Dumbbells vs. Kettlebells

New trends continue to pop up within the health and fitness field every day. Many times we dive in head first in order to try the newest method of weight loss and fitness classes without really knowing what the reasoning behind it is. A major trend that has individuals swinging and using momentum to lift the weight are Kettlebells.

Besides the look of a kettlebell, what is the major difference between using them versus traditional dumbbells? As stated above, one of the biggest differences is the use of momentum and multi-joint based movements to create power and strength.

Involving multiple muscle groups and core movements with a kettlebell involves both strength and cardio into your workout. The momentum and swinging moves increase your heart rate and provide a greater use of range of motion and core strength.

Kettlebells also provide different grips and imbalances, unlike the dumbbell which has an even amount of weight on each end. The kettlebell has the weight in the middle, so when you are performing certain exercises, the weight shifts and changes throughout the movement.

However, even though they are great for explosive exercises and activate multiple muscle groups with each move, they have been shown in multiple studies to produce less strength gains than traditional dumbbells. You simply cannot increase the weight of a kettlebell the way you can with dumbbells and bars.

If your goal is to increase strength, stick to mainly using dumbbells and barbells with some exercises interchanged (ie. biceps curls, bent over rows). If your goal is to burn fat, gain endurance and power and slightly increase strength, than kettlebells may be a great option for you.

Kettlebells are worth checking out, but before you do, be sure to learn the proper form to avoid injury.