Dumbbells or Kettlebells: Which resistance should you choose?
Weight training allows us to build and sculpt muscles to achieve a stronger and more aesthetically appealing physique. Yet, many who are new to weight training are confused with regards to the type of resistance they should choose to condition their muscles and body. Although dumbbells are frequently associated with building strength and muscles, other types of free weights such as kettlebells and barbells are equally relevant and useful.
Considered the most used form of resistance, dumbbells are the go-to equipment for doing any kind of fitness program. Regardless of whether you wish to attain a lean or muscular physique, dumbbells are incredibly versatile and give you exceptional freedom and choice to incorporate it according to your specific training routines and approaches.
For instance, you can use lightweight dumbbells at high intensity to burn fat or lift heavier dumbbells to gain greater muscle mass.
More importantly, dumbbells can be bought from almost anywhere and is relatively easier to store and organize than other types of free weights. You can buy dumbbells in various sets to neatly stack it in your home or take it to the gym for your convenience. Also, the dumbbells weights are available in an incremental format, which means that you can easily progress onto higher weights.
However, dumbbells also have their fair share of limitations. Firstly, they can be a lot difficult to lift and do reps as you use heavier weights, owing to lack of sufficient grip space. Furthermore, dumbbells often can be injurious if dropped accidentally either due to a lack of form or proper grip. This is why it is often recommended to practice the form and technique first before using dumbbells or progressing onto heavier loads.
Kettlebells in comparison to dumbbells are relatively recent. Yet, it should not be taken to mean ineffective. Owing to its uneven weight, it provides a more natural and organic approach to lifting everyday heavy objects unlike the more uniformly-distributed load of dumbbells. Kettlebells also have more grip space since the handle is positioned above the weight as opposed to in between it.
Although ketllebells can be used to target a wide range of muscle groups such as the arms, shoulders, and leg muscles, they are ideally suited to engaging the core or abdominal muscles, primarily for exercises that focus on posture and strength.
However, kettlebells have certain disadvantages that traditional dumbbells do not have. Firstly, kettlebells weight loads are not as progressive as that of dumbbells, making it more difficult for load progression. For instance, if you use a 10 lb kettlebell weight, the next incremental load will be 20 lbs rather than 15 lbs. This means that you will have to get a lot stronger to adapt to a higher kettlebell load.
Which Should You Choose?
Both dumbbells and kettlebells have their unique pros and cons, and what specific resistance you choose will depend on what particular muscle groups you want to train and your personal preference. Regardless, both are valuable for building good strength and muscle gains and for improving your balance.