Kettle bell exercises use 100’s of muscles at a time meaning you are able to lift more weight but also condition the body quicker. The Kettle bell Swing is based on our strongest movement pattern: the Dead lift (see image below).
Whenever you pick something up from the floor you are using the dead lift movement pattern. A light kettle bell will not challenge your full body especially not your powerful hips and legs.
Kettle bells are traditionally available in the following sizes and classified in goods, a Russian weight measurement: Remember you should start with those big strong exercises using the dead lift movement patterns for the best results.
Trust me, I’ve never trained a lady who has started on anything lower than a 8 kg (15lbs) kettle bell. Women will drag suitcases, carry shopping bags or hold children under one arm, you are stronger than you think, so start with at least a 8 kg (15lbs).
I have trained men using kettle bells above 24 kg (53lbs) but for the majority of your basics this is as heavy as you will need to go. It is possible by changing exercises and increasing the difficulty of movements to only ever need one kettle bell if you make the correct purchase to begin with.
Most women will start their kettle bell journey with a 8 kg (17lbs) and progress to a 12 kg (25lbs) relatively quickly. Most male beginners will start with either a 12 kg (25lbs) or a 16 kg (35lbs) depending on their weight training background.
Ballistic (explosive) lifts: swings, cleans, snatches, tossing, juggling. For ballistic lifts you can use a heavier kettle bell than with slow, grinding movements like get-ups and windmills that must be carefully controlled throughout the entire range of movement and require a smaller bell.
Our experience with kettle bells has boiled it down to the following general recommendations for men and women. All cast iron kettle bells such as the Matrix Elite precision e-coat series change dimensions, including handle diameter, as the weight increases or decreases.
As with men, for controlled, grinding movements like Turkish Get-ups and windmills you should choose a kettle bell that you can easily press overhead about 8-10 times. Single Cast Mold With No Seams, Ridges or Rough Spots.
A quality kettle bell is cast in a single step into the mold and is finished like a piece of fine furniture. Competition or “Pro Grade” kettle bells are made to fixed specifications.
To find out more about the differences between cast iron and competition kettle bells click here. Real kettle bells are designed to be balanced in a certain way, and they are actually precise tools.
If a kettle bell can be improved by new materials or a new engineering insight or manufacturing process so that real users will benefit then we will do so, however, we are not interested in gimmicks that are solely designed to misinform consumers and take their hard-earned money from them. We have been in the kettle bell business for some years now, and we will not compromise our principles just to make money off innocent, uninformed consumers.
Without proper kettle bell lifting technique you will not get the full benefit of the movement and you greatly increase your chance of injury, and this defeats the purpose of training with kettle bells in the first place. We recommend that whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced lifter, that you have a few kettle bells in different weights.
Also, the high leverage lifts such as Turkish Get-ups, Windmills and Bottoms-up presses, require less weight especially when you are first learning them so having a range of kettle bell weights will give you the required training flexibility need to progress. If your budget can handle it then buy at least two kettle bells to start with in different weights and then add to your collection as your form gets better and your conditioning level increases.
Some other aspects of kettle bell design are grip diameter, grip width, ball diameter, the distance from the top of the ball to the bottom of the handle. Here are some tips to start thinking about what kettle bell weight to choose.
To skip the tips and jump straight to the guide, click here. Lose weight / fat loss Gain overall strength Become flexible Increase cardiovascular endurance Etc.
Performing a racked squat with a kettle bell is completely different from a ballistic swing, or overhead reverse lunge. If you can handle a 24 kg swing, that doesn’t mean it’s the right weight to use for high volume or endurance.
If you’re mainly going to be doing slow lifts and carries like, dead lifts, farmer walks, racked walks, goblet squats, racked squats, and even some double arm chest presses etc. If you want to work on endurance or cardio, you’ll be doing a higher volume, if you want to work on strength, hypertrophy, then you’ll be doing lower volume.
I’ll post a link below where you can see 90+ kettle bell exercises in action. If so, it will be easier to understand some concepts in kettle bell training, hence, you’ll be safer, so you can increase the weight you choose.
Following is a guide on what kettle bell weight to choose, however, you should consider all the points above first and make your own informed decision. Taco Fleur Russian Gregory Sport Institute Kettle bell Coach, Caveman training Certified, IFF Certified Kettle bell Teacher, Kettle bell Sport Rank 2, HardstyleFit Kettle bell Level 1 Instructor., CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Judges Certificate, CrossFit Lesson Planning Certificate, Kettle bells Level 2 Trainer, Kettle bell Science and Application, MMA Fitness Level 2, MMA Conditioning Level 1, BJJ Purple Belt and more.
Owner of Caveman training and Kettle bell Training Education. If you’ve never trained with kettle bells before, choosing the correct weight takes some thought.
Choose heavier weights for swinging or ballistic exercises and strength training. Use lighter weights for slower exercises, sometimes referred to as “grinds,” and cardio workouts.
The American Council on Exercise prefers using lighter weights for their 2010 whole-body kettle bell workout, which includes ballistic, strength, grind and cardio components. As you become more experienced training with kettle bells, progress to heavier weights for ballistic exercises such swings, cleans and snatches.
Experiment a bit to find a weight that allows you to execute the exercise properly. Turkish setups, windmills, shoulder presses or single-arm rows require a lighter weight, usually because you are working more slowly or targeting your arms.
Whole-body kettle bell exercises, such as the Turkish half-getup, have a lot of moving parts that can go askew if you're using a weight that's too heavy. A trained eye will notice improper positioning or muscle imbalances and can help correct your form or recommend a different kettle bell.