But most people don’t keep kettle bells next to the washing machine (yes, I’m a crazy person), and so I realize I had it easier than most. Naturally, a lot of people felt they couldn’t work out because they didn’t have equipment.
You may find that this next part sounds familiar — and I’ll say it louder for the people in the back — but I refuse to accept this answer. First, body weight workouts are a phenomenal way to increase strength and conditioning and, to be perfectly honest, you shouldn’t be lifting any additional weight until you master your own body weight with push ups, squats and planks anyway.
For argument's sake, I’ll admit that sometimes you just need a little something extra to spice up your workouts. When you don’t have access to a gym and you don't have any traditional equipment at home, it’s time to get creative.
You now have a weighted vest substitute to make squats, push ups and lunges that much harder. Another idea, which I’m stealing from a client because we actually do this during our sessions, is to grab a bag of kitty litter, dog food or salt (for melting ice).
There are a TON of exercises that you can do with a kettle bell, and they work well for muscle engagement, strength building, and cardio. You can convert a dumbbell into something that works very much like a kettle bell by using a piece of equipment called the Kettledrum.
There are also many other exercises, like dips and overhead presses that can be done effectively with both kettle bells and dumbbells. The instructor explains the moves with dumbbells to start and then kettle bells.
Some exercises like the kettle bell snatch aren’t as easy to do with an unmodified dumbbell. In this case, there is a great piece of equipment on the market called the Kettle Grip.
The Kettle Grip lets you put a kettle bell handle on almost any dumbbell, this greatly increases the amount of kettle bell exercised you can do with a dumbbell. This product seems a bit weird when you first look at it, but the construction is good and it does exactly what it says it does and provides a solid kettle bell grip onto almost any dumbbell.
TIP: If your dumbbell has a straight handle, the Kettle Grip will work. Here’s another short video showing some different kettle bell moves with a dumbbell that has a Kettle Grip handle.
Overall, the Kettle Grip is a solid choice for turning dumbbells into something close to a kettle bell. When using the Kettle Grip it’s important to remember that the weight distribution is a bit different from a traditional kettle bell, but the workouts that can be achieved with the Kettle Grip conversion are quite similar.
Even though you can use a dumbbell in place of a kettle bell for many exercises and you can extend its functionality even more with a Kettle Grip, these two pieces of equipment are not the same. I personally love Bow flex equipment because of how easy they are to use and the quality of the products.
Overall, the most important thing you can do is some level of resistance training. Finding the best workout equipment for your training can depend on your individual biomechanics and your goals.
A lot of people try to decide between dumbbells and kettle bells for core and balance inclined exercises that are often more accessible in the gym. Kettle bells are uniquely suited to athletic exercises where strength and power are crucial.
Studies have shown the possible strength and power benefits of kettle bell movement patterns and workouts. These studies also indicated that kettle bell exercises could significantly enhance cardiovascular health and performance.
Even in a small amount of time like 12-minute workouts, the studies showed improvement in cardiovascular fitness. Pick a weight that challenges you but still permits you to perform the exercise with the correct form.
For example, kettle bells are better for more efficient swing movements while dumbbells are better for bicep curls. Nevertheless, this article aims to highlight which exercises dumbbells and kettle bells are better suited to, and not to pick a winner between the two types of equipment.
On the other hand, kettle bells often require more balance and core strength due to the centered and unbalanced nature of the load. Kettle bells offer more advantages if your exercise is focused primarily on strength and power.
You can develop just as much strength and power compared to more traditional methods of weight lifting. They also take up less storage space and are also very affordable training equipment if you have a limited budget.
You can accomplish a ton with just one kettle bell because of the shape, infinite ways to hold the bell plus the variations in timed or rep based workouts. However, the main difference lies in your training program, goals and environment.
The best way to enjoy the core benefits of dumbbells and kettle bells is to integrate them in the same exercise to train various muscle groups and for improved movements and flexibility. In a study conducted by Otto et al. (2012), the effects from 6 weeks of traditional weightlifting (heavy resistance) and kettle bell training on power and strength were analyzed.
The study concluded that both added improvements in strength and power, but traditional weight lifting was greater. However, there was no significant difference between the body composition of both groups analyzed for this study.
Your preference, body mechanics and experience are the major factors that should determine whether you opt for dumbbells or kettle bells. Examples of Complete Body Workouts that feature BOTH Dumbbells and Kettle bells include:
It is crucial to know the gains from using either of them and to find out if they are aligned with your workout routines and intended results. If you are looking to work on your strength, then dumbbells will offer you more benefits, since they permit you to increase the training weights slowly.
Conversely, if you are looking to add both power, endurance, and strength to your workout, then kettle bells are your best bet. The exercise routine depicted above highlights how both dumbbells and kettle bells can be integrated into the same workout.
Once you give the workout a try, you will be surprised by how much progress you can get out of your exercises by combining both equipment and how they can benefit you based on your personal preferences and fitness goals. However, I am fully conscious of what equipment is better for a specific exercise based on my training routine.