Does Using Dumbbells Instead of Kettlebells Burn the Same Calories?

Does Using Dumbbells Instead of Kettlebells Burn the Same Calories?

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Burn off calories with a high-intensity workout that includes dumbbells or kettlebells. Images

Using dumbbells or kettlebells as part of a high-intensity, resistance training workout, also known as metabolic training, can help you burn calories in a hurry. Best of all, metabolic training revs up your body's metabolism so it keeps expending energy after you've finished working out. Using dumbbells or kettlebells burns about the same number of calories. Kettlebells are best suited for improving dynamic stability and core strength. For increasing arm strength and size, choose dumbbells.

Burn Calories with High-Intensity Sets

In the metabolic training workout recommended by the American Council on Exercise, you achieve maximum calorie expenditure via high-intensity sets, resistance training and appropriate rest periods. Dumbbells and kettlebells can be interchanged for many of the exercises, such as single-arm squat push presses, single-arm presses, straight-leg deadlifts, renegade rows, seated twists or hard swings. Perform each set for 30 seconds at your highest possible intensity, rest for 30 seconds, then perform the next set.

Burn Calories with Functional Movement

Functional, full-body movements also contribute to maximizing your energy output. Of the 15 exercises in the metabolic workout, only two do not involve the whole body: single-arm presses and seated twists. More examples of functional exercises you can use are snatches, deadlifts, split squats, lunges and Turkish get-ups. All of these require you to coordinate joints and muscles across your upper and lower body. When you use more muscle mass, you burn more calories.

Use Kettlebells for Dynamic Stability

If you want a strong core and better balance, then choose kettlebells. The kettlebell's load is offset from the handle. When you use it, your muscles must work to lift the weight and stabilize a shifting balance point. For example, in the kettlebell hard swing exercise, the forces pulling against your arms and core are constantly changing in direction and intensity. Some exercises simply work better using a kettlebell. The hard swing with a dumbbell isn't as effective because the load is closer to your hands and the grip is different.

Use Dumbbells for Muscle Strength

If your fitness goal is bigger and stronger arms, then use dumbbells. The dumbbell is perfectly balanced at the midpoint of the handle. This allows you to lift a heavier weight and isolate a specific muscle, both of which build strength. Dumbbells are a safer choice for some exercises. Balancing yourself on one arm on a kettlebell is an advanced version of the renegade row. Start by using a dumbbell, and progress to a kettlebell after you've built up more core strength.