CONFUSED ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KETTLEBELLS AND DUMBBELLS? - HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Kettlebells and dumbbells are two very different tools often used in training. For starters, they both have a different shape which obviously, affects how they work for every body type.
In a kettlebell, all the weight sits right below its handle, whereas in a dumbbell, the weight is uniformly displaced on both ends. Secondly, the kettlebells are made with cast iron, whereas dumbbells come in different materials. However, there is a lot more to the comparison.
Difference between kettlebells and dumbbells for muscle activation:
In 2018, a study was published which compared the electromyographic activity of the pectoralis major with the anterior deltoid. The subjects in the study were asked to perform seated overhead press with both a dumbbell as well as a kettlebell with equal weights.
According to the researchers’ results, dumbbell overhead presses had greater anterior deltoid electromyographic activity as compared to a kettlebell. The researchers guessed that anterior deltoid was based mostly on the position of both the tools and how it must have influenced the subjects in their overhead press performances.
Where the kettlebell is to be positioned behind the wrist, the dumbbell goes over the palm. This alignment generates a minor torque in the glenohumeral joint. This difference between kettlebells and dumbbells created higher muscular activity with the dumbbell instead of the kettlebell as the weight was more consistent and unswerving on the shoulder muscles. However, the stabiliser muscles were not researched in this study which is mostly greater with kettlebells.
What can we conclude from this?
All this information definitely leads us somewhere. If you are confused whilst selecting a dumbbell or kettlebell for your next training session, you should consider how both tools affect the target muscles you are working on, during a set for your chosen exercise.
If you are not an avid lifter, you are likely to find no big difference between kettlebells and dumbbells. However, even the slightest possible differences matter. Below is a list of questions you might want to think about:
- What are the focus muscles of the exercise?
- What is the series of motion being trained?
- What do you want from the exercise? Power, stability, activation, etc.?
If you ask yourself the above-mentioned questions just once, you can definitely maximise the effects of your training sessions and make the most out of them. We all know quality programming always wins in the long run for power, stability and pretty much all courses of action.
Which to use, kettlebell or dumbbell?
You must have made up your mind by now, but you should not stick to just one. Make sure you use both, keeping your end goal in mind. If you want more stability, a dumbbell is generally great for that, but if you want growth, a kettlebell is a right pick because of its off-centre of gravity. We hope this brief difference between kettlebells and dumbbells was helpful for you!
About the Author
We bring you informative sports & travel tips, to help you stay active and achieve your lifestyle goals.