Plus, the shape of a kettle bell lets you work your muscles a little differently than a traditional dumbbell, Jessica Sims, a NASM-certified personal trainer at the Hitting Room in New York City, tells SELF. When you take a class with kettle bells, or any other new type of equipment, it's normal to feel a little lost.
Oh, and a quick lesson on the lingo: The “ball” refers to the heavy sphere at the bottom, and the handle is the part attached to it. The handle is also referred to as the “horns,” and can be gripped at the top, on the sides, or near the base where it meets the ball.
Adding a kettle bell increases the resistance your body has to work against to stand back up, challenging your muscles even more. In addition, holding the kettle bell close to your chest helps you nail proper form.
“When you pick up heavy grocery bags, you should squat down like this so you don't hurt your back.” Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, gripping the sides of the kettle bell handle with both hands at chest height.
They also secretly challenge your core, since you have to keep your abs tight to avoid arching your back. Sims says to choose a heavier weight with a dead lift—since you're not bending your elbows at all, you're mostly using your glutes, which are likely the strongest muscles in your body.
Hinge at your hips and push your butt back as you lower your torso and the weight toward the ground. “Make sure that you don’t let the kettle bells swing, keep them stable by your side like actual suitcases,” Sims says.
Push through your heels, putting most of the weight on the back foot, to return to the starting position. Adding weight to a sit-up adds an extra challenge for your core, and the press at the top works your shoulders and arms, too.
For these sit-ups, Sims says you can either keep your knees bent or put them in butterfly position, depending on what feels comfortable for your hips. Start in a sit-up position, lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
Kettle bell swings are great for your butt, legs, and lower back, Sims says. You can probably go heavy here, but she suggests nailing the technique with a lighter kettle bell before adding too much weight.
To perform a swing with proper form, you have to “thrust your hips aggressively to get the kettle bell up, don't use your arms,” Sims explains. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with both hands.
Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettle bell between your legs. Stand back up; use the momentum from your hips to swing the weight to chest height.
Your form here should be similar to a traditional dead lift, except your legs should be wider than shoulder-width distance and your feet should be turned out a bit. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and toes angled out.
Switching to one-handed swings isolates one side at a time, which makes it harder and helps improve stability. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with one hand.
Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettle bell between your legs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with one hand.
Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to thread the kettle bell between your legs. Bring your now-empty hand to meet the weight at the top of the movement (so you don't slam it into your chest).
Grasp a kettle bell in each hand, palms facing out, arms bent so the weights are resting at each shoulder. Bend your knees just a few inches, and as you stand back up, press the weights straight up overhead.
To protect your lower back and make sure you're using your triceps, don't arch your back, Sims instructs. The key here is to straighten your arm completely at the top—that'll let you work the triceps through a full range of motion. Grip the kettle bell by the ball at the base of the handle with both hands and raise it directly overhead.
Keeping your elbows close to your ears, lower the kettle bell behind your head to neck level. The trick is to keep your core tight and hold your torso stable as you rotate your arms and the weight.
Lift the ball to eye level and slowly circle it around your head to the left. Hold the kettle bell handle in your right hand with your arm hanging straight at your side.
Holding a kettle bell above your head at the top of a crunch challenges your core and lower abs—so does the flutter motion of your legs. Start with the weight above your shoulders, and to make it more difficult, bring it a little behind your head, Sims says.
Make sure to keep your core super tight and lower back flat on the ground. If your back comes off the ground, or you feel any strain, bring your legs up a couple more inches.
Stand in front of a box or step, holding a kettle bell by the handle with both hands at your chest. Crew Performance Zip-Front Sports Bra (jcrew.com, $45), Cotton On Body Pocket Crop Tight (, $35), and Puma Fierce Evoking Women's Training Shoes (, $120).
The workout gets your heart pumping and uses up to 20 calories per minute: about as much as running a 6-minute mile. Kettle bell workouts offer a lot of flexibility.
Sign up for a kettle bell class at the gym or online to learn how to do the moves safely. It won’t take long to understand why celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, and Katherine Hall are huge fans of kettle bell workouts.
You’ll work up a sweat doing a series of fast-paced cardio and strength-training moves like kettle bell swings, lunges, shoulder presses, and push-ups. Most kettle bell workouts include squats, lunges, crunches, and other moves that work your abs and other core muscles.
The kettle bell is used as a weight for arm exercises like single-arm rows and shoulder presses. Lunges and squats are among the most popular moves in a kettle bell workout.
Your tush will be toned by using the kettle bell for added weight during lunges and squats. Using a kettle bell for a dead lift helps tone your back muscles.
The kettle bell is an effective weight that will build muscle strength. You may want to sign up for classes in person or online to learn the basics of a kettle bell workout.
Yes, if you take a class or pick a DVD that's for beginners and use a lighter kettle bell. Depending on the program, you may be getting both your strength training and your aerobic workout at the same time.
If you choose a kettle bell that is too heavy or if you have poor form, you are likely to lose control of it. Start out with an experienced trainer who can correct your technique before you hurt something.
Adding a kettle bell to your existing workout is great if you want to burn through more calories in less time. This type of high-intensity workout is not for you if you would rather do a more meditative approach to body sculpting, or if sweating isn’t your thing.
With your doctor’s OK, you can include kettle bells in your fitness routine if you have diabetes. Muscle burns energy more efficiently, so your blood sugar levels will go down.
Depending on the workout, you may also get some cardio to help prevent heart disease. Continued Using kettle bells in your workout puts some serious demands on your hips and back, as well as your knees, neck, and shoulders.
If you have arthritis or pain in your knees or back, then look for a less risky strength-training program. If you have other physical limitations, ask an experienced instructor for advice on how to modify your workout.
If you worked out with kettle bells before becoming pregnant and are not having any problems with your pregnancy, then you will likely be able to continue using them -- at least for a while. You can adjust by using lighter kettle bells and avoiding certain moves.
Sources American Council on Exercise: “Exclusive ACE research examines the benefits of kettle bells.” Overview & Facts Tips for Success Get Lean Get Strong Fuel Your Body All Guide Topics
Build a Better Butt: Workouts for Slim and Shapely Glutes (Last Updated On: December 18, 2020)Kettle bells are an awesome workout tool that can train your entire body.
The kettle bells were originally used as counterweights for weighing goods at the market. People would throw them around for entertainment and around the year 1900 Dr. Vladislav Chayefsky, a Russian fitness pioneer began using them in for strength and bodybuilding, and they slowly grew in popularity from there.
Kettle bells of today are usually a round hunk of metal with a handle. There is a bit of sticker shock involved in kettle bell hunting especially if you are looking for the first time.
These are typically the plain round ones too so it is basically just a cannonball with a handle on it, it shouldn’t really cost that much, not to mention dumbbells of equal size are way cheaper than kettle bells are. We scoured the internet looking for an answer and were unable to come up with any real reason why they cost so much.
Our conclusion — while writing this article we found that many companies were out of stock on some sizes, this leads us to believe it is a matter of supply and demand at least when it comes to specially designed kettle bells like we are covering in this article. For your regular kettle bells, it may also be a matter of supply and demand or that they charge that much simply because they can, kind of like with razor blades and printer ink.
Ok, enough chit-chat, it’s time to get to check out some sweet kettle bell designs. These kettle bells are all made in America and are pretty freaking cool if you are an animal lover or just want something unique or badass.
These skull bells are also covered in a black powder finish to prevent chipping & corrosion even under heavy training, so they should last a very long time. It also has a nice wide handle so you won’t have any trouble with the grip as well as a flat base to keep it from rolling around.
Some reviewers said it was a bit larger than regular kettle bells that are the same weight so be prepared for it to be bigger than expected. This bad boy is perfectly weighted and fully-functional and also features a chip-resistant coating.
The smooth surface also minimizes friction with the arm and body during a workout. The downside with the Iron man Bells is they are only available in the 40lb size, if you want anything bigger or smaller you are out of luck.
Also, on the downside, they are often sold out but you can sign up to be notified when they are back in stock so you can be sure to get one. Iron skulls are totally badass and these are a bit unique from the other kettle bell designs on the list (even the other skull ones).
With the Iron skulls you can get the kettle bell in the traditional flat black or you can get one of their custom paint designs. 13lb Kitty Bell — $44.99 for solid black, customizing art $10-$60 extra 18lb Skull Bell — $59.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$60 extra 26lb Skull Bell — $64.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$60 extra 35lb Skull Bell — $84.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$65 extra 45lb Skull Bell — $94.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$65 extra 53lb Bulldog Bell — $109.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$100 extra 53lb Skull Bell — $109.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$100 extra 63lb Skull Bell — $139.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$100 extra 70lb Skull Bell — 139.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$100 extra 88lb Skull Bell — $169.99 for solid black, customizing art $15-$100 extra 215lb Mega Skull — $589.99 for solid black, customizing art $150 extra
The only real negative that comes with This is if you get a nice customized kettle bell you may not want to actually use it. It’s like a piece of art and you might be too afraid of chipping it or damaging if you go ahead and start slamming it around.
As you can see these are kettle bells that are shaped like grenades made by the people at Mad fitter. Mad fitter was started by a Logan Barton who has 11 years of active duty in the navy and is also a Cross fitter.
He is also partnered with 2 other gentlemen who are military members and Crossfires to form the Mad fitter team. Another cool part about Doorbells is that a portion of the profits goes to charities to help past and present service members.
Each Boom Bell is painted Flat Army Green Powder Coat that is chip resistant and can take serious abuse. 3 sizes were out of stock when this article was written, seems to be a common theme among the uniquely designed kettle bell manufacturers as you will find out with the remaining options.
Innit sells various supplements and workout gear including kettle bells and some others pretty cool stuff you don’t really find in from elsewhere like these cool Captain America Shield Barbell Plates. Aside from the possible sharp edges which I think is likely an isolated incident, the Primal Bells are currently sold out on the 72lb and 90lb kettle bells as this article is being written.
I mean, what guy wouldn’t want to play with a set of boobs and get a workout right? There was a big buzz about them in 2013 saying they were soon to be coming out that October, but we cannot find them for sale anywhere or any info of them being sold.
They were designed by Ukraine based team at 306 Creative Communication Agency, and we are not sure whatever happened with the Bob-boobs or if they may still be coming out sometime soon. The good news is all the reviews on the Zombie Bells are very good and these designs are really cool especially if you are into The Walking Dead or zombie movies or just want a really cool kettle bell.
I guess they were a limited edition item that once they sell out they wouldn’t be back but apparently, they sold so well that they might be making a comeback. Demon bells are another really cool set of kettle bells from a company based out of San Diego.
They feature different styles of demons in different sizes along with a pretty cool Spartan Bell. The Sugar Skull sizes are available in hot pink or the traditional black.
While the designs are pretty cool there are a lot of bad reviews on their website and on their Facebook page with people never receiving their product and very bad customer service if any at all. Not sure if this is still the case but I would use caution when ordering from them, perhaps see if they will take a COD so you don’t end up getting stiffed.
These kettle bells are all pretty awesome, unfortunately, availability is not what we had hoped for on many of the designs. Bow flex Selected 840 Kettle bell
Fitness Gear 23 lb PVC Kettle bell Set Bionic Body 25 lb.
Fitness Gear Adjustable Kettle bell Wader Adjustable Kettle bell
Fitness Gear Pro Kettle bell Preform Purse Kettle bell
Soft Kettle bell Plus — 2 Pack CAP Cast Iron Kettle bell