Daily fit news: April 20

What you need to know about training with Center Mass Bells.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, Matt Berenc, director of education at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, addresses some of the latest fitness research and news stories.

Today’s Topic: Are Center Mass Bells the new kettlebells?

The Science: The American Council on Exercise tested and reviewed The Sorinex Center Mass Bell (CMB). The design is based on Nal weights, which are circular stone weights with a hole in the center that come from India. “The CMB builds on that design to make them more compact and user-friendly for the average gym space,” says Berenc. “There are many benefits to the CMB that are covered in the article including a shorter learning curve, increased durability, and utility for a large variety of exercises that increase both strength and power.”

EQX Expert Insight:Often, equipment manufactures attempt to improve upon what currently exists (think: dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells) only to miss the mark. “The Sorinex Center Mass Bell is one of the rare instances where the improvement is a welcome addition,” says Berenc. They are often compared to kettlebells, leading to the question: are they the “new” kettlebell? “The answer is an unequivocal no,” Berenc says. “But: they are a welcome addition to the training world or a new tool in the tool belt.” While exercises like the kettlebell swing are likely still best-performed with a kettlebell, multiplanar movements like a chop may be performed better with the CMB, according to Berenc. “It’s not that you can’t do a kettlebell swing with a CMB, but it will require more range of motion and a potential change in positioning to be successful,” he notes. Other exercises to try with the CMB: renegade rows, the clean and press, and lateral lunges with CMB in the low position.

The Bottom Line:It comes down to what’s the best tool for the job (or exercise). “You wouldn’t bring a hammer to cut a board so you want to make sure the training equipment matches the training goal,” says Berenc.