Exercise: Dumbbell and Kettlebell

Dumbbells Versus Kettlebells
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Focus of Training

Dumbbells Versus Kettlebells: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Focus of TrainingAre kettlebells better than dumbbells? In many ways, dumbbells and kettlebells are about equal, but, the differences in training with either for the best fitness results is important.

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Dumbbells are relatively inexpensive, can be used to train nearly any part of the body, and can be used by just about anyone-regardless of skill level. Kettlebell exercises are primarily designed to develop functional strength.

Dumbbells Versus Kettlebells
By Mike Westerdal

Just abut everyone already knows that one unique benefit of exercise with dumbbells is that they are extremely versatile, suitable for people of any age or level, inexpensive, and great for training just about any body part. But, over the past few years, kettlebells, until recently relatively unknown to the non-professional exerciser, have been getting a lot of attention. However, although we're only recently hearing a lot of buzz about them, they're not really "new" to the experienced exerciser.

Actually, kettlebells have been around for more than a hundred years in their relatively modern form.

But, what exactly is a kettlebell and where do they come from?

Are kettlebells better than dumbbells for exercise?

Well that's what I hope to answer in this article.

Woman exercise kettlebellKettlebells are a traditional Russian cast iron weight. They look pretty much like a cast iron cannonball with a handle. Kettlebell exercises combine strength and cardio exercise and are designed to build endurance and stamina. Proponents of kettlebell training say that the kettlebell is simply the greatest tool for all-around athletic development.

Dumbbells are well, dumbbells. They've been around for thousands of years in one form or another. The Greeks and the Romans trained with their own versions of dumbbells.

Versatility and Overall Fitness Vs. Specific Focus on Functional Strength

Dumbell Exercises and RoutinesVersatility is a major key advantage of dumbbells. They can be used to train nearly any part of the body and, because they come in such a wide range of weights, can be used by just about anyone...regardless of skill level. They're also fairly inexpensive.

On the other hand, kettlebell exercises are primarily designed to develop functional strength. Their main focus is to work our so-called 'non-mirror' muscles, the ones that we don't necessarily "see" in the mirror but are important nonetheless.

Now, that's not to say that kettlebells can't be used effectively to train specific areas of the body! They most certainly can. It's just that the majority of kettlebell routines designed by the pros are more focused on movements that include cardio, strength-building and flexibility.

What's Your Fitness Focus?

If you're into mixed martial arts or, are just looking to get into some serious cross-training, then kettlebells appear to have the advantage over dumbbells.

When doing cross-training exercises with dumbbells, which mostly focus on specific muscles, you're basically restricted to using lighter weights or you run the risk of injuring yourself. With kettlebells though, the exercises require multiple muscle groups to work together, meaning that you can use higher weights, with less risk of injury (assuming proper form).

If your goal is mainly to "tone up" your body rather than to focus on developing overall strength and flexibility, then dumbbells are probably right for you. Dumbbells would also most likely be the best choice if you are recovering from an injury, are just starting out or are elderly. There are an unlimited number of dumbbell exercise techniques for toning the body or aiding in injury recovery that don't require more than five or ten pounds.

If you feel you fit into one of these categories, then you'll probably have an easier time working with dumbbells.

For most of the previous history of kettlebells, however, they have been primarily used by people looking for a pretty heavy duty workout. It's only been within the last few years that professional trainers have began to realize their value as an all around piece of exercise equipment. For this reason, you're going to find fewer routines to choose from.

I think we can safely say that, in many areas of consideration, both dumbbells and kettlebells might be considered equal. They both can be used in the home, or just about anywhere else...and neither requires any other special exercise equipment. They're both very versatile, are suitable for all around, full-body training and can be challenging, rewarding and fun. Each can be used to target specific areas of the body and neither of them requires much of a learning curve-just about anyone can learn to use them without too much difficulty. Lastly, neither of them requires a great deal of skill or knowledge to be able to use them and get results.

So what's our final verdict? Which can we say is better; dumbbells or kettlebells? My conclusion is that neither one is intrinsically or specifically "better" than the other.

Both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages and can help you to achieve your fitness goals, whatever they might be. My personal choice for best exercise results is to use a combination of both in my fitness routine.

I would choose kettlebells if I were focusing on developing core strength and flexibility, but, dumbbells to isolate particular muscles and body parts.

Your choice though, is going to depend on your fitness goals, your skill level and ultimately, your personal level of commitment.

Mike Westerdal is the creator of illustrated guide called, "Dumbbell Routines & Exercises". Visit his site to get a free eMail course entitled, "Getting Started With Dumbbells".

If you need more information about cross training you will find a very informative website at Dumbbell Weight Training.

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Dumbbells Vs. Kettlebells - Web Page Copyright 2018 by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 2:23 PM Sunday 22 April 2018