Many persons seem to believe in exercising with free weights in the gym or at home. It is an affordable equipment and very effective for any scale of training, from relaxed to dynamic. This article refers to 2 basic types of free weights: Dumbbells & Kettlebells, the 2 more popular items in men and women’s training mainly for muscle rebuilding and ribbing.
Below we discuss the main advantages of each one of them, as well as its way of use in the most correct and efficient way.
Training is not something established and solid. Training should be treated as a “living organism”, that evolves and changes. Present a number of needs, creates obligations, looks for competition, desires the victory and adapts to current conditions.
Therefore, each workout has its own ideal application moment, its own way to perform better and its own momentum leading to higher muscle gains.
Kettlebells – due to their special grip – offer a possibility for more dynamic, fast and decisive movements compared to ordinary dumbbells.
Their weight (as in the case of all free weights) is adjustable according to the capabilities and goals of the athlete.
You can do dynamic exercises with the help of kettlebells and “work” on large muscle groups offering the opportunity for a very dynamic & short workout (especially if time is an issue).
Many HIIT or EMOM workouts include kettlebells simply because provide the potential for dynamic muscle strengthening in a very short time. Aerobic (cardio) training with kettlebells will give the heart a dynamic pulse, enhancing its function, as well as the respiratory function of the organism.
However, attention is required, especially in the case of a beginner. Highly abrupt movements with the kettlebell might lead to injuries.
It is necessary to have a good warm up of the muscles before the basic training, and a clear stretch at the end of it.
During the basic training, it is necessary to have a person for supervision and guidance (Coaching), especially in your first lessons and until you learn how to handle your body with free weights.
Dumbbells, on the other hand, are the most user-friendly form of free weights, suitable for beginners or even for very advanced persons depending on the weight to be applied and the demands of the exercises included in the training.
Provide training for every body muscle depending on the way of application, being a very economical and very efficient method to increase the muscle mass at home without paying gym fees.
There are certain basic exercises for a beginner to start with and surely – gradually – they can be developed to a completely different level with an increased degree of difficulty.
The exercises with the classical dumbbells are simpler (less complex) in their movement, resulting to a more controlled & safer training for beginners or those suffering from injuries.
Most gymnasts and personal trainers – especially in the beginning – recommend exercises with dumbbells (low weight) and a gradual increase of the difficulty degree.
Especially for a beginner, exercises with kettlebells with no supervision are not recommended.
However, if you are not new to free weight training, then kettlebells are a good way to take your workout a step further offering a completely different experience compared to dumbbells and taking you away from the training routine so far.
The dynamic training offered by kettlebells will fascinate you and will make your training less boring and more enjoyable, even if their degree of difficulty is elevated.
If on the other hand you just want to be fit and “rest” your body from working long hours in the office, then dumbbells are the right exercise for you.
Safe, easy, with adjustable degree of difficulty (depending on the conditions) and suitable for fast & visible results in muscle gains.
Using dumbbells you can follow a more relaxed & “slow” pace training, or even a very fast & dynamic training (aerobic training) of high demands.
You will see immediate results in your endurance and physical condition, as well as in your physical image. Muscle gains are visible from the first 3-4 weeks of intensive training.
Even if you are satisfied with a workout using the classic dumbbells, you can have spectacular results, not being wrong not to try a new workout.
If there is no problem with this type of training, you can simply change the exercises applied from time to time so that the muscles do not “get used”.
What you should know is that kettlebells start with a heavier weight compared to dumbbells starting at 0.5 kg and increase the weight a lot depending on the requirements of the user. This requires a little more care when using kettlebells for explosive movements and large bends (to avoid injuries).
Exercising with kettlebells is much more dynamic, requiring extreme muscle movements with curves, weight shifts, balance, flexibility, concentration.
We have to add that requires knowledge of mathematics and physics, understanding the movement of the body and the energy required by your muscles to achieve it in the right way.
In general, there are no rules imposed on one or the other way of training.
Furthermore, selecting the classic dumbbells does not mean you cannot follow any other form of exercise at the same time (with other free weights, with machines or without any props).
As discussed, exercise is not something that is fixed, but something variable, evolving with you. It evolves as your needs and requirements evolve, changes when your goal changes.
You will find exercises that may be more suitable or ideal for you at a specific time and you start the training journey with them. During this process, you will understand when you will have to take the training a step further.
Dumbbells will give you a more controlled workout with greater stability. The weight is balanced on the body and they are less dangerous for injuries.
On the other hand, kettlebells offer another “match” and intensity to training. The handle carried in their center leads the body to a dynamic rotational motion, allowing faster repetitions of high intensity.
Intense movement and weight lifting, however, can cause injuries, especially to non-experienced kettlebell users.
Experts – if you are in a gym – can supervise you and guide you systematically, to perform your kettlebell workout properly without endangering your body.
If you feel embarrassed on the use of kettlebells (or if you perform the training at home and do not want to spend any more money), you should know that many people perform the exercises by oscillating kettlebells, but with the classic dumbbells.
Is this correct?
Not exactly. Even the difference in the way handled, limits the body’s ability to move in this rotational weight transfer.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that you cannot apply oscillations with the classic dumbbells and have muscle gains.
As mentioned, there are many persons for the reason of not wishing to buy kettlebells, apply cradle exercises with the classic dumbbells without any problems.
In fact, you can do nearly all exercises with dumbbells and kettlebells. We state nearly because certain exercises may be easier or more effective in one or the other way.
However, if you do not want to spend a lot of money in different training equipment, then some dumbbells of different weights could satisfy you and provide you with the muscle rebuilding desired.
In case of attending training in a gym, it would be a waste of time not to take advantage of the variety of “tools” provided by the place and not to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of a specialized staff.
Ask. Learn new things. Try out. Decide what suits you. See what fascinates you.
Training is fun.
As long as you do not allow it to develop into a monotonous and boring process, you will find joy in it, offering pleasure to you and to your soul.