What Is A Better Workout – Kettlebells Or Dumbbells?

Some beginners might be wondering if these two buddies got any similarities in shaping a body.

Knowing which is the right equipment to use is important in determining how successful your fitness goals will be.

This is especially if you are planning to start working out from home, wondering what is the right piece of equipment to purchase for long-term investment.

So, which one is a better workout, kettlebells or dumbbells?

Before you decide, keep continuing reading.

Image photo: kettlebells and dumbbells

Are Kettlebells Work The Same As Dumbbells?

First of all, both are great for home workouts and to start building up your muscles, strength, and loss weight goals.

They are pretty much the same, offering weight training and body shaping.

If you have a limited budget, you can get either one, the kettlebell or the dumbbell. Also, if you have specific fitness goals (weight loss, strength, power, or muscle build) to achieve, you may consider one as the priority for a workout.

Kettlebell’s weight is all below the handle which gives you good choices of speed swings and power movement. While a dumbbell as we all know, the weight is on both sides of the handle, either fixed or with adjustable weight plates.

Kettlebell vs Dumbbell Workouts – Which one should I choose to start? 

Both are effective for home workouts but you need to make sure that either one of them is going to serve your fitness goals and workout style perfectly.

Try to think of these aspects:

1. Weight loss. Depending on the type of workouts, if you are aiming to lose some pounds, both bells are effective to serve this purpose.

For a slower pace of strength training, using a dumbbell with 15-20 repetitions per set will help you to burn calories at that pace. If you are looking for quicker calorie burning, get into HIIT Training with a kettlebell.

2. Building muscles. I would suggest getting dumbbells. We all know the fact this is a truly classic way to build up, especially your biceps and triceps.

You can do this with a kettlebell, but the comfort of holding the handle could be a bit awkward for your hand grip and possibly strain the joints.

3. Power and strength. For muscle building and powerlifting workouts, again the dumbbells are ideal. The balanced weight of each side will allow you to do a deadlift or squat without hurting your hand grip.

If you want some more powerful or explosive movements like swinging or snatches, kettlebells are designed for these than dumbbells.

4. Workouts movement. If you are going to be athletic-focused, kettlebell workouts will work for you. For example, kettlebell swinging is more focused on core strength and the body’s overall stability.

You can still use the dumbbells for the swing but again, the handgrip experience holding the dumbbell when swinging will be unpleasant.


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What Is The Best Weight To Start With A Kettlebell?

How do you determine and choose the right bell’s weight for your workout?

It comes to your experience in weightlifting. Are you just starting or have some little experience in lifting weights?

If you are a complete beginner, you should learn to understand the proper techniques and forms of using a kettlebell. For males, start with a weight of 35lbs, and for women is around 18lbs.

Go for a kettlebell with a weight of 44lbs (men) and 26lbs (women) if you are not new in weight training. And, if you have massive strength and full control of your body movement, upgrade the kettlebell weight to 53lbs (men) and 35lbs (women).

Is 22lbs of a kettlebell enough to see some results? 

Yes, it can, and again depends on your actual fitness goals!

Do you aim to gain strength, lose weight, or build more muscles?

Results meaning can be subjective. If you intend to lose weight with the kettlebells, you need to be sure that the number of calories burned during this workout is more than you take in.

For gaining more muscles, if you are just using one weight kettlebell for a workout, you can do more sets or repetitions with slow to medium intensity or, for quicker results do a higher intensity with shorter reps periods.

Do I need one or two kettlebells for a workout?

Make it simple if you are a newbie, best start with a single kettlebell with an appropriate weight (refer to the guideline above). Slowly work it up as you progress with more stamina, strength, and body coordination.

Eventually, when you think your body strength is ready for more challenging intensities, you can do two same-weight kettlebells that fit into your workout program. The transition workout from single to double kettlebell workouts will give your muscle mass and strength to the next level.

Many trainers also agree that using a same-weight kettlebell for different kettlebell workouts can still produce continuous improvement although it will take a longer time up to a year.

Are 20 minutes of kettlebells workout enough?

Kettlebell workouts are considered intense types that work on most parts of the muscles and body. Start by mastering the technique and form properly.

Ideally, it should be done as shorter sessions, typically 10 – 15 minutes, five times a week. Take a rest in-between days.


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Is 30 Minutes Dumbbells Workout Enough?

Yes, why not?

You can use a pair of dumbbells for an entire body workout. If you already have good stamina and strength from the weightlifting experience, go for HIIT Training with dumbbells.

Take note that this is a high-intensity workout and depending on your current fitness levels, age, weight, and goals, you could do 3 – 5 HIIT workouts per week, each lasting for 30 minutes. Try to hit the DHHS recommendation of at least 150 minutes per week for workouts.

HIIT workouts with dumbbells will help you to shape and tone every major muscle of your body. Some of the effective dumbbells workouts are shoulder press (8-12 reps), deadlifts (8-12 reps), bent over rows (8-12 reps), hammer curls (8-12 reps), triceps extension (4-6 reps), and upwards rows (8-12 reps).

Rest about 20 seconds in between sets. Once you have completed each workout, rest for about 2-3 minutes before you continue to another workout.

What weight to start with a dumbbell?

If you are a beginner, best to start with some lighter weights (5-10lbs for women; 10-20lbs for men) that your hand grips are comfortable with. Very important to master the proper techniques and forms than how much you can lift.

Start with 8 reps and when you feel that you have better-controlled strength, increase to 10 reps, then 12 reps. If you think you can do better for 13 reps with increased weight, that’s fine. It is flexible, you can adjust the number of reps according to your fitness strength.

Simply say, always start low, perfect the workout form and gradually increase the weight during each session. Don’t rush or show your ego just because your admirer is near you, LOL.

Image photo: A classical steel dumbbell

Can You Do A Swing With A Dumbbell?

In my opinion, you can but not as comfortable as swinging with a kettlebell.

As I explained before, a kettlebell’s weight is all below the handle which gives you good choices of speed swinging and power movement. Your grips are in a better control position when you do the swing with them.

On the other hand, using a dumbbell to swing seems a little awkward movement as the weight is evenly distributed on each side of the handle. Believe it or not, I tried using a dumbbell to swing and it was awful as you can think!

Besides, if you are using dumbbells with adjustable weight plates, the injury risks are there as the safety lock might be loosened causing the plates to fall off when swinging. I would certainly invest in kettlebells for swings or snatches workouts.

Can kettlebell swings help to burn fat?

The golden rule is when you are working out hard and at the same time having a balanced healthy diet, no matter what type of workouts you are doing, you will burn more calories and may eventually achieve a loss of weight.

Besides helping in your strength, the kettlebell swing or even snatch is capable to enhance your aerobic capacity and burning fat. A fantastic way to beat up your heart rate and can be a serious calorie burner if the technique and form are used correctly.

So, are you so ready for this workout? How many swings or snatches can you do in a day?

I recommend you try this out with a two-handed swing to start. Remember the correct technique and proper form! Get help with your trainer or purchase a workout DVD from Amazon.

Kettlebell or Dumbbell – Which One Is Quicker In Getting Shape?

I think the answer is subjective.

It depends on how effectively you use them to reach your goals. Both work great in their unique ways. Your consistency, persistence, effort, technique, and, form play vital roles too.

You can test both on a particular workout to see which one suits you the most. For example, when you do an arm or swing workout, try both to see which one makes you feel good, and stick with that.

It should be comfortable when you are working out with it. If you feel like the dumbbell works greater than the kettlebell, go with the first choice. 

Buying Tips: When you decided to buy kettlebells, remember always to get single kettlebells in different weights (light-medium-heavy), not in pairs. Only the time when you are reaching that advanced level (have more weight experiences), you can add heavier collections, getting the other single kettlebell of the same size that you’ve got earlier.

Typically, adjustable dumbbells’ weight starts from 10 – 120 pounds weight in between them. Alternatively, you can opt for fixed weights if you are starting out or just focus on one area of body workout. If ask me, I would go for adjustable free weights for budget and space reasons.

Dumbbells made of rubber and neoprene are softer and kinder on your floor than the metal type. Unless, if you plan to get a gym mat, free weights built with metal materials are a great choice.


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My Final Thoughts: What Is A Better Workout – Kettlebells Or Dumbbells?

I would say that both are great workout tools and have their advantages in terms of your training goals.

The kettlebell can be a serious anaerobic workout if we know how to swing or snatch properly. It’s just that many people are not aware or joke about its major benefits on their bodies. They are great for hip and hinge movements!

Dumbbells are a more traditional workout to build muscle, size, and strength. I mean when you enter a gym, you will mostly see the free weights section with trainers concentrating on doing their workout, not mingling around. That’s how they progress through different weight resistance.

For newbies in fitness training and going for muscle building, go for the dumbbell – the muscle-builder tool.

If you are kind of advanced level and have weeks of experience in fitness, searching for more excitement and challenges in workouts, aim for the high-intensity workout with kettlebells.

Remember to always get advice from your certified trainer or healthcare expert if you are a complete newbie in fitness training. Each individual has their level of fitness and health to follow.

Do leave me a comment if you have and I will interact back within 24 hours.

Have a fabulous home exercise.


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