Kettlebells are an amazing piece of equipment with many variations that can build muscle and strength. They are compact, durable, and versatile. Dumbbells are larger, more complex pieces of equipment that require a lot more space to use effectively.
The traditional dumbbell uses a handgrip and the arms are together in a straight line, while kettlebells are used with one arm in front and one arm behind. This allows for more versatility than dumbbells as you can use them for exercises where your arms are not next to each other.
Everything You Need to Know About Dumbbells
Dumbbells are weights designed for hand-held exercises. They have a short bar in the middle, two weight discs at either end of the grip, and are usually shaped like a trapezoid. They come in different materials, shapes, and sizes. They’re usually wrapped around with whatever material suits the project they’re used on.
Dumbbells can have weights from 0.5kg to as heavy as 55kg, so it’s easy to start off with a lightweight and gradually work up to something more challenging. Furthermore, they are suited for everyone who wants to do weight training – from beginner to professional or athlete. Dumbbells help you to strengthen your body and tone your muscles.
Types of Dumbbells
One of the best things about dumbbells is their variety! They come in shapes and sizes, and with different weights, so you can find one that’s perfect for your fitness goals. Before buying, make sure to consider the cost, the space it would take up in your house, and your fitness level.
There are different types of dumbbells that you can buy individually or as a set. Based on your preferences, you can determine which type of dumbbell is right for your fitness needs. We’ve been writing dumbbell blog posts for a while now and this is one of them.
Common Exercises to do With Dumbbells
Dumbbells are one of the most popular pieces of equipment on a gym floor and can be used in many different exercises. Different exercises usually target specific muscle groups or can be done for full-body workouts, so it’s important to choose carefully before investing.
One of the most common weight exercises, bicep curls, targets a range of arm muscles. This exercise targets the front, upper, and lower arm bicep muscles, stimulating growth and giving you sculpted arms.
Tricep Overhead Extension
Triceps are pivotal muscle groups that control your elbows. This exercise engages all three heads of the triceps, allowing your entire tricep region to become stronger. It also minimizes wrist strain, making it a useful option for those who are experiencing pain in that area.
The shoulder press primarily targets and works the shoulder but also strengthens the back muscles (trapezius and rotator cuff) while working as a stabilizing exercise. This has been said to strengthen the shoulders as well.
Lateral raises are a favorite exercise among bodybuilders. They work on the outside of the muscle and help build strong shoulders. Keep your arm movements to a minimum, and let your elbows move first.
The chest press is an excellent upper-body strengthening exercise that offers results in strengthening your chest, shoulders, and triceps. To achieve optimal benefits, maintain good form and use the right technique.
The dumbbell chest fly strengthens the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It will also reduce upper back pain when done properly and increase range of motion. The exercise may also loosen tightness in the upper body muscles by stretching them.
Bent Over Rows
One classic muscle-building exercise is the back squat. It can help you strengthen your upper and lower back, your glutes, your hamstrings, and your shoulders. It’s a fantastic tool for targeting the muscles and the portions of exercises that help you break through plateaus. It will also improve your upper back strength. This is especially true with pull-ups, muscle-ups, and even pushing workouts.
Dumbbell back flies train the back parts of your body and help you maintain a better posture. It strengthens your posterior muscles and not only helps you shape your body but also keeps your back problems at bay.
Dumbbell squats are a great variation of squats for beginners who want to increase strength, activate their posterior chain muscles, and strengthen their lower body, core, and hamstrings and glutes.
Lunges are a great exercise for the muscles in your legs, including the quadriceps. One of their main purposes is to straighten your knee after it has been bent and keep the kneecap in a proper position. This muscle group is largely made up of your gluteus muscle and adductor Magnus.
Standing calf raises activate the muscles in the lower leg, improving posture and balance while you stand.
This move is known to work the core muscles and is a great way to lose weight. It mainly strengthens your rectus abdominis and internal obliques, but can also help to improve external obliques.
A weighted sit-up is harder to do, which is why it’s a superior exercise for building muscle. It also forces you to use muscles that you would typically neglect because of how easy it usually is to do a normal sit-up.
Common Kettlebell Exercise You Can do With Dumbbells
You can do most kettlebell moves with dumbbells. You just need to take your time and spend plenty of time learning the correct forms. If you are experienced with using dumbbells and haven’t experienced any pain or discomfort, go ahead and try the kettlebell exercises.
Here is a list of common kettlebell exercises you can perform with dumbbells:
- Dumbbell Swings
- Goblet Squats With Dumbbells
- Sumo Squats
- Turkish Get-ups With Dumbbells
Everything You Need to Know About Kettlebells
You’ve probably seen kettlebells swing up and down all over the internet and in your gym, but you might not know how these cast-iron pieces of equipment can help you. They offer so many advantages and are beneficial to your fitness.
Kettlebell training exercises also offer a great twist on your average strength training. They have a ball-shaped handle, making them similar to a traditional bell. Kettlebells are tools that can be used by more advanced fitness enthusiasts and these generally cost more than dumbbells. However, they can also be good investments in the long run.
Types of Kettlebells
As the kettlebell market continues to grow, so will the creative minds behind their construction. However, as of now there are two basic types of kettlebells – cast-iron and competition. Which type of fitness equipment do you find best for your routine? Most are round pieces of equipment with a handle at the top, but some brands offer different base types to make your workout a little more enjoyable.
You will typically see cast-iron kettlebells at any CrossFit boxes or gyms. They are wider in diameter than the handle and can weigh up to 100 pounds. In contrast, competition kettlebells have slimmer handles to allow for seamless movements. Additionally, they all require a 35mm diameter – which means that the bells are the same size, regardless of the type you pick. These are primarily used by professionals, but businesses that work with many clients also like them.
SF Health Tech offers three kinds of kettlebells: Hollow Competition Kettlebells, Cast Iron Kettlebells, and Cast Iron Kettlebells 2.0
Common Exercises to do with Kettlebells
The next you go to the gym, do try out these amazing kettlebell exercises to amp up your workout routine!
They are great for almost anyone. When you exercise with a weight, not only does it help your muscles, but it improves your posture, balance, and cardiovascular health. A kettlebell swing is the most common workout move done using kettlebells.
Single-arm Kettlebell Swings
The one-arm swing exercise helps improve your grip strength and endurance, which helps with workouts and other activities. They also help you control your breathing, which makes it easier to maintain a steady tone.
Engaging your muscles is a must for achieving overall balance in your upper body, arms, and legs. It helps you activate your core and spinal erectors while working out.
The wide stance of sumo squats is proven to target the inner thigh muscles better than other types of squats. They also engage battle hardening core muscles throughout the movement.
This exercise helps increase muscle balance with a focus on the stable core and shoulders. Your shoulder, triceps, and upper back are all being utilized while exercising. With the weight held horizontally in front of you, you’re engaging your muscles of the floor until they burn.
Plank Drags/Plank Passes
To have a ripped, striking midsection, the kettlebell plank drag is the best exercise to do. It helps strengthen your core muscles and your obliques. Those areas prevent you from slouching your spine in a straight position by giving it a “lifting” alignment through either pushing or pulling with the muscles.
This exercise combines your upper and lower body with strength training to build stronger shoulders, core, grip, forearms. It also improves grip and forearms due to the strengthening it provides.
Stretching out your hip and hamstrings before engaging in physical activities, such as running, can increase your hamstring mobility. This activity also strengthens your shoulder muscles and scapular stability to elevate the quality of your movements. Plus, it engages your glutes to reduce back pain.
This exercise targets multiple muscle groups and is beneficial for improving your everyday strength. It can help you perform better when you pick up objects off the floor.
Doing a workout while stretching can improve your thoracic spine, which is important for proper adaptability and health. It also helps you maintain stability and flexibility throughout the day, which will most likely help you avoid injury.
Common Dumbbell Exercises You Can do With Kettlebells
You can do almost every dumbbell exercise with a kettlebell, but there are some exercises that require specific postures to avoid any kind of injuries. Make sure to learn the correct way of performing these exercises before you start. Kettlebells can be used to perform a variety of exercises, without causing a lot of pain or discomfort. Many athletes use them because they feel the exercise is gentle on their joints.
Which is Better for Beginners – Dumbbells or Kettlebells?
Beginners often use dumbbells because they are less complicated, but as your weight training progress, you’ll want to switch to kettlebells because they are designed to cater for your needs. If you are comfortable starting your training with kettlebells, go for it! If not, dumbbells are always there as well!
Can Beginners Train With Kettlebells?
Traditionally, kettlebells weren’t recommended for beginners because they weren’t seen as a suitable tool for people with a low level of fitness or experience. Just be careful, and listen to your body. After deciding on your preference and comfort level, trainers can now share them with their clients.
Can You Perform Kettlebell Exercises with Dumbbells and Vice-Versa?
You can use dumbbells for these exercises, or you can even use your kettlebells. Scroll up and find a list of kettlebell exercises that would work best with dumbbells.
Which One is Better for Total Body Fitness?
Strength training is great for both fitness and strength. For muscle gain, dumbbells are the right option. For cardio training, kettlebells work well.
When to Choose Dumbbells?
If you’re trying to build muscle, build muscle endurance and start strength training, dumbbells are one of your best options. They can be especially helpful for isolating one specific muscle group. They are constructed with one weight on each side of the handle to not only get you stronger but to help you develop balance, too.
When to Choose Kettlebells?
Kettlebells are best for tough workouts because they can help build your power and endurance. They require more effort but will be useful when you’re trying to focus on other areas. Kettlebells are useful for toning and strengthening your upper body, providing stability to your shoulders and arms.