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Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells: Which Is Better

You Asked: Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells

Dear Fit,
I've always used dumbbells and weight machines for strength training exercises, but at the gym recently, I saw some people using kettlebells. Are they better than dumbbells and why should I use them? Should I switch completely?
— Confused about Kettlebells

This is such a great question. Both kettlebells and dumbbells are great tools for strength training, but they're used in different ways. To find out if one is better than the other, read more.

Dumbbells are inexpensive and can be used to tone just about every muscle in your body. They're used for basic lifting movements such as bicep curls, Lying Pec Flies, or Tricep Kickbacks, and are perfect for isolating one muscle group at a time. They are also great for adding weight to basic moves like lunges and squats.

Kettlebells are used primarily for swinging movements, so they end up combining strength training and cardio in one workout. Since they tone your muscles and burn calories, some think kettlebells give you more bang for your buck. Kettlebell exercises utilize a greater range of motion, so they also increase flexibility and tone your core, which is one reason I really like using them.

If you're just looking to tone up, dumbbells will do the job, but I think it is good to try new ways of working to avoid boredom. If you're an athlete and want to develop overall strength and flexibility, then you may want to incorporate some kettlebell exercises into your routine. Have someone at your gym show you how to use kettlebells correctly to avoid injuring yourself. The video below contains great shots of the kettlebells in action.

If you love kettlebells, tell me all about it in the comment section below.

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