You walk into a gym, and you find two kinds of Free weights in the gym that look very different from one another; the most commonly and regularly used dumbbells that have equal-sized weight on either side of a rod and Kettlebells that look like a ball with a handle on top. While they both have benefits of their own, it is of utmost importance that you know which one is more useful for you and when you should use either one of them.
Now before we go on to learn more about Kettlebells and Dumbbells, you should know that you do not have to pick only one and include that in your workout routine, you can incorporate both of them to attain the results offered by both of them.
Kettlebells and dumbbells are both used for weightlifting. However, the crucial thing here is changing weights. With the dumbbells, you can increase the pressure by adding another set of plates on your dumbbell. But Kettlebells, on the other hand, do not offer that; you always have to pick another Kettlebell if you want to work out with different weights. And the unavailability of weights becomes problematic for your workout routine if someone else is using your required weighted Kettlebell, or the gym does not have more weights. Although some dumbbells also have fixed weights, often beginners only use them.
The difference in the shape of both weights leads to a different way the weight is distributed on them. Which means both of them have different grip and control. Dumbbells offer a balanced distribution of mass on both ends, which is excellent for beginners. The exercises that involve dumbbells are often static, which reduces the risk of injury during the workout because you have greater control of the movements.
When you hold a Kettlebell, the weight is directly underneath your hand with a space in the middle, which allows you to swing the Kettlebell around.
And this swinging action provides you with a better cardio workout because of the extra movements involved.
Kettlebells are best for ballistic, explosive movements. Its swinging action creates a fluid motion that is easier on the body. Such moves will be difficult to carry out with Dumbbells. For example, your entire posterior chain of muscles can be activated by the Kettlebell swing in a way that cannot be activated by dumbbells.
A study conducted in 2016 found that Kettlebell training can be highly practical for lower back pain treatment.
If you are participating in activities or sports that involve significant body movements, then choosing Kettlebells to workout is your best bet.
Kettlebell moves such as snatches, cleans, Turkish get-ups, or windmills are all exercises that involve your major muscle groups.
When using dumbbells, you use both sides of your body at the same time, which is excellent for unilateral training exercises such as bicep curls or lateral raises. And dumbbells are remarkable exercising equipment for both beginners as well as advanced lifters because it allows you to feel more stable. After all, you are in greater control of your body.
Although Kettlebells can be slightly tricky to use, they are highly effective for some higher intensity weight training. Here are some impactful Kettlebell exercises.
1. Goblet Squats
- Kettlebells by the side handles or “horns,” and move your feet out. Now drop your hips down to below your knees and explode up. And now, grab a kettlebell and hop into a squat position. Goblet Squats allow your body to move fully and affect your entire core, glutes, calves, and quads.
2. Kettlebell cleans
- Kettlebell cleans moves the Kettlebell from the floor to the chest into a racket position in one fluid movement. It would be best if you were careful that the action is done smoothly and not bang your wrist, forearm, or chest. The Kettlebell clean is an excellent full-body exercise because it activates most muscles in your body, helps in fat loss, and develops strong hips for sports.
3. Kettlebells racked lunges
- The racked lunge is a vigorous exercise for developing strong legs and glutes (buttocks); it helps to strengthen single-leg strength and hip mobility. You perform this exercise by holding a Kettlebells in each hand and do a forward lunge, alternating between each side. This exercise transforms your lunges from a lower-body workout to a full-body one.
There is a wide array of dumbbell exercises that you can perform, but we have selected some of our favorite practices here.
1. Dumbbell push-press
- This workout by standing with your feet hip-width apart, a set of dumbbells at your shoulders, and your knees should be slightly bent. Now lift the dumbbells straight over your head while driving them through your lower body. Remember to squeeze your core and glutes before you lower them back down.
2. Dumbbell bench press
- Down on a bench and hold equally weighted dumbbells in either of your hands. Now make them meet in the middle by pushing them over your chest. Bring them back down and stop before your elbows drop below the bench.
3. Renegade rows
- With a high plank position and dumbbells in each of your hands. Now row one arm at a time and pull your elbow toward your back and keep your core engaged throughout the movement. This workout targets your upper back, shoulders, triceps, abdominals, quadriceps, forearms, and spinal erectors.
So which is better for you, Kettlebell or Dumbbell? The answer to this question should depend on your goals, and which types of weights will help you achieve those goals. Kettlebells allow you to build strength, but the movements involved in Kettlebell workouts do not let you focus on a single muscle group you so you will develop definition but not bulk. And dumbbells allow you to perform controlled movements with heavier weights, which lead to bulky muscles.
If losing some weight is your goal, then Kettlebells offer an array of exercises that involve high-intensity resistance training and cardiovascular exercises, which cannot be achieved by dumbbells.