Kettlebells vs Dumbbells vs Barbells vs Medicine Balls
Dumbbells, barbells and other popular forms of free weights have been around for years, and we’re all familiar with the way they look.
Even if you haven’t stepped inside a gym in months, you’ll instantly recognise the typical shape of dumbbells and barbells.
However, you might not be so familiar with a newer piece of equipment – the kettlebell.
If you’ve seen them in the gym and you’re interested in trying them out, you might be wondering how they fare when compared to the other types of free weights.
Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells
The key thing that makes kettlebells so different from other weights is the movement that is typically carried out using them.
Rather than standing straight and solid and repeatedly doing curls and other motions, you can pick up a kettlebell and swing it in various directions.
One way to use a kettlebell is to swing it under between your legs and then out again.
Not only does this strengthen your arms and legs, but it also helps to improve your entire body and even your posture.
This is something which dumbbells are not well-known for, so kettlebells give you the extra added benefit.
Kettlebells vs. Barbells
While you can’t swing barbells around and use them for the same uses as kettlebells, the good thing about barbells is that you can add more and more weight to them in order to make them as heavy as you need.
This is something that you cannot do with kettlebells, since they are a fixed weight.
If your gym doesn’t have a kettlebell heavy enough for what you need to do, you’ll have no other choice but to use a barbell.
This is one of the downsides of kettlebells, since those looking to increase the weight they are lifting might not be able to achieve that with kettlebells.
Which Should You Use?
The best way to do weight training exercises is to use all three types of weights.
Kettlebells can help your entire body to become more strengthened and toned, and if you struggle from previous injuries, it’s a good way to keep your body more flexible and less rigid while lifting.
However, those looking to gain and increase their strength can also use barbells to add extra weight and carry out exercises such as bench presses.
Kettlebells vs. Medicine Balls – What’s the Difference?
When you start looking into strength training and incorporating weights into your workout, you’ll start to see several words and objects which seem to be mentioned again and again.
When you go to the gym or start talking to personal trainers, they might talk about things that you don’t fully understand…yet!
Kettlebells and medicine balls are two of the most popular types of weights that you can use in your workout, and they both have their own key points and advantages.
What’s best for weight loss?
Some people shy away from using weights if they are trying to shed some pounds, since they think it will make them get bigger rather than smaller.
This is a problem for women in particular, but using weights will help you to tone up and can actually help to burn more calories during resting times.
Using a kettlebell during your workout helps to get your entire body moving, and you can burn more than 300 calories in just half an hour.
Medicine balls are also effective at getting you moving and helping to lose weight and burn fat, but you’ll burn less calories with these – around 225 per half hour.
Which is best for toning?
Any type of weights will help you to tone your entire body, but some are more effective than others.
As mentioned previously, since kettlebells can work the entire body, they are great at general toning if you don’t have a particular area you want to tone.
Medicine balls are not designed to be swung around like kettlebells are, so they are great for toning the arms – one of the problem areas for women and one of the areas which men particularly like to work on.
Which is best for building power?
If you want to increase your strength and build power, both types of weights will be able to help you.
If you are using medicine balls, the trick is to start off with a lighter weight and practise throwing or hurling them with as much force as possible.
You can gradually build up to heavier weights.
It’s not just about the weight you can pick up, but also about how quickly and forcefully you can handle it. Kettlebells work in a similar way, but you’ll be swinging these rather than throwing them.
For best results, combine the two regularly in your workouts.