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Why Dumbbells Are Better than Kettlebells

Ironmaster Quick-Link Adjustable Dumbbells and Kettlebell
Ironmaster Quick-Link Adjustable Dumbbells and Kettlebell

There are a lot of “new” exercises out there that can be performed with kettlebells. At least they seem new compared to good old trusty dumbbells. Kettlebells have been around for a very long time, but have become popular again because of some trainers promoting them as tools for fat burning and strength training. Crossfit gyms love to use barbells, but also kettlebells so that has gained them some attention too.

Kettlebells are very versatile and can be a gateway for some people who never lifted weights to actually do some strength building exercises. The Ironmaster adjustable kettlebells were developed for that very thing. Fixed weight kettlebells are good but easily changing different weights makes them ideal for the individual trainer. Same rational as with adjustable dumbbells and the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells are the best out there.

OK, this article is about comparing dumbbell weights to kettlebells so let’s compare.

Dumbbells Kettlebells
Easy to learn and useTakes education to use them properly
Made primarily to use two weightsMade primarily to use one weight
Bodybuilding focusedCross training focused
Ideal for basic pushing and pulling movementsIdeal for swinging and overhead movements
Can be more expensive since a pair is neededCan be less expensive with a single weight and lower weights typically used

Here is the number one reason why dumbbells are the better choice if you must pick one over the other. 


Barbells are the gold standard for strength and mass building exercises as well all know. They are the epitome of free weight training bodybuilding equipment. But dumbbells are nearly just as good and are actually more versatile! A pair of dumbbells can be considered just a barbell separated into two parts. You can do almost exactly the same exercises with dumbbells as with a bar and do it in a lot smaller space. It might be a bit more challenging in terms of heavy loads and balance since one arm can’t help the other, but that keeps you in perfect symmetry and is a good thing. Barbell squats without a squat rack can be pretty dangerous, but with dumbbells, you will never get stuck. You could “try” to use two kettlebells to do standard lifts, but it is just not as good or easy.

The next reason is that you can do almost every kettlebell exercise with a dumbbell! There are lots of videos showing how to do a kettlebell swing with just a dumbbell. You just hold one end of the bell and swing away. Not quite as good or safe, but certainly possible and a decent substitute. Cleans and snatches can also be done with dumbbells almost as easily.

Dumbbell weights can be used without a weight bench, but a weight set and bench together are the best combination. Using a kettlebell set with a bench would be quite awkward. A flat weight bench is a minimum but even better to use a fully adjustable weight bench. By the way, the Ironmaster Super Bench is considered one of the best weight benches and should definitely be considered. If you are looking for weight benches for sale, you will find none better.

This is kind of a weak way to wrap up the comparison, but kettlebells are actually pretty great weights for what they are designed to do. In an ideal Gym you would have access to dumbbells AND kettlebells. Weight training machines and barbells too. They are all designed for specific purposes and using them all gives you a lot of flexibility in your workouts. BUT, if you only had the room or budget for one type of weight to lift, what would it be. Probably a dumbbell set, right? Luckily, Ironmaster makes is pretty easy to not have to forego kettlebells. You can simply get the Quick-Lock Adjustable Kettlebell handle as an accessory to the Quick-Lock Dumbbells for a very small investment.

So there you have it. Everyone may have different opinions on this topic and that is OK. Just as long as you keep on lifting!


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