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Workout Showdown: Dumbbells vs. Kettlebells - Sears

Workout Showdown: Dumbbells vs. Kettlebells

Strength training requires a number of tools to help you get your pump on. Dumbbells and kettlebells are two types of free weights that are perfect for building a home gym. Each allow you to work muscles in specific ways and help you get a dynamic workout. Let's take a look at how each can help you along the path of your fitness journey.






Easy to handleMore awkward to handle

Training Intent

Strength-buildingStrength, endurance and fat-burning cardio


Advanatages 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.
  • Strength building - A standard set of dumbbells can allow you to work on the basic strength movements. Plus, they typically reach higher weights than kettlebells so you can focus on adding more muscle mass.
  • 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.
  • Can take up space - Traditional sets take up a large footprint, which isn't always available when building a personal workout space.

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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 movements - 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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