Its offset center of mass allows you to change the leverage of almost any lift, making moves like the kettle bell clean and press harder, and more grip-intensive.” Kettle bells make your gym and home workouts exponentially better—we’d say easier, but that’s not really the case.
An all -in-one fitness tool that offers, arguably, the most variety of any other equipment, kettle bells are perfect for every athlete, regardless of skill level. “Because of the unique design, traditional pushing and pulling movements can be performed by holding a kettle bell by the handle as you would with a dumbbell in presses and dead lifts, says Steve Cotter, director and president of the International Kettle bell and Fitness Federation.
“The space between the handle lets you do high-repetition exercises like snatches, which raise your heart rate and burn calories quickly; while its offset center of mass allows you to change the leverage of almost any lift, making moves like the Bottoms-Up Clean and Bottoms-Up Press harder, and more grip-intensive.” Make sure to change the exercise selections and/or order to constantly keep your muscles guessing.
Extend your hips and knees to reverse the momentum as you immediately begin the next rep. To clean the KB, inhale, then drive through your hips and pull the bell up, swiveling the handle around your fingers into the locked position.
Be careful not to curl the KB or flip it so it crashes on your forearm (you shouldn’t have bruises from doing this exercise). The KB should take a vertical path, not an arc, and it should be pulled up to shoulder height.
At the top of the movement, your shoulder should be pressed down (squeeze your armpit), triceps against your rib cage, and the KB resting between your forearm and bicep (nearly in the crook of your elbow). Remember to extend through your legs and hips, and rotate (swivel) your hand so your palms are facing inward.
From this position, keep your eye on the KB, and press it up and out until it's locked out overhead. Lower the KB back to your shoulder, keeping the movement controlled.
Make sure your glutes, abs, and lats are engaged for added stability. Remember to extend through your legs and hips, and rotate (swivel) your hand so your palms are facing forward.
Extend your arm fully to lock out the KB, using your body’s momentum, then lower the weight to your shoulder. Remember to extend through your legs and hips as you pull the KB up, rotating your hand so your palms are facing forward.
From this start position, bend your knees, then drive through your heels (essentially, jumping) to reverse the motion and press the KB overhead. Extend your arm fully to lockout the KB, using your body’s momentum.
Return to the standing position, then lower the weight to start the next rep. With one hand, grab the handle, then bend your knees and push your butt back.
To get into the starting position, look straight ahead and swing the KB back between your legs, then immediately reverse the direction. Driving through your hips, bring the KB up (this should be a quick movement).
As the KB accelerates and rises, rotate your hand (palms facing forward) and shoulder to punch straight up. Bend your knees and sit back to pick them up, one in each hand.
Swing them between your legs forcefully, then reverse the direction, driving through your hips to lock them overhead in one swift motion. Pause at the bottom of the motion, keeping your chest up and torso straight.
How to do it: Hold a KB by the horns (where either part of the handle meets the base). Keeping the KB close to your chest and your elbows pointing down, lower your body into a squat.
Now, looking straight ahead, bend your knees and start to sink down into a squat as you extend your free arm and hand out (this will keep you balanced). Make sure your head and chest stay up as you descend, then pause at the bottom of the movement before rising back to the starting position, driving through your heels.
Using a fair amount of force (and keeping your elbow tucked in), swing the kettle bell back just past your leg, then reverse the motion, raising it up. From a position hanging at your side, clean the KB to shoulder height (bottoms up).
It should be positioned directly above your hand, so take care to keep your wrist straight and stabilized. How to do it: Start by cleaning the kettle bell to your chest (the bottom part of the KB should be resting outside your forearm).
Lock out your arm so the KB is aligned with your wrist, shoulder, and hip, so the major muscles in your back are supporting the weight. Inhale, and fold your body laterally and slightly forward (push your rear hip out).
How to do it: Lying on your back, grab the KB with your left hand, and lift and lock your arm. Bend your left knee, and keep your right leg straight out on the ground.
Then, pushing off your left foot, roll onto your right hip and come up onto your right elbow. How to do it: Turn two kettle bells over so the handles are flat against the ground (bottoms up).
Keep them shoulder width apart; basically you want them to be the same distance as if you were performing a regular push up. How to do it: Start in a push up position with a KB under each hand, holding onto the handles to support your weight.
You should feel your shoulder retracting and your elbow flexing as the KB comes to the top position, close to your side. Flip and catch the kettle bell by the handle in any possible direction—horizontally, vertically, forwards, backwards.
How to do it: Hold a KB, placing either hand where the base meets the handle (a.k.a. Lightly land back into a squat, making sure not to put too much force on your knees.
How to do it: Hold a KB by the handle while you stand on one leg (the same side as your KB-yielding hand). Keep the motion slow and controlled for balance (you shouldn’t use momentum).
Continue lowering the KB until your chest is parallel to the ground, then return to the upright position and switch sides. Roll onto your back and press the kettle bell up, keeping your right arm vertical.
Release your left hand and bring that arm to the ground, extending it above your head so your bicep is adjacent to your ear. Pushing through your foot, rotate your hips to roll carefully onto your left side, all the while keeping the kettle bell overhead.
Keeping it close to your body, bring the KB around your head in a circular motion (hence the name, Halo). Let’s talk about the best kettle bells — the versatile hand held weight that resembles a cannonball with a handle.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some bestkettlebell brands around — those from: Kettle bell Kings, Rogue Fitness, and Fringe Sport. Check back here — we’ll have all the details as soon as we know what gym equipment deals will be offered.
Sign up for our email newsletter, and we’ll let you know. To understand what makes the bestkettlebell, let’s recap how they are typically used.
And no matter which brand you decide to go with, you’ll understand why it stands out. First, how is a kettle bell different from a dumbbell, a fitness implement that nearly every gym has?
The difference with the kettle bell : the handle and offset mass means it’s great for ballistic movements such as swings, cleans, and snatches. That offset mass means kettle bells can provide a great grip, wrist, and arm workout as well.
Depending on the move, your upper and lower back, and legs all get a workout as well. This trainee exhibits impeccable form. The shape and handle also let you use them creatively for pure strength building.
That unique handle and shape ensures you can comfortably and safely keep the bell in place, in what is known as the rack position. We’re an affiliate of Kettle bell Kings, Rogue Fitness, and Fringe Sport.
Affiliate sales help us to bring great information about health and fitness to you. We’ve reviewed all the attributes of quality kettle bells, performed field testing, and have produced these recommendations for you.
Before we dive into the features, let’s take a brief moment to consider the parts of a kettle bell. Kettle bell anatomy includes the handle, corner, horn, base, bell, and window.
Have all the same parts as a regular kettle bell — but all the different weights are the same size and shape. They are also the same general dimensions — to ensure you can use consistent technique for different weights. Why?
With competition kettle bells you don’t have to change your technique as you lift heavier weights. The consistency in shape and size ensures you can handle bigger kettle bells in the same way as smaller ones.
Competition kettle bells are also manufactured with attention to accuracy — they are typically within +/- 1% of the advertised weight. The Rogue Fitness competition kettle bells have specially contoured flats for extra comfort — that’s a nice feature not seen in competitor’s bells.
Kettle bell Kings offers two different diameters of handle for their competition line — the standard 35 mm and 33 mm. That will be easier to grip for high repetition kettle bell workouts.
Therefore, we’ll focus on regular kettle bells for the remainder of this article. It’s also nice if this heavy weight isn’t wobbling around every time you pick it up or set it down.
Alternate lifting one bell at a time. The bestkettlebell will have a base that is machined to be perfectly flat. Cheap kettle bells (from the big box stores) are usually almost flat, but not quite.
That extra machining step makes sure they are perfectly flat. Kettle bells are cast in a mold, but the quality of material used can make a big difference — especially over the long term.
Additionally, you want a one piece casting — you do not want a model that has the handles welded on — those are prone to breakage. Goods and Kilograms to Pounds Here’s some popular kettle bell sizes.
A very typical kettle bell weight is 53 lbs (24 kg or 1.5 goods). A good kettle bell is clearly marked with its weight — ideally in both pounds and kilograms.
This helps to ensure you don’t grab the wrong bell. Ideally the weight is embossed or engraved — not painted on — so it will never wear off.
An embossed marking can also be more comfortable — no ridges to irritate the skin after repeated contact (Kettle bells can be used for high rep lifting.) With the dark finish on most kettle bells, it’s not always easy to read the weight in low-light.
Here we see a Rogue kettle bell with green color code — 53 lbs (24 kg). The handle should be a comfortable size — not too thick, and wide enough to allow for a one-hand or two-hand grip (especially on the big kettle bells).
The Rogue Fitness kettle bells have a matte black powder coat finish that is durable and grip friendly. It works well with chalk, or without. The finish on the kettle bell should be durable, but perhaps more importantly it’s got to be grip-friendly.
You do not want to lose your grip on anything you swing with force, or hold over your head. Remember — this thing is basically a cannonball with a handle.
Painted and epoxy finishes are also popular, but powder coat is preferred in most cases. The best kettle bells have a textured finish that works great with chalk.
Buying used kettle bells off Craigslist or Facebook marketplace is a great way to save a lot of money. Let’s face it — big cast iron kettle bells are tough, and if you can find used ones locally you will save money on shipping.
Just be ready to act fast — used kettle bells are hard to find and don’t last long in the classified ads — especially if they are from a high quality brand name. And further, some the color code for pounds and kilograms are similar, but different.
Now that we know what a good kettle bell looks like, and how to identify weight, let’s talk about what you need to get started. Best kettle bell weight for a man with no strength training experience: 16 kg / 35 lbs Best kettle bell weight for a man with strength training experience: 20 kg / 44 lbs Best kettle bell weight for a woman with no strength training experience: 8 kg / 18 lbs Best kettle bell weight for a woman with strength training experience: 12 kg / 26 lbs
But, having two equally sized kettle bells will let you load up more weight on squats or do two handed cleans or snatches. You might be wondering — isn’t it expensive to order kettle bells online?
So, do some comparison shopping, or look for a limited time “free shipping” deal. Also be on the lookout for Black Friday deals like those from Rogue Fitness.
They have the highest quality and the most complete range of options in kettle bells. For illustrative purposes here we are going to highlight their kilogram line of products with the black powder coat finish we prefer.
They cover all the basic features — flat base, powder coat finish, one piece casting, color coding, etc. Save some serious money, and in all likelihood your training will go better with a few different sizes.
If you are slightly more advanced, you may want the Archdukes Set — one 16 kg / 35lbs, one 24 kg / 53lbs, and one 32 kg / 70lbs kettle bell. The kettle bell is going to be your choice for dynamic movements — the fact that you can grasp it with 2 hands is a big factor.
The offset mass makes some unique moves possible that can’t be done with a dumbbell. They are also easier to keep in the “rack” position (because of their round shape) if you are using them for additional resistance on squats.
You’re going to see a lot of other adjustable kettle bell options that max out at a measly 40 lbs. For an advanced trainee, who needs major weight increments, you’ll have to buy multiple fixed kettle bells.
Create is a thin-film ceramic coating that offers amazing durability, protection, and a choice of colors and patterns. Create is resistant to wear, abrasion, corrosion, and chemicals.
And not only is it a highly protective, functional coating — it can be applied in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs. You can grab cheap kettle bells from your local Walmart — with no shipping (although you will pay sales tax.)
The cheap kettle bell isn’t machined flat — it wobbles. I don’t want any slick coatings on a 30 lb cannonball that I’m going to hold over my head — in a fatigued state.
The weight is embossed on the bell, at least, but it’s very hard to see in my dungeon-like garage gym. On the Kettle bell Kings — I can see the color coding, and it’s conveniently marked with kg and lbs.
On the upside — I was able to pick it up locally — and it gave me a better appreciation for just how well-thought-out the Kettle bell kings products are. One piece cast iron, chalk-friendly, black powder coat finish, machined flat base, easy to see color coding, and more.
There’s no comparison to the cheap kettle bells in the big box stores. The Rogue Fitness kettle bell line is only available in pound increments.
These start at 97 lbs, and go up to a true monster sized 203 lb kettle bell. Rogue Fitness carries their competition kettle bell line in kilograms.
But, you’ll be paying that premium for very accurate, precision manufactured kettle bells. The E-coat finish is applied in a thin durable layer that allows the texture of the casting to be felt while still being easy to clean.
Kettle bells can be used to train strength, power, and metabolic conditioning (as we call cardio now-a-days.) Here’s a challenge with kettle bells (and dumbbells) — it’s hard to make small jumps in weight.
The innovative design on these change plates lets you use them with kettle bells or dumbbells. They are made with a dense inner slug of steel and a tough (but flexible) outer coating of TPE plastic.
Fringe Sport’s Prime Kettle bells have all the features we look for in the bestkettlebell. Flat base, matte black, powder coat finish for excellent grip, color coded, etc.
At first glance a kettle bell might seem to be similar to a dumbbell — after all, both are hand held weights that you use for fitness training. But the kettle bell has some unique traits that make it an interesting and versatile training tool.