weight distribution turn the YBell into an incredibly stable push-up bar. This allows your clients to keep straight wrists and gain more depth during push-up rows and burpees.
With one YBell Neo, you’ve combined all the benefits of kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, and push-up stands into one piece of equipment. Not to mention the nonslip neoprene coating, which means YBells are fantastic for workouts on any surface, whether it’s a wood floor or even outdoors at a park or a beach. YBells are also easy to transport and perfect for clients to use during your outdoor group workouts.
What about other workout equipment?
We covered some basic tools to consider when choosing what equipment is right for you and your clients and how YBell is a better choice. Now, let’s look at other tools that can complement your YBell workouts.
YBells In Addition to Barbells and Plates
Barbells are another common staple in a gym. They’re straightforward in design but tend to come with a learning curve when teaching clients. The barbell is typically a long metal bar weighing 45 lb, which you load with weighted plates. Barbells can be great to add heavy load to a workout with squats, deadlifts, vertical and horizontal pressing, horizontal rows, and Olympic lifting, amongst other things. It’s great for gaining strength, max strength development, completing compound movements, and full body activation.
Barbells pack a lot of punch, but they do come with a few cons. Proper form is vital due to the weight load and the full-body movement that recruits the entire body to work together. Barbells and plates can quickly become a dangerous tool if not used or taught correctly.
Another consideration is cost. You need to purchase a barbell and the plates, a squat rack, and possibly a bench press. If you’re going to be using a barbell for Olympic lifting, you’ll need to invest in quality plates, which will increase the cost dramatically. Also, keep in mind that barbells and plates will take up a lot of space due to the size and all of the necessary accessories.
If your client’s goal is max strength development, barbells and plates will likely be their primary equipment. But for clients who need mobility exercises and functional training in conjunction with their strength training, consider incorporating YBells as free weights in your gym. In fact, YBell was awarded Best Free Weights for 2021 by Women’s Health.
YBells In Addition to a Bench or a Box
A bench can be a great option since it’s more comfortable for clients to lie down and get back up. It can also be more comfortable to kneel on during movements like a one-arm dumbbell row performed with a YBell. You can use it for exercises like Bulgarian split squats, box depth squats, or even some core workouts. A box also has similar benefits, including the ability to do plyometrics.
However, benches and boxes do take up a lot of space and are very difficult to move around. As a substitute, a kitchen chair or wooden bench can suffice. As for plyometrics, you can have clients master this on the ground before incorporating a box.
YBells In Addition to Cardio Equipment
The main goal of cardio equipment is to increase your cardiovascular ability (heart rate) and stamina. Cardio equipment makes it easy to keep a steady, increased heart rate, can be easier on joints, and can help increase metabolism. The learning curve for most cardio equipment is low, making them easy training tools.
However, cardio equipment also tends to be very expensive, large, and heavy. More importantly, they’re not malleable to changing how they’re used, other than changing the speed, intensity, or duration.
Remember, the critical piece to cardio is increasing the heart rate. You can quickly achieve this through high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) with YBells. In fact, YBell workouts may be more effective due to the increased need for muscle activation, compound movements, and moving in all planes of motion.
What are your clients’ fitness goals?
Remember, no tool is necessarily better than another. What makes it a useful tool or the right one for your clients comes down to several considerations, including:
- What’s the goal of the workout?
- Can it be used by clients who are new to exercise and even by elite health professionals?
- Are you purchasing equipment for just yourself, or will clients be using it, too?
- Will you be transporting your equipment, or will it always stay in one place?
- Can you store the equipment easily?
- Do you want to use it outside?
- Which tools give you the most options for your buck?
- Is your equipment malleable for what your clients’ goals are or will be in the future?
Two other extensive considerations that people often underestimate are how much you will use the equipment and its quality. Quality can quickly make or break your or your clients’ experience with equipment and the use it will get.
With high-quality equipment that will last for several years and be used often, the up-front cost of the equipment is likely to be worth it for you and your clients.
Choosing fitness equipment is challenging. We get it!
Versatility in exercise equipment is key amongst all the other considerations listed above. That’s why the YBell was invented in the first place. There are upsides to each piece of workout equipment. You could argue that owning many pieces of workout equipment offers you versatility for your in-home gym. But the ability to turn one tool into multiple pieces of equipment in the same workout brings magic to your training.
On a personal note:
I was first introduced to YBell by a friend who asked what I thought of them. After looking at it with a judgmental front, I was thoroughly impressed. The convenience and ease of use that YBell has to offer is unique. Personally speaking, if I had to choose one piece of equipment to have at my disposal while stranded on a desert island, I initially would have selected a kettlebell. It offers cardiovascular work, strength, coordination, and you can easily blend a variety of athleticism with it. However, having used YBells, it would easily be my equipment of choice. I can receive those same components of a kettlebell and have the luxury of a dumbbell, a medicine ball, and even push-ups handles. It truly is a fantastic piece of fitness equipment with endless options.
Casey has been a health and fitness professional since 2009, after graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. She has helped hundreds of people achieve their fitness goals. From working with beginners, youth, older adults, and almost everyone in between, Casey loves to blend her diverse knowledge and experience to help guide her clients to where they want to be. Her philosophy is simple: meet people where they are today in order to help them learn, grow, and excel through education in nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes unique to them.
Casey’s certifications include:
- Z-health R-phase, Z-health I-phase, Z-health S-phase, Z-health T-phase, Z-Health Strength and Suppleness
- Functional Range Conditioning Level 1
- NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
- ACE Certified Personal Trainer
- Precision Nutrition Level 1
- USA Weightlifting Certified