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5 Thoughts on Dumbbells vs. Kettlebells

kettlebells vs dumbbells

More detailed description and video below!

kettlebells vs dumbbells

1. Weight Distribution:

Dumbbells: The weight is evenly distributed on both sides. Making the feeling of the dumbbell a little more comfortable for most exercises. 

Kettlebells: The weight is balanced down the middle. Since the weight is all in one spot it can certain make exercises more difficult and recruit different muscles.

2. Exercise Selection:

Dumbbells: Great for strength and resistance training exercises. Evenly distributed weights allow for more weight to be lifted.

Kettlebells: Great for body movement and power exercises. A balanced weight allows for you to move with the bell and create more power.

3. Muscle Activation:

Dumbbells: Typically used to isolate and activate a select few muscles at a time. Ex: The DB bench press – Muscles activated are primarily the chest, shoulders and triceps.

Kettlebells: Can be used in many different full body movements activating the whole body at once. Ex: Kettlebell snatch – Muscles activated – glutes, hamstrings, core/abs, shoulders, triceps just to name a few. Almost every muscle in the body gets activated and you develop full body neuromuscular coordination. 

4. Fat Burning Capabilities:

Dumbbells: Strength and resistance training will result in increased lean muscle mass which will increase your metabolism, leading to improved fat burning capabilities.

Kettlebells:  The quick, powerful full body movements increase fat burning by using more muscle groups and increasing heart-rate and cardio output.

5. Goal Set:

Dumbbells: Great for anyone looking to increase lean muscle mass or gain overall strength. Body builders, physique competitors and those looking to increase size will benefit the most from this type of training.

Kettlebells: Great for those looking to increase power, improve body movement and develop full body neuromuscular control and coordination. Athletes, fat loss clients and anyone looking to improve body movement will benefit the most from this type of training.

Now you don’t have to stick to only one or the other. Vary up your training by using both but make sure you’re primarily sticking to what is going to get you to your goal!

Written By:

Robert Jost

ACE-CPT, NSCA-CPT

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