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Workout Showdown: Dumbbells vs. Kettlebells

When it comes to weight training, you have several options. Hand weights like dumbbells and kettlebells are ideal for building strength and staying in shape. However, deciding between the two can be difficult. By weighing the pros and cons of each type of weight, you'll be able to determine whether dumbbells or kettlebells are best for your preferred workout routine. In some cases, you can even opt for both types of weight sets for the ultimate workout regimen.



Price Range

Less expensive*More expensive*


More versatileLess versatile


Easy to handleMore awkward to handle

Training Intent

Strength-buildingStrength, endurance and fat-burning cardio


Advantages of Dumbbells

  • Lower cost - While there are more expensive sets and individual weights, you can easily find reliable and inexpensive options to start your home gym.
  • Versatile - Dumbbells are the perfect add-on for cardio and body weight exercises. You can even use them for swing training, much like you can kettlebells.
  • Comfortable handling - These weights fit snugly in your grip, with equal weight on either side of the handle, for a secure fit that makes it easy to move.

Limitations of Dumbbells

  • Single use - Dumbbell workouts are typically used for building strength without increasing endurance or burning fat.
  • Difficult to target - Isolating and targeting specific muscles with dumbbells can be a challenge without proper training.
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Advantages of Kettlebells

  • Whole-body workout - Kettlebell workouts use kettlebells to help increase strength and endurance as you burn fat with cardio-focused movements.
  • Unique workout - Kettlebell workouts are different from traditional strength-training routines, incorporating explosive movements, swing motions and more.

Limitations of Kettlebells

  • Higher cost - While some models are inexpensive, most kettlebells start at a higher price than dumbbells of equal weights.
  • Less versatility - Because of kettlebells' design, they aren't easy to use in other exercise routines such as cardio, yoga or Pilates workouts.
  • Less comfortable handling - With kettlebell handles positioned above the weight, it can be difficult to hold kettlebells in varied positions.

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