Kettlebell vs Dumbbell

Kettlebell vs Dumbbell: Which is More Effective For Strength Exercising?

When it comes to weight lifting, the debate between kettlebells and dumbbells never ends.

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While dumbbells are a familiar piece of equipment in gyms, the kettlebell is considered the new kid on the block. Both tools have the unique features which Nogii will introduce in this article.

Are you ready to get your feet into the land of these useful exercise equipment?

Let’s explore the differences between kettlebells and dumbbells with us!

Kettlebell vs Dumbbell


The first and noticeable difference you can realize immediately is the shape.

Kettlebells are the cast iron weights which look like small cannonballs with smooth handles on top.

On the other hand, the unique feature of dumbbells is weight plates on each side with a center bar.

You can adjust the weights easily and quickly with dumbbells. If you choose free-weight-style dumbbells, what you need to do is moving your plates to another side or take them away.

In the same situation, with kettlebells, you have to select other more massive bells to change your weights. It is a limitation of kettlebells in case the gym has not enough kettlebells with different weight to meet your requirements.


As a piece of balanced workout equipment, dumbbells provide equal weights on each side. Thanks to the stability dumbbells bring, you have more one-handed choices and can control the movements better.

In contrast, kettlebells are weighted off-center.

The side of the handle is lighter, while the other side is heavy because of the ball. When you take exercises with kettlebells, the centrifugal force is on the ball section. Therefore, these bells try to keep going in the original direction.

You need more strength to move kettlebells than to redirect dumbbells.


Kettlebells allow you to do explosive, physical movements in an ideal way.

In aerobic-style exercises, kettlebells are the better option, helping you to build stronger muscle.

For instance, one of the most common exercises with this equipment is kettlebell swing.

You start with the squat posture, then put the bell between your legs and stand up. Keep your kettlebell in front of the chest, and try to use the force from hips to push it.

This practice will help you work your shoulders, abdominals, hips, and thighs.

However, with dumbbells, Nikki Reifschneider, the assistant director of fitness and personal training at the University of Miami commented that they are suitable for fundamental and straightforward movements.

Experts highly recommend basic exercises with dumbbells such as the chest press, the row, shoulder press, or squats with dumbbells held at the shoulders.

For a little bit of everything, dumbbells are fine.

When you don’t need to swing the weight around (like the exercises with kettlebells), the moves will be more straightforward and accessible.

Levels of Users

If you are a beginner, dumbbells are fitting choices for you.

Many dumbbell exercises are uncomplicated and simple, and these basic movements will help you adapt quickly to the weight training process.

Of course, you can start with kettlebells. However, in that case,  you should have a personal trainer to ensure that you will not injure yourself, and your practice is effective.


Because of the differences in design, balance or movements, each workout tool will fit different targets.

For Bodybuilding

If your goal is muscle development, what we suggest is dumbbells.

When you search on the internet, you will find out many results which explain why unbalanced kettlebells are not the ideal choices for adding muscle mass.

Unlike kettlebells, dumbbells have a great balance thanks to their design. When doing simple and convenient dumbbell exercises, you don’t need to focus on keeping balance, which allows you to put your attention to the simple movements.

Therefore, the result you get is more reps with higher weight.

Also, as we mentioned, it is not convenient to gradually change your weights with kettlebells, while weight increase plays an essential role in keeping your progress steady.

Finding an adjustable dumbbell is not a difficult task because it is more common and cheaper than kettlebell.

For Strength Or Power Endurance

Stick to kettlebells if you want to develop strength or power endurance.

A feature of kettlebells is that they are suitable for intense and dynamic movements. As a result, kettlebells provide a higher intensity of continuous workout than dumbbells.

Besides, with kettlebells, the longer practice periods with little rest help you improve your endurance.

Compared with kettlebells, dumbbells are easy to get loose, and their locks tend to unscrew when you practice dynamic movements for a long time.

For Maximal Strength And Power

If your target is improving strength and power, you should choose dumbbells.

Generally, kettlebells are lighter than dumbbells.

It is easy to see that 100kg dumbbells are used commonly in powerlifting and weightlifting. However, with 100 kettlebells, it is too big to practice with them conveniently.

Heavier dumbbells bring a more excellent resistance for training strength and power.

For Fat Loss

We have known that kettlebell exercises require more strength than dumbbells. Kettlebells are the king of dynamic movements.

Therefore, you will burn more many calories with kettlebells to achieve your weight loss goal.

Which Tool Is More Effective For Strength Exercising
Which Tool Is More Effective For Strength Exercising

Which Tool Is More Effective For Strength Exercising?

We come back to the first question: Which tool is better for you? Kettlebell or dumbbell?

Perhaps you’ve already had the correct answer.

Depending on your level, your targets or even your preference, you can choose a piece of suitable workout equipment.

In short, dumbbells are better for beginners because the exercises are basic and simple. When you want to add muscle mass or improve strength and power, you should select dumbbells.

In contrast, Nogii recommend kettlebells with dynamic movements to advanced users. If your goals are power endurance or weight loss, they are the better investment.

The Last Words,

If you have a headache when choosing kettlebells and dumbbells, Nogii hopes that this article can help you solve that problem.

Both two tools are useful for different goals and different users. Let’s consider your situation and be careful with your decisions.

Feel free to leave your comment below if you still have questions.

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