With the dial at the top, you can change the kettlebell's resistance between 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 49 pounds, making it super easy to switch from endurance exercises to strength moves without missing a beat. Reviewer rave: “I live in a city apartment with limited space, so I just don't have room for a whole rack of kettle bells.
This kettlebell's super-wide grip makes it great for incorporating two-handed movements into your workouts (or if you've just got big hands! Reviewer rave: “I like the smooth handle, without the cross-hatch grips, so my hands won't get tore up and I don't have to bother with wearing gloves.
Reviewer rave: “I wanted to start using kettle bells and this was a good starter set for a decent price.” Bionic Body amazon.comic you prefer something that won't come down as hard from an accidental drop (it can happen), opt for a soft kettle bell option like this one.
It features a large handle that will give you a secure, comfortable grip, and it's available in weights from 10 to 40 pounds. Reviewer rave: “This is a great kettle bell for exercise because it is a soft base and a sturdy handle.
Amazon.common'll feel a little safer tackling all your swing movements using this kettle bell that's way softer than a cast-iron option. I love that it's soft and won't dent my floors if I set it down too hard.
Amazon.these kettle bells are available in weights from 15 to 50 pounds, and feature a large, textured handle for easy grip. Växjö This smart compact kettle bell isn't only adjustable with the click of a button, but when you connect to the Växjö app, you can also track your reps, sets, weight, power, volume, and time, so that you can get a good look at how you're performing.
And while all KB's have this one feature in common, there are other distinguishing factors to consider before buying one. Laura Miranda, DPT, CSS, points out that heavier weights are good for power movements like swings and snatches, while lighter loads are ideal for things like presses and Turkish get-ups.
Opting for an adjustable kettle bell lets you play with different levels of resistance with just one weight. You can also consider going for a soft kettle bell set instead, which will protect you and your floors in case of accidental drops.
Bottom line: The weight set you should buy really depends on your lifting history, says Kan ski. But for newbies, she considers 8–12 kilograms to be a good range for women working on overhead movements, and a little heavier for lower body movements, like swings and goblet squats is a good idea.
All that aside, kettle bell workouts also just didn’t seem necessary since I have dumbbells and resistance bands to cover lots of fitness routines. However, given the inherent difficulty of attending gyms right now with a face mask and the potential risk of exposure, I decided to shake things up and took the plunge: I ordered a kettle bell.
If you’re likewise looking for the best kettle bells to buy, you’ll quickly find lots of options and some might seem very similar to others. I’ve found a lot of value in even basic exercises, which challenged my body in gym-worthy ways, an especially significant value in workout gear as we head into winter.
Other fitness pros I talked to had predictably different takes on the best approach to equipping your home gym with kettle bells. This kettle bell is especially comfortable for exercises like Turkish get ups and presses since it lies on the forearm.
Heidi Pocono, a personal trainer and manager of training at GYMGUYZ, recommends a vinyl coated cast iron kettle bell. “This is my go-to piece of equipment, no matter where I’m training,” Pocono said, noting the “comfortable” cast iron handle glides smoothly in her hand whether she’s performing a kettle bell swing, snatch or a windmill.
Its wider handle makes it easier to grip with two hands (for the classic swing move), and its smoother finish is less likely to injure your skin over time. Dragon Door was the first company to popularize kettle bells in America, which is why the most other brands simply copy that shape down to the millimeter.
If the goal is to learn kettle bell basics and use two-handed techniques, all of these bells are quite suitable, and being budget conscious (finding sales/free shipping) isn’t a bad route. We (Keira and I) have trained more than 800 clients in kettle bell techniques since 2008, and we’ve taught multiple instructor certifications in the US and abroad.
(Most recently, as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to work out at home, significant stock shortages have become the norm.) Their unique shape and functionality give them many of the strength-building benefits of dumbbells while also providing users with the opportunity to do kettle bell -specific drills that involve a lot of movement, like the swing.
The closed-loop handle of a kettle bell offers users a secure grip for movements with both hands. Dumbbells are better suited to doing squats, curls, bench press, cleans, and other exercises that have less kinetic motion.
That means you can fulfill all your workout needs with one simple tool that stows easily in a closet. One important caveat to this endorsement of kettle bell training is that proper technique makes all the difference between effective and beneficial use and potential injury.
You can also consult credible online tutorials, and many trainers will set up a Skype arrangement where you can send videos to them for feedback and coaching. My wife, master ROC trainer Keira Newton, has an awesome YouTube page with all kinds of tutorials/workouts for kettle bells.
In terms of credible resources on kettle bell techniques and workout ideas, here are a few great sources available digitally and/or in print: Dragon Door has the most resources in terms of kettle bell books and DVDs (at least in the “hard style” approach that I use) available.
Finally, Steve Cotter is a master practitioner/teacher of competition kettle bell lifting techniques. While many people recommend women starting with an 8-kilogram bell (about 16 pounds), I think that the two-handed lifts like squats and swings aren’t very well-served by that low weight.
If you want to start modestly, my suggestion would be to get the 13-pound version of our budget pick and then order a larger, higher quality bell once you feel comfortable. With these three, all kinds of single and double kettle bell work is easily achievable and scalable.
Both of these linked pieces reiterate my earlier point about seeking credible instruction before beginning an at-home regimen. Then there is the question about which kind of kettle bell you should buy: cast iron, competition, or adjustable.
Also, a major frustration with adjustable kettle bells is that they don’t offer a wide enough weight range to make them ideal for many. As it turns out, there’s not a huge amount of difference between these things because most of them borrow their design from the Dragon Door ROC.
Dragon Door was the first US company to run kettle bell instructor certifications (taught by famed instructor Pavel Tsatsouline) and have mass distribution in the US (Dragon Door started selling these bells in 2001). Dragon Door bells achieved great acclaim, but their high price point (roughly $120 each after shipping and handling, the highest in our test) invited lots of competition from other companies.
CAP is another popular fitness company that makes a good bell at a lower price point. For example, this Yes4All bell is one of the most popular models on Amazon, but its large, flat face is hard on the wrists in one-handed positions.
Although much more rare, some companies compete by distinguishing their offerings from Dragon Door’s with different designs. Perform Better at one point implemented a screw-on rubber skid plate on the bottom of their bells, but later on scrapped it due to negative customer feedback.
From left: Matrix Elite, CAP Cast Iron Competition, Rogue, Perform Better First Place, Dragon Door ROC. Photo: Anton BrkicOur testing group, which consisted of myself and five members of the high school varsity baseball team I coach, worked with all five bells at the beginner/intermediate level and did only two-handed moves (dead lifts, squats, presses, high pulls, and swings).
In fact, I wouldn’t use the CAP or Rogue bells for high-rep snatching because they have coarse handles and some tackiness from the painted finish. If you order through the company’s website and have a problem, Kettle bells USA will “make it right, period!” by sending a replacement and taking care of return shipping fees.
Photo: Mark Blythe Matrix Elite kettle bell has a slightly different handle dimension and more distance from the ball part of the bell to the handle to create a larger opening for more comfortable two-handed positions. The Matrix bell clearly outclassed the competition for two-handed work, as the smooth, e-coated handle with a wider grip was consistently easy on the hands, even when doing high repetition sets of 20-plus kettle bell swings.
Even when the user advances to the one-handed moves, both two-handed swings and goblet squats should remain essential parts of a kettle bell program. Any flaws in a kettle bell will be exposed when you use just one hand, but the attention to detail in forging a smooth, seamless handle was clearly on display with this bell.
Besides the handle shape, the Matrix Elite (right) looks almost identical to the Dragon Door ROC, which costs anywhere from $30 to $50 more. Photo: Mark BixbyAnother thing that sets the Matrix Elite apart from other kettle bells (including Kettle bells USA's own “classic” line) is the fact that it’s designed to have the same “rack” position (where the round part rests on your forearm) regardless of weight and size.
Most companies use standard molds repeatedly, and inevitably, residue from previous castings creates uneven surface textures like edges or gaps. Finally, Kettle bells USA showed awesome customer service throughout my process of testing.
If you're used to standard Dragon Door ROC kettle bells (or any of its many clones), the Matrix Elite's rack position might feel strange at first, since the ball part sits higher up on the forearm by comparison. If you see the bell offered at full price (with no discounted shipping), wait seven to 10 days, and you should find it available more cheaply.
If the Matrix Elite is unavailable, or if you just want a standard-shaped bell without the wider handle, the Perform Better First Place Kettle bell feels the same in use as the high-end Dragon Door, but costs about 25 percent less. In fact, its dimensions are identical except for the extra half inch of flat base diameter on the bottom of the Perform Better bell.
While Perform Better wouldn’t divulge what process it uses, I noticed that it’s somewhere between a matte powder coat and a glossy e-coat. Reading user reviews (see here and here) that slam performs Better for having noticeable seams on the underside of the handle or other defects isn’t helpful considering the construction specs on their bells currently.
The bell I received from them was really well-made, and it showed no signs of being defective in build or user experience. I contacted Perform Better about this discrepancy, and company reps explained that among other small changes, they’d since switched to a gravity casting process, which creates a more uniform surface, as you recall.
It’s also worth noting that Perform Better frequently has sales on its kettle bells, and while it’s usually cheaper to buy Perform Better bells directly from the company, it's worth checking Amazon and Strongest before buying to find the best deal. If budget is your bottom line, then we’d recommend the CAP Cast Iron Competition Bell.
But unless you really need to save a few bucks, it’s worth investing in our top pick, since these things last forever. In fact, none of the five baseball player panelists said they would pay extra for any of the other bells for the basic routines they were testing with.
The powder-coated CAP (left) and Rogue (center) bells are rougher than the e-coated Dragon Door (right). Photo: Mark Blythe CAP bell has a powder-coated matte finish and a slightly gritty (though it’s evenly dispersed grit) handle to provide a good grip (though a bit on the coarser end of those we tested) and a flat bottom so it doesn’t rock when used for push-ups or rowing moves.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Dragon Door ROC Kettle bell should feel pretty good about itself. Unfortunately for Dragon Door, other companies have been able to duplicate its design at a comparable level of quality for a lot cheaper.
Bilateral movements, which involve using two hands, challenge you to lift heavier weights and recruit multiple muscle groups at once. Firmly pressing your feet into the ground, lift the kettle bell up to stand, squeezing your glutes.
Bring the kettle bell back down to the ground with a straight spine and don't let your chest fall past your hips. When you transition from a bilateral movement to a unilateral one, you're adding an anti-rotation component, Peel says.
“This means your core is recruited to keep your body from rotating, as a result of the weight being loaded to one side. Firmly pressing your feet into the ground, lift the kettle bell up to stand, squeezing your glutes.
Bring the kettle bell back down to the ground with a straight spine and don't let your chest fall past your hips. This kettle bell exercise will fire up your quads and glutes, while also engaging your core to keep your chest lifted.
You want to keep your abs tight and your hips square throughout the entire movement. Push off with your front foot to stand back up and maintain your balance.
Peel says to make sure the bell is set between your feet and behind your toes so you don't lift with your back. While many people think they need to pull the bell up from this position, you should be pushing with your legs off the ground.
“It helps to imagine a wall in front of you and you can't let the bell hit it,” she adds. Once you clean the kettle bell to your shoulder in a rack position, you want to make sure your wrist is flat and knuckles are facing up.
Extend your other arm in front of you or to the side and make a fist with your hand. Challenging your balance and grip strength, the off-set reverse lunge forces you to engage your back, chest, and core to stand upright.
Extend your other arm in front of you or to the side and make a fist with your hand. Push off with your front foot to stand back up and maintain your balance.
As one of the most popular ballistic kettle bell exercises, a strong swing starts with a solid hip hinge. Inhale as your swing the kettle bell between your legs and exhale at the standing plank.
Then, aggressively press your feet into the ground, powering the kettle bell up to chest height. Continue for at least 12 reps, then swing the kettle bell between your legs before placing it safely back on the ground in a hike position.
Since your glutes and legs are larger muscle groups, they can handle more load. These power-producing muscles are essential for carrying heavier things and preventing injury.
How to do a sumo kettle bell dead lift: Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart with your toes slightly turned out to the sides. Firmly pressing your feet into the ground, lift the kettle bells up to stand.
Bring the kettle bells back down to the ground with a straight spine and don't let your chest fall past your hips. This single-leg dead lift will work the entire posterior chain and challenge your balance while you're at it.
The key is to move with control and ensure your hips remain square to prevent injury. Bracing your core, slowly kick your free leg out to push your hips back, making a straight line from your head to your heel.
Engaging your glutes and thighs, pull your back leg forward until your torso is upright again. How to do a farmer's carry: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold one kettle bell in each hand at your sides.
Lift one leg off the ground, bending your knee to hip height. This is one rep. Continue alternating sides for 12 reps, standing tall with your chest and back upright.
This kettle bell exercise will challenge your forearm and grip strength, as well as your balance. Be sure to engage your core to keep your chest lifted and back upright.
Lift one leg off the ground, bending your knee to hip height. This is one rep. Continue alternating sides for 12 reps, standing tall with your chest and back upright.
This bent-over row kettle bell exercise also has an anti-rotation element for your core, forcing you to maintain your balance in a split stance. Place a kettle bell right next to your front foot and grip it with your hand on the same side.
Extend your other arm to the side or in front of you, making a fist with your hand. Row the kettle bell toward your rib cage while maintaining proper form.
A great position for beginners, this set-up also helps you engage your core for a safer press. Take a big step back with your leg on the same side, placing your knee on the ground.
Make sure your shoulder doesn't stray by your ears and keep the kettle bell above your elbow. How to do a kettle bell floor press: Lie face-up on a yoga mat, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Press the kettle bell above your chest and then bring it back down to the starting position. Comprised of a series of movements, the Turkish get-up is the ultimate total-body kettle bell exercise.
Bring the heel of the loaded side closer to your butt, firmly pressing on the ground. Pushing your foot against the ground, punch the loaded arm and roll onto your free forearm without shrugging your shoulders toward your ears.
This will help you keep your torso stable and prevent rotation as you circle the kettle bell. How to do halos: Kneel on a yoga mat and hold a kettle bell bottoms-up with your hands around the horns to your chest, elbows pointing straight toward the ground.
Keeping your shoulders down, chest proud, and abs tight, rotate the kettle bell in a circle around your head at eye level. Working your legs and shoulders, this power training exercise is sure to get your heart rate up.
Keeping your chest lifted, sit into your heels to get into a squat position. As you stand back up, use your legs and shoulders to press the kettle bell overhead.
Move with control as you squat down and bring the kettle bell to a rack position. Tiffany Ayuda, a senior editor at Prevention and certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise, has specialized in fitness, health, and general wellness topics in her previously editorial roles at Life by Daily Burn, Everyday Health, and South Beach Diet.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. If you've never used a kettle bell, these strength training tools might look intimidating at first, but once you learn how to use them safely and effectively, you'll find that they're one of the best pieces of equipment for at-home workouts and are a great way to spice up your lifting routine.
“The handle allows for both grind strength movements (dead lifts) and ballistic movements (swings), so you have a tool that you can use for both strength and conditioning in a low-impact way,” says Renee Peel, an NSCA-certified personal trainer at the Hitting Room with Strongest kettle bell level 1 and 2 certifications. Kettle bell exercises are highly functional and mimic many everyday movements.
“The shape and distribution of weight is more like things you would pick up in real life, like grocery bags, a tote, or a baby car seat. The weight doesn't sit evenly on both sides with a nice handle in the middle,” Peel says.
Because the kettle bell handles are typically thicker than most dumbbells, your muscles work harder just to hold onto them. “The way the weight is distributed and the movement of the bell challenges your grip in an even more dynamic way.
For example, when doing kettle bell swings or snatches, the weight moves and your body needs to react to hold on,” Peel explains. “As a general rule of thumb, larger muscles can lift more so you want to choose a heavier kettle bell.
So for most people, a dead lift will be the heaviest lift, followed by the squat, then for the upper body, the back is usually stronger than the chest and shoulders,” Peel says. You also want to keep the number of reps and sets in mind for each exercise when choosing the right weight.
If you're thinking of buying kettle bells, Peel recommends purchasing a pair. “This way you can use one for the upper body, such as the row and press, and then a pair to double the weight for lower-body exercises,” Peel says.
Allow yourself to play with different weights for a variety of movements, both ballistic and grind, and possibly bottoms-up work as well!,” she says.