They can be used in many of the same ways that dumbbells can, while also allowing for ease in dynamic movements like swings, cleans, and snatches. We tapped Nicole Davis, an ACE -certified personal trainer, to identify 12 of the best kettle bells across all fitness levels and budgets.
Anecdotal advice from real personal trainers user reviews handle, size, and overall quality brand reputation cost Composition Top-quality kettle bells are cast from a single piece of iron, while others have handles that are welded to the body.
Finish A durable paint that provides some texture on the grip is important when choosing a kettle bell. Your budget You can spend anywhere from $20 to upward of $300 on a single kettle bell depending on its weight, construction, and quality.
Your goals If you’re looking for a kettle bell to mix up your workouts and will be using it more recreationally, there’s no need to drop major cash. On the other hand, if you’re going to dive deep into kettle bell training and will be throwing around some heavier weight, it’s worth looking into more competition-style options.
The product’s shape and function All kettle bells will have a flat bottom to rest on the floor, but many also have flatfish sides to make certain movements, like an overhead press or Turkish getup, easier on your forearms. With an average five-star rating and more than 2,000 customer reviews on Amazon, this kettle bell is made of solid cast iron with a painted finish for a better grip.
Another series of vinyl-coated kettle bells — which are great for keeping your floors in tip-top shape — this AmazonBasics line is no-frills. Available in weights from 10 to 60 pounds, it’s fairly priced and would provide a fun pop of color — coordinated to its resistance — in your home gym.
Weighing just about 1 pound, this grip is a compact solution for people who want the flexibility of some kettle bell exercises without investing in them. When we’re able to travel again, this is a great option to bring along to hotel gyms for added variety in your workouts.
This is an adjustable kettle bell bag you can fill with sand, emptying and refilling it for a portable option. Although you can complete most exercises with this piece of equipment, reviewers warned against tosses, as the bag may not be durable enough.
Made of leather instead of cast iron, this soft kettle bell will definitely be easier on your flooring — a plus, especially when working out from home. Something else to keep in mind: It’s a bit larger than a more traditional kettle bell, so it won’t be a space saver.
The colorful neoprene coating on the Outfit series makes this solid cast iron kettle bell another good option for working out at home. With what the company calls an ergonomic handle and a quality finish, this 36-kilogram (approximately 80-pound) kettle bell would be great for a seasoned exerciser looking to amp up their home gym arsenal.
This adjustable kettle bell offers six weights in one, allowing the user to select from 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 40 pounds with the turn of a dial. Made of a single piece of high-quality iron ore, each kettle bell has a matte black powder coat finish and is marked with a color strip for easy weight identification.
Reebok’s 44-pound kettle bell is made from 100 percent cast iron with a wide handle design that’s ideal for both single- and double-handed grips. When she’s not working out with her husband or chasing around her young daughter, she’s watching crime TV shows or making sourdough bread from scratch.
Kettle bells are a bit like the game of Othello: they take a minute to learn, and a lifetime to master. These seemingly simple workout tools are especially popular in Eastern Europe.
And ever since they functioned as a key part of the Soviet space program’s fitness regime, kettle bells have become popular throughout the world. The powder coating makes it easier to maintain a strong grip on the kettle bell when your hands are sweating.
Powder coating protects the kettle bell from easily chipping and scratching. Store bought kettle bells are chipped and scratched before you ever take one home.
When a kettle bell loses its paint you are not able to maintain grip during workouts and chips can lead to cut up hands and injuries. Our Powder Coat kettle bells are all made from a single piece of cast iron.
These cover a wide range, from 8.8 to 106 pounds, so there are options available for everything from light toning to intense strength training exercises. Kettle bell Kings offers a lifetime warranty, which is unheard of in this industry.
Pros Very smooth finish Well balanced Very heavy weights available Wide variety of sizes Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty Great for training indoor & outdoor DURABLE VINYL COATED FINISH: Encased with vinyl to prevent corrosion, increase durability, reduce noise, protect flooring & enhance appearance WIDE, SMOOTH HANDLE: Smooth, high-quality slightly textured handle provides a comfortable & secure grip for high reps, makes chalk no longer necessary FLAT BOTTOM FOR STABILITY: Enable upright storage, ideal for renegade rows, handstands, mounted pistol squats & other exercises requiring a kettle bell with a flat bottom IDEAL FOR ANY AGE OR GENDER: Wide range of weights ideal for anyone wanting to improve fitness.
Used for swings, dead lifts, squats, get-ups & snatches to work out many muscle groups and body parts including biceps, shoulders, legs, & more The wrap is a workmanlike blue, with clear white lettering to indicate what weight the kettle bell is.
Pros Heavy weights available Protects your floor from scratches Accommodates a variety of grips Inexpensive Features BUILD STRENGTH, POWER, AND ENDURANCE: Achieve your fitness goals faster with Rep Ketllebells.
Quickly improve metabolic conditioning and increase your overall lean muscle mass. Use them for swings, dead lifts, squats, get-ups, snatches and other Cross Training workouts.
ERGONOMIC AND COMFORTABLE: Our kettle bells feature a lightly textured Smoother matte-black powder coated handle. The unique coating is designed to provide enough grip for the most grueling workouts without damaging your hands.
The matte-textured powder coat makes chalk unnecessary for most people, and resists chipping better than inferior enamel coatings used by competitors. Chipped enamel will cut into your hands and allow the exposed iron to rust.
QUALITY FEATURES: Our kettle bells are single-cast for maximum durability, no welded handles here! Each weight is color coded with a ring at the base of each handle, and the bottoms of each bell are flat for push up and renegade row exercises.
Key Features Available in 18 sizes, from 1 to 48 Kg (2.2 to 106 pounds) Solid cast iron body with powder-coated handles Color-coded bands on handles Also available in 3 kit options Optional storage rack available You can buy sizes anywhere from 2.2 to 106 pounds, or purchase a kit if you want several of these kettle bells at a small discount.
Down the road, rust may be an issue, so keep an eye on these weights to see if they need any touching up. Pros Very heavy weights available Wide variety of sizes Available individually or as a kit
Cons These kettle bells are available with an optional storage rack, so you can keep your kit organized. Features VERSATILE — Kettle bells offer the ability to target specific muscle group exercises or a full body workout.
FEATURES — Generous wide opening handle ensures a comfortable, secure grip with one hand or two. FUNCTIONAL — Perfect for swings, dead lifts, squats, get-ups, snatches and other athletic or cross-training workouts.
The CAP Barbell Cast Iron Competition Kettle bell is designed primarily for bigger, taller workout enthusiasts. This is great if you’ve got hands like LeBron, but if you’re on the average to the smaller side you’re liable to experience some slippage.
Pros Well balanced Heavy weights available Accommodates a variety of grips The wide handle on this kettle bell is perfect for taller guys with bigger hands.
Features Adler 8 LB vinyl kettle bell Vinyl-dipped for a thick, durable rubberized coating Color-coded by weight Easy on your floors Ships to all 50 States, APO, FPO, and P.O. The Adler Vinyl Kettle bell is vinyl-coated to protect home and gym hardwood floors and is well-balanced in all sizes.
It’s a good choice for toning or even some intermediate workouts, but the 20-pound maximum weight makes it less than ideal for serious competitions. The wide handle allows for a variety of grips, but it has a smooth finish, which makes it easy for your hands to slip if you’re not holding on securely.
Pros Well balanced Protects your floor from scratches Available individually or as a kit Accommodates a variety of grips Cons Narrow weight range Slippery handle Awkward for single-handed gripping
Features Built to last: Made of solid cast iron with environment-friendly neoprene coating for durability, superior strength&corrosion protection and will effectively reduce noise&protect flooring. No welds, weak spots, or seams. Unique Design: The contoured smooth texture handle to provide a secure, non-slip grip for high reps, makes chalk unnecessary.
Flat Bottom for Stability: Enable upright storage&floor exercise such as renegade rows, handstands, mounted pistol squats and other exercises requiring a kettle bell with a flat bottom. Guarantee:If you are not 100% in LOVE with your Outfit Kettle Bell, just let us know, and we'll refund you in full.
This is a thick, padded sleeve that makes the kettle bell very comfortable to handle, even when you’re balancing it on a pressure point. Pros Soft, comfortable coating Heavy weights available Protects your floor from scratches
This kettle bell ’s neoprene finish makes it soft enough to balance even on pressure points. Features BUILD STRENGTH, POWER, AND ENDURANCE: Achieve your fitness goals faster with Rep Ketllebells.
Quickly improve metabolic conditioning and increase your overall lean muscle mass. Use them for swings, dead lifts, squats, get-ups, snatches and other Cross Training workouts.
ERGONOMIC AND COMFORTABLE: Our kettle bells feature a lightly textured Smoother matte-black powder coated handle. The unique coating is designed to provide enough grip for the most grueling workouts without damaging your hands.
The matte-textured powder coat makes chalk unnecessary for most people, and resists chipping better than enamel coatings used by competitors. QUALITY FEATURES: Our kettle bells are single-cast for maximum durability, no welded handles here!
Each weight is color coded with a ring at the base of each handle, and the bottoms of each bell are flat for push up and renegade row exercises. Rep LB Kettle bells are available in a large variety of sizes, for everything from toning to high-intensity strength training.
WINDOW, THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE, smaller size and curvature compared to other models is designed for easier insertion with comfort overhead and in the rack position during lifts. More comfort and easier insertion equal better workouts and new personal records in strength, endurance and competitions.
This creates better BALANCE during lifts as most competition bells with welded bottoms and fillers can shift and rattle around with movement making it harder to complete your workout. If you see a competition style kettle bell without an opening in the bottom it is filled with sawdust and ball bearings or other fillers.
NO WELDING, this unfilled competition kettle bell is made by precision single casting technology, which means it is cast as one solid piece instead of welding parts COLOR CODED, each individual weight is colored coded to a specific color for easy identification and international competition standards It’s designed for international competitions, complete with a color-coded finish and 17 sizes across a wide weight range.
These kettle bells are ideal if you’re engaging in competitive events, with lots of fast, one-handed movements. Pros Perfect balance Very heavy weights available Secure one-handed grip Wide variety of sizes
This kettle bell has a hollow body, which is shaped to provide perfect, 360-degree balance. Features GORILLA SPORTS IRON WEIGHT — has a painted steel-body for an easy identification and international competition standards USE / TRAINING — they adhere to competition regulations by being identical in size regardless of the weight — training for your whole body — using moves like the snatch, clean and Kirk — for a varied and effective exercise at home, in gym, for competition, indoor or outdoor — for men and women HIGHLIGHTS — a solid steel construction — flattened base for extra stability — easy grip and classic style handle — very robust and highly durable — imprinted on surface with Gorilla Sports logo and weight — professional build quality — uniform size makes ideal for competition VARIANTS / DIMENSIONS — 8 kg; 12 kg; 16 kg; 20 kg — Height: 28 cm, Ball diameter: 21 cm, Handle diameter: 3,3 cm TRANSMISSION — 1 x Competition Fitness Kettle-Bell
Like other competition kettle bells, the Gorilla is ill-suited for day-to-day workouts that involve a lot of two-handed exercises. Pros Perfect balance Heavy weights available Secure one-handed grip
This kettle bell ’s hollow body is filled with lightweight acrylic for added rigidity. It is a reliable and durable fitness COMPANION that will provide a safe yet effective workout in your home gym.
The kettle bell ’s Offset center of gravity ensures a unique and versatile workout experience with optimal grip and superior control. Various sizes for customized workouts — this kettle bell Series comes with varying weights, making it perfect for any cross-training program.
Compact and easy to transport — Developed to save space in your home gym, This kettle bell features a compact structure that allows you conveniently perform modern cross-training and HIIT such as Swings, squats, dead lifts, Turkish get-ups and many more. This training equipment provides fitness enthusiasts with reliable exercise gear that’s to be an excellent addition to any home gym.
Key Features Available in 3 sizes, from 15 to 25 pounds Solid cast iron body with narrow competition handles Sturdy nylon and PU leather shell As a result, it has a narrow competition handle, without the fine-tuned balance or the hefty price tag.
This kettle bell features a leather shell that’s soft enough to prevent bruising during fast workout sessions. However, while the reinforced nylon seams are very rugged, they can dig into your skin and get very uncomfortable during a long hold.
Pros Cushioned to avoid bruising on pressure points Protects your floor from scratches Secure one-handed grip Cons Nylon seams can dig into your skin Not designed for two-handed grips
Features Drop cast iron plates with a flat base for easy storage. Pros Easy to adjust Convenient Includes all weight plates
This nifty kettle bell puts all the value of a 5 to 20-pound kit in a single compact package. Features FULL-BODY EXERCISE: The Titan Fitness Adjustable Kettle bell Weight is for so much more than just your arm workouts.
Strengthen and define your muscles all over your body with this kettle bell weight by Titan Fitness! These plates can be easily removed or added to alter the total weight of the kettle bell, ranging from 10 to 40 pounds.
DIMENSIONS: The Adjustable Kettle bell Weight has a wide handle with a 1.5-inch diameter and is made of black powder-coated cast iron to make it more durable. This ensures that the plates will stay in place as you incorporate the kettle bell into your workout.
Pros Can be fairly heavy Easy to adjust Convenient Includes all weight plates Cons If you’re doing a lot of different workouts, this kettle bell is easier to store than an entire kit.
Feature Replaces 4 kettle bells in the space of 1 Contoured shell provides exceptional comfort Feels like a solid iron kettle bell with the advantages of adjustability Increments 18 22 26 and 35 lbs All steel construction with steel selection pin with magnetic lock Key Features Adjustable in 4 intervals, from 18 to 35 pounds All-steel weights, frame, and powder coated handle Magnetic steel selector pin
The only downside is a steep price tag, but you pay extra for this kind of convenience. Pros Can be fairly heavy Very easy to adjust Convenient Includes all weights
Features HIGH-QUALITY CAST IRON WITH VINYL COATED FINISH: Each kettle bell is encased with color-coded vinyl to prevent corrosion, increase durability, reduce noise, protect flooring and enhance appearance WIDE, SMOOTH HANDLE: Smooth, high-quality textured steel handle of the kettle bell weights provides a comfortable and secure grip for high reps, makes chalk unnecessary for both men and women FLAT BOTTOM FOR STABILITY: Enables upright storage, perfect for kettle bell workouts such as renegade rows, handstands, mounted pistol squats and other exercises IDEAL FOR ANY AGE OR GENDER: The wide range of weights is ideal for anyone wanting to improve their strength, power and endurance via a versatile kettle bell fitness routine consisting of swings, dead lifts, squats, get-ups and many more SETS OF 10 AND 15LBS KETTLEBELLS: Available in sets of 2 for your own preferences: 10 and 15lbs kettle bell weights The Yes4All Combo Special is available in a variety of combinations, all featuring the Yes4All kettle bells we’ve already looked at.
Depending on your needs, you can choose from 8 different assortments, from 2 and 3-weight packages to a complete, 6-weight kit. Pros Several combinations available Protects your floor from scratches Accommodates a variety of grips Inexpensive
Great for training indoor & outdoor POWDER-COATED CAST IRON: Powder coated surface prevents corrosion and chip. The texture Increases durability and gives you better grip strength with no slipping in your hand like a glossy finish FLAT BOTTOM FOR STABILITY: Machined flat bottom enable upright storage, ideal for renegade rows, kettle bell push-ups, mounted pistol squats and other exercises requiring a kettle bell with a flat bottom VERSATILE & FUNCTIONAL : Used for swings, dead lifts, squats, lifting, lunges, get-ups, snatches to work out and increase strength of many muscle groups & body parts including biceps, shoulders, legs and more... LBS Marking on Both Sides: Makes Easy to Find and Identify the Weight of Kettle bell You Need.
Pros Heavy weights available Many combinations available Accommodates a variety of grips Features High-quality Material Seymour 3 PCs kettle bell set is made of concrete which is filled with cement inside.
Thus, you can do more push ups, renegade rows, handstands or mounted pistol squats. And color-coded numbers on the body make it easy and fast to identify the weight.
They have a well-rounded design for excellent balance, and the weight of each kettle bell is painted into the engraved surface in cheerful colors. Features Cast iron construction with a durable enamel finish Permanently stamped weight number on front of bell for easy identification Kettle bell set offers 6 weights in increments of 5 pounds, 5-30 pounds The handles on the larger kettle bells are large enough to accommodate both hands for a safe, secure grip Great for a variety of strength and endurance exercises
These kettle bells have a smooth, polished finish, with no burrs to scratch your skin or snag on your clothes. These kettle bells come with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, which is a tough feature to find.
Pros Complete set Smooth finish Well balanced Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty Cons This is one of only two kettle bell kits on our list that comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
Key Features Available in 9 different sets, with weights from 5 to 88 pounds Vinyl-coated or plain cast iron bodies with powder-coated handles Color-coded bodies with clear labeling Includes a black aluminum storage rack The CAP kit is expensive compared to the competition, but it’s hard to beat in terms of quality.
Cons Every version of this kettle bell kit includes a sturdy aluminum storage rack of an appropriate size. Feature Fits Common 50 mm (1.97 inch) Olympic Weight Plates — Easily Adjusts from 5 to 100+ Pounds for All Your Kettle bell Workouts Competition Handle Provides Superior Control and Reduced Fatigue Durable Military Grade 356 Cast Aluminum Body w/ Hardened Steel Quick-Release Pins for Fast Weight Change and Safety Made in USA — Color: Gunmetal Competition Handle Dimensions Offer Familiar Consistency and Prepare You For Any Event: 38 mm Diameter; 5.25” (133 mm) Between Handles, 2.6” (66 mm) Vertical
Key Features Holds up to 7 weight plates Military-grade aluminum handle and a center bar with hardened steel locking pin Available in standard or Olympic sizing It’s a kettle bell -style handle, with a short weight bar sticking off the bottom.
The weights are secured with a hardened steel pin, so they won’t go anywhere when you swing the Kettle bud around like a kettle bell. This is an ideal choice if you want to try some kettle bell workouts, but have already invested in a barbell weight set.
At less than 1lb, this device can hold most standard dumbbells up to 55lbs and instantly turn it into a kettle bell. This workout accessory will quickly become one of the go-to pieces of gear in your gym bag.
ADD TO YOUR CART NOW TO HAVE THE NEWEST AND MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT IN KETTLEBELL TRAINING | Kettle Grip is a Veteran American-Owned company that proudly manufactures in San Diego, California. We LOVE our customers here at Kettle Grip and you can buy with confidence with our lifetime warranty.
Key Features Accepts up to 55-pound dumbbells Polymer frame with foam-lined handle bracket The Kettle Grip is a similar concept to the Kettle bud, but instead of letting you use barbell weights as kettle bells, it clamps onto a dumbbell handle instead.
Needless to say, this isn’t an ideal solution for a kettle bell workout enthusiast. Pros Allows you to use your existing dumbbells Great travel option Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
Cons If you already own a set of dumbbells and want to give kettle bells a try, consider the Kettle Grip. Similarly, you may be looking for a kettle bell for a particular exercise, your you may be trying to outfit a complete home gym.
We hope our kettle bell reviews help you find exactly the gear you need to complete your workout kit. Kettle bell Kings — Powder Coat Yes4All REP FITNESS CAP Barbell Adler Outfit Rep 15 LB Kettle bell Kings GORILLA SPORTS Bionic Body TITAN FITNESS 5-20 lb Titan Fitness 10-40 lb Powerboat Yes4All Combo Unpack Powder Coated Giant ex Home Gym Body-Solid KBS105 CAP Barbell Kettle bell Set Kettle bud Kettle Grip
They range from five to 50 pounds and come color-coded, with a smooth steel handle for an easy grip. Reviewer rave: “Product delivered in excellent condition with more than enough packaging.
Reviewer rave: I bought it about a month ago, and it’s been in my workout bag ever since. 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 thing is great—it has a tiny footprint (fits under a chair), it's easily adjustable, and it feels very solid.”
As you get stronger and want to increase the level of resistance, just add water. The water truly does add a whole new dynamic, I didn't really follow the workout charts, I mainly use them for traditional weight movements like hammer curls and 1-arm shoulder presses.
I've seen others use them for just about everything, specifically kettle bell workouts, which they are ideal for because you can adjust the weight they don't damage the floor when dropped.” 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. I have had no problems with grip and this thing has not slipped out of my hands into the wall or mirror yet :)” —Anita Beyer, amazon.com
Amazon.this powder-coated kettle bell can be adjusted from 10-40 pounds, according to what your workout needs are, and features a flat bottom for easy storage. 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.
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.
In the contest for fave free weight, kettle bells are quickly gaining on dumbbells and barbells for the top prize as more people catch on to their versatility—they let you train for power, muscular endurance, and strength all in one weight, says kettle bell specialist Lauren Kan ski, CPT. Part of what makes them such a complete package is the way that they're designed: “The kettle bell loads the weight on one side instead of it being evenly dispersed like a barbell or dumbbell,” says Kan ski.
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.
Here are the best kettle bell options for you to pick from, based on customer reviews and top ratings on trusted sites like Amazon. View Gallery10 Photos This Home Arms Workout Requires Minimal Equipment
Not only are electric kettles simple to use, but they take up less countertop space than a microwave, and they can also heat up water faster than some stove tops. According to Consumer Reports, it takes roughly 4.5 minutes to heat up water in a typical electric kettle.
However, some of the fastest electric kettles on the market can beat this average time by several minutes, letting you an enjoy a cup of tea or a bowl of oatmeal or noodles almost instantly. For the price, you won't likely find a better value than the AmazonBasics stainless steel electric kettle, which heats up water faster than some more expensive brands.
Not only is it one of the fastest electric kettles reviewed by Consumer Reports, but it also has a sleek, modern design, mid-range price point, and a larger than average volume capacity — it can hold up to 1.5 liters. Plus, a one-year limited warranty offers protection against any defects, and an automatic shut-off function makes this kettle one of the safest gadgets you can have in the kitchen.
With a speedy boiling time, attractive design, and affordable price tag, it's no surprise that this AmazonBasics electric kettle is the number one bestseller. It's made of a combination of stainless steel and BPA-free material and has some same features as more expensive models, like an automatic shut-off button and a one-year limited warranty.
It has an LCD screen that lets you monitor the kettle's progress as it heats up, and it promises to maintain warmth for up to 60 minutes after reaching its designated boiling point. This unique piece of workout equipment can be a great way to get in shape and increase your strength.
What’s more, there are fat-burning kettle bell complex exercise programs you can do that will have you melting off body fat in no time. Not only do kettle bells allow you to get stronger and more fit, but they really help put you on the fast track to fat loss.
Because a kettle bell has an offset handle, it creates an unstable source of weight that requires you to use both coordination and strength when lifting. Push your hips back and lower your upper body to grasp the handle with both hands.
Straighten your legs and torso as you lift and swing the kettle bell in front of your body and upwards. Control the movement as you let gravity bring the kettle bell back down again and let the momentum carry it through your legs and behind you.
Once your arms are about parallel with the ground or above, allow the weight’s momentum to swing the kettle bell back and down between your legs and repeat the movement. Similar to the movement you used to engage the swing movement, from a standing position, while holding the kettle bell straight down in front of you with both hands, you’ll push your hips back (also called a “hip-hinge”) bending at the waist while bending slightly at the knees until the kettle bell touches the ground.
Instead of setting the bell down in front of you, it will touch the ground directly between your ankles, which will help you push your hips back and stay in proper alignment. Then, instead of swinging the kettle bell forward, you’ll simply straighten your legs and lift your torso until you are in an upright, standing position.
Repeat the movement by bending your knees slightly, pushing your hips back and your torso forward, until the kettle bell is near the ground (again, right between the ankles) before straightening again. While keeping your torso upright and your core tight, slowly bend at the knees, and lower into a deep squat.
Once you are as low as you can go, push back up through your heels, straightening your knees to return to an upright, standing position. A kettle bell lunge can also be very useful for ramping up the calorie burning and getting those legs and glutes toned.
Take a giant step forward with your right foot and bend at the knees, keeping your torso upright. Bend until your knees are bent to 45- to 90-degree angles (so your front thigh is not quite parallel with the floor) and then push up and forward through your heels to bring your left leg in line with your right as you return to the standing position.
Each round takes right around five minutes if done straight through and will quickly get your heart rate up and your sweat glistening. 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. The Matrix Elite looks the same at first glance, but it features a slightly wider handle that won’t pinch your pinkies in two-handed positions.
It’s also designed so that kettle bells of different weights will rest on the same place on your forearm, regardless of their size—this is preferred by advanced users for one-handed work. Finally, we like that Kettle bells USA often has the Matrix Elite on sale for just a few dollars more than our budget pick.
It also has a slightly wider base that makes it more stable to hold in a plank position—something that advanced users will appreciate. 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. Kettle bell exercises combine cardiovascular and resistance training in one exercise—which means you’re improving conditioning (and burning fat) while building muscle.
While they’ve been around since the early 18th century (the word first appears in a Russian dictionary from 1704), kettle bells have experienced a huge resurgence in the fitness industry in the past 10 years. (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. Cast-iron bells are more comfortable for two-handed grip positions, which beginners should master before moving onto the more challenging one-handed exercises.
It’s not worth paying extra unless you actually plan on competing—a slim minority of home kettle bell users. Photo: Mark BixbyUnlike with dumbbells, adjustable kettle bells aren’t a good buy.
A kettle bell should be capable of being thrown, dropped, and even juggled, so I would opt for single-forged metal that can stand up to a beating—and stay together in the process. 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. Vinyl-covered bells were created to protect floor spaces in commercial gyms and homes, but more often, the vinyl is there to smooth over the defects of a cheaply cast bell, and they often get criticized for very uneven handles that cause hand pain and tearing.
They were extremely uneven in terms of metal handle quality, had limited weight options, and they weren’t significantly cheaper than the budget options we ended up testing—you don’t even save money on shipping. 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). However, if a person is interested in exploring the full range of what kettle bell exercises have to offer (including the kettle bell snatch, which in lab testing has yielded a remarkable rate of burning 20.2 calories a minute over a 20-minute workout—the same rate of caloric burn as a 6-minute mile pace), a premium bell like the Matrix bell is definitely what they should opt for.
A poorly produced handle can rip callouses off the hands during snatching, and this test is where the bells differentiated themselves. 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. This means it performs identically, but is easier to hold in a push-up position for the sometimes-precarious renegade row —typically done with two kettle bells of the same size.
Like the Dragon Door and Matrix Elite, the First Place has a smooth, seamless handle, few surface defects, and a high-quality finish. 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. Interestingly, the Rogue bell has a 4.9-star rating on its website, with more than 100 reviews at the time of this guide's publication.
Chad Settler, John Forward, Carl Foster, and Mark Andes, Kettle bells: Twice the Results in Half the Time?, ACE Fitness Matters