As much as I like to think of myself as a dumbbell person — you can't go wrong with squat presses and some good ol' fashioned bicep curls — I'm a big believer in switching up your workouts to keep things interesting and to find new tools to build strength. Kettlebells are great because they're versatile in function (you can grip the handle in many different ways) and work your entire body, including your core. My favourite move to do with a kettlebell is a single-leg Romanian deadlift, but some people brave enough for a challenge are fans of the Turkish get-up (those admittedly freak me out).
You can buy kettlebells online. Most aren't expensive unless you're looking for electronic ones (which do exist!); however, if you're searching for a way to save money and space, you might want to consider trying Kettle Gryp. It's a portable device that can, as the name suggests, turn dumbbells into kettlebells. I've seen it on Amazon before, and though my interest was piqued, I never got around to ordering one. But, lucky for me (and for you, so you can find out how it works) my dad recently purchased this bright orange contraption! His words were, and I quote, "Look at it! Isn't it cool?!"
This fitness tool opens up into two grip-shaped flaps, and you place the dumbbell in the padded black area at the base. It clips back together and, viola, you're ready to go! The Kettle Gryp reportedly holds up to 55 pounds, but during my two times working out with it, I only used a 12-pounder, 20-pounder, and 25-pounder.
The first night I tried this device I did two different exercises: squat to upright rows using a 20-pound weight and single-leg RDLs with 25 pounds. I was surprised at how easy it was to grip the handle. My only complaint with the first move was that the handle and the base of the Kettle Gryp are seemingly longer (and wider) than those of a kettlebell — at least the smaller kettlebells — so I wasn't able to go as far down in my squats as I normally do.
A different way to explain this is that the space between the top of the handle and the body of the kettlebell, meaning the horns, seems to be longer and bigger overall. Plus, attaching the dumbbell to the base adds more length. However, that does make sense given that the Gryp is meant to hold lighter weights in addition to heavier ones, so it needs to have enough width and length to support heavy weights (as a heavier kettlebell does). Other than that, the three sets of 10 single-leg RDLs felt normal!
I also put the Kettle Gryp to the test during certified personal trainer Sydney Cumming's 10-minute kettlebell butt workout. I used a 12-pound dumbbell with the Gryp attached, and it seemed to hold the weight well during the entirety of the video, which involved exercises like curtsey lunges, kettlebell swings, and good mornings.
One move I had a little difficulty with was the split squat reps because she told you to hold the horns by the ball of the kettlebell with your arms overhead. Doing that felt slightly awkward since the dumbbell — wide, not round — isn't shaped like the ball of a kettlebell. But, gripping the handle for other moves worked just fine.
Ahead, check out more pictures of the Kettle Gryp — some of which feature my cat (also, here's us working out together, in case you're interested!). This definitely constitutes a good investment. For $35, you can turn light weights, medium weights, or heavier dumbbells up to 55 pounds into kettlebells without actually needing to buy multiple kettlebells. You'll have to work around some of the awkward grips, but it's a sweet deal regardless!