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.
Build a Better Butt: Workouts for Slim and Shapely Glutes But for some weighted moves, especially ones that require an explosive movement, kettle bells reign supreme.
You can also hold them by the handle or the bell (the round part of the weight), which allows you to get a different range of motion depending on the kettle bell exercise you're doing. 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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). All too often I see programs of all levels incorporating the kettle bell into their training, kudos to all of you that have.
But please make sure you are using it properly so your athletes can get the optimal benefit of using the kettle bell. Squeeze you shoulder blades together and have a proud chest with rubs tucked down.
Slide your hands down your thighs as far as you can go while driving your hips back towards the wall behind you. Keep your head in a neutral position, having a gaze slightly in front of you.
If you struggle with this then we will use a dowel to assist with keeping a flat back. If you can load this pattern with good form then you can progress to step 3.
If you have come to a sticking point here by way of rounding your back or knees shooting forward, then stay here. Lessen the weight, and add the dowel to help trigger the pattern we are looking for.
Focus on having a proud chest, squeezing your lats (as if you want to hold a 5 lb plate under each arm pit or bending the bar around your legs) and keeping your head in a neutral position. Now we can start to add a ballistic component to it by way of the dumbbell swing.
To perform the dumbbell swing properly, start in that same athletic stance with a flat back (neutral spine). 1 arm extended behind you holding the dumbbell, with it slightly tilted down towards the front of you.
Touching the ground and the rear part of the dumbbell elevated. Now lets start to add in the kettle bell next with a dead swing.
Place the bell in front of you with a slight tilt towards your body, with your arms extended out and a flat back. In this position you should already feel your hamstrings engaged and ready to fire.
As you reach the end of that movement, start to hike the bell behind you and aggressively drive your hips forward and stand up tall, squeeze your glutes tight. As you come back to swing forward again, take some juice off of it and set the bell down gently in front of you where you started.
At the top of your swing you should look as if you are holding a high plank or you are in the up push up position. Over time your athletes will be swinging the kettle bell properly and getting the full benefit of it.
If you notice your athlete using his or her arms to lift the bell then add in this version of the swing. Remember the swing is not an arm or shoulder exercise, it is a full body movement pattern.
This version of the swing will correct the pattern and give instant feedback on how to fix it. Once there is a consistent straight line between your arm, and the rope and the kettle bell the energy is coming from the proper area.
If your athlete has a tough time firing their posterior chain this drill will certainly help them wake up. Before engaging in the lift, make sure you have a flat back (neutral spine) while lying down.
Do not go into excessive extension as that will add unwanted stress to your lower back. At the top, hold for a 1 count and then descend to the ground and repeat.
Kettle bells are easy to store, relatively inexpensive, and provide an efficient way to work nearly every part of the body in a short period of time. They’re also great for supplementing movement rehabilitation work on a path toward injury recovery or performance improvement.
I’ve tested multiple kettle bells for this article, but to keep things simple I’m only listing the options that earned at least three stars and up. The finish on these kettle bells is extremely drippy with no seams or burrs anywhere on the handles or bodies, with a coating that feels like chalk to the touch.
Plus, I personally like the fact that these kettle bells are made in the USA by a small company. Rep Fitness doesn’t bundle shipping into the costs of their products, and their base pricing is very reasonable.
These kettle bells are a great value for the price, especially if you live close to Colorado to save on shipping costs. Rogue Fitness Powder Coat kettle bells are decent, but not standouts.
They are a pretty good deal if you live close to Ohio, otherwise the cost of shipping makes them much less appealing. If you have large hands and prefer an aggressive grip, Rogue powder coat kettle bells could be the right option for you.
However, they don’t really stand out enough to differentiate them from the rest of the color-coded powder coat kettle bells I’ve tested. There are better options in terms of grip and finish, and the non-standard colors they use for weights drive me nuts.
Bottom line, don’t pay full price for Perform Better kettle bells. My review criteria is primarily centered on kettle bells I can use at home and at work with minimal need for chalk.
If you’re interested in diving deeper I’ve written a kettle bell buyer’s guide that answers every question I had when I first started. It also goes into detail on the criteria I look for, but the short version is a clean finish, a durable coating, and a properly sized handle.
Cast-iron kettle bells are widely available at many price points, which I consider to be a very good thing. There are a couple of companies making steel competition-style kettle bells aimed at the home fitness market, which offer the benefit of consistently sized kettle bells without incurring the usual steel competition cost.
I’ve developed several kettle bell workouts for the club, ranging in intensity from beginner to high-level intermediate. All of my workouts are documented on their own page and I plan to add to the list as time goes on.
If you prefer to follow along to instructor-led workouts, I also highly recommend the well-designed program put together by Kettle bell Kings via their new Living. Fit online platform. The Living. Fit programs include workouts for all levels of kettle bell enthusiasts, from beginner to expert.
He describes an experiment performed using a do-it-yourself kettle bell made from parts found in the plumbing section at Home Depot. According to Tim Ferris the parts are supposed to cost under $10, not counting the weight plates.
First, it takes the guesswork out of deciding what size kettle bell to buy for two hand work. I was able to experiment with different weights to find a starting point I was comfortable with, eventually settling on 20 kg (44lbs).
If you don’t already have a background lifting weights or being active, or if you are out of shape, consider working with a certified kettle bell trainer to get instructed in proper technique. Plumbing parts weren’t designed to sustain a dynamic load swinging in an arc.
I took this kettle bell outside on a hot Texas summer day to use for an Afterburner workout from my list of Kettle bell Club workouts, and I was able to keep hold of it without resorting to chalk despite my hands sweating like crazy. This is an important point because the factories where kettle bells are made are dirty, dusty places.
There’s lots of dust flying around that accumulates on the surface of the bells while they sit patiently waiting for paint. Perhaps unsurprisingly, very few companies take the extra step to clean the bells before paint because it adds time and expense to the process.
At the time I published this article, Kettle bell Kings is likely the only vendor taking this extra step, which results in a very durable coating. Most of the cheap kettle bells for sale on Amazon and other discount vendors fall into this category, I’ve even reviewed a few of them for this article.
If you’re unfamiliar with Create, it’s an extremely durable thin-film ceramic coating developed primarily for use as a protective finish for firearms. Create is extremely resistant to abrasion, corrosion and chemicals, and looks pretty cool at the same time.
In recent years a little fitness equipment companies have started offering create as a coating option for barbells. The create coating will cost a little extra, but the added durability means that kettle bell will last practically forever.
Since they’re local to Austin I visited the Innit Academy Gym in person to buy a kettle bell to evaluate. It looks like it could take a decent amount of abuse from a careless shipper, but the lack of reinforcement straps around the box could be an issue if the kettle bell has to travel a long distance.
The finish on the Innit kettle bell is clean, although the textured coating is thick enough to potentially mask small imperfections. Aesthetically, there are spots on the kettle bell where I can see how the coating application ran down the handle and dried, similar to how spray paint drips when applied too thickly.
I thought maybe this was a fluke, so I intentionally banged the kettle bells together again with medium force and another chip flaked off. The coating chipped several more times during the testing period through normal use, mainly from getting bumped against other kettle bells.
It’s a small difference, but enough to force an adjustment of technique for exercises like the overhead snatch. Innit Labs kettle bells are a good budget option, but not the most durable of the bunch.
If you do buy these, take wonderful care of them because the finish is prone to chipping. The finish on the kettle bell is very clean, and although the casting seams are slightly visible on the body due to how thin an e-coating is, they are not prevalent on the handle at all.
The Matrix Elite Precision line of kettle bells have a reformulated e-coat intended to increase grip over a traditional e-coating. The unique aspect of Matrix Precision Elite kettle bell is the redesigned handle.
The increased height means the kettle bell will sit just a bit lower on the forearm rather than resting right on the wrist bones, which is more comfortable for some people. The reformulated e-coat is stickier than the e-coats on the Dragon Door and even the Matrix Classic line.
The friction is alleviated with light chalk use though, which is a small trade off for the durability and comfort the Matrix Elite Precision kettle bell provides. I ordered a kettle bell from Rogue last year, and it arrived damaged due to flimsy packaging.
This year, I’m happy to say they’ve improved the packaging because I had no problem with my order this time around ? The finish on the Rogue kettle bell is good, although I can feel a few small flecks of excess metal on the handle when I run my hand over it.
The powder coat on the Rogue kettle bells is textured, with a feel of fine grit sandpaper. The handles of the Rogue kettle bells are among the thickest of the test group, making them more suitable for people with large hands.
The price is good too, especially if you live close to Ohio and can take advantage of a lower shipping cost. They are a pretty good deal if you live close to Ohio, otherwise the cost of shipping makes them much less appealing.
If you have large hands and prefer an aggressive grip, Rogue powder coat kettle bells could be the right option for you. CFF offers a full line of athletic equipment, including kettle bells.
The form-fitting foam is an extra level of protection that’s typically only used for shipping more costly competition steel kettle bells. The coating has a slightly aggressive texture, which works very well for maintaining grip without needing chalk.
The combination of finish and textured coating will hold a lot of chalk if needed. It’s clear to me a lot of thought went into the creation of the K2 and it shows in every aspect of the design and packaging.
I included Rep Fitness kettle bells in last year’s review, and they garnered four stars during testing. Not content with that, the folks at Rep Fitness have upped their game by improving on the issues I noted in the previous review.
The Rep Fitness kettle bells came well packed, with plenty of foam inserts and even bubble wrap on the 20 kg. Thankfully, I didn’t have to take him up on this but it’s nice to see this kind of focus on customer service.
The powder coating has a very smooth chalk-like texture that provides a decent amount of grip without the need for chalk. The coating is also really durable, these kettle bells have withstood several hard blows without chipping.
They offer an excellent value for the price, especially if you live close to Colorado and you can save on shipping. Fringe Sport is a strength & conditioning equipment company based in Austin Texas.
Since they’re local, I paid them a visit to pick up a few of their Prime Kettle bells to review. Every Prime Kettle bell comes packaged in a form-fitting cardboard box and wrapped with reinforcement straps.
The finish on the Prime Kettle bells is clean and the bottoms are ground completely flat. The powder coat kettle bell is evenly applied and provides a decent amount of grip.
The grip the is on par with the majority of powder coat kettle bells I’ve tested, providing a smooth yet “drippy” texture. When I first got them, I was surprised at how much larger the handle diameters were when compared to similarly sized kettle bells from other vendors.
I’m not a tall guy (5’8”) and many of the people I work with in my kettle bell club are even shorter than I am, both men and women. The handles do run fairly thick though, so these are a great option for people with large hands.
Fringe Sport runs frequent sales, so if you’re patient you could score a pretty good deal on these. American Barbell is a strength & conditioning equipment company based in San Diego California.
Their barbells have a solid reputation in the home gym community, and they’ve somewhat recently added kettle bells to their product lineup. American Barbell kettle bells have a very clean finish and a slightly textured coat.
The bottoms are ground flat and wider than most of the other options, making them a very stable base for exercises like renegade rows. The handle dimensions overall are on the thinner side of the spectrum, making these kettle bells very comfortable for use by people with smaller hands.
Price-wise, American Barbell powder coats are super-cheap, but that savings is offset by the cost of pricing. For starters, the Titan Fitness kettle bell shipped in a single cardboard box with no padding or reinforcement whatsoever.
The Titan kettle bell is the absolute worst I’ve seen so far in terms of how bad the finish was. I really don’t understand how a big-name fitness company could even think about putting their brand on a product like this.
After contacting Titan customer service about a replacement and being told I wouldn’t be able to get one for two months, I simply sent it back. It’s so bad it has the dubious honor of forcing me to create a ‘zero stars’ rating, because it’s completely unusable.
The big draw is the price, I picked up a 35lb cast-iron kettle bell for $40 shipped, which is amazingly cheap. Considering my experience with another kettle bell in this price range, I didn’t have very high expectations.
The bottom is not ground completely flat and the coating is just a glossy black paint. I tried using it without any chalk and found that the tackiness made it more difficult for me to do snatches and cleans.
The handle diameter is on the larger side of the options tested, although I no longer have it available to measure. On the other hand, if saving money is your primary concern and you’re willing to sacrifice some quality, the Yes4All is hard to beat.
I know this because they’ve started selling their own brand of Amazon Basics Kettle bells. The only difference between them is that the AmazonBasics kettle bell has no branding whatsoever, only the weight stamped on both sides.
Just don’t expect much for your money, since the Amazon Basics kettle bell is a cheaply made product. The bottom is not ground completely flat and the coating is just a glossy black paint.
Having said that, it’s still perfectly usable for swings, snatches, cleans, etc and I’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper option for someone that doesn’t want to spend much on a kettle bell. The tackiness of the paint makes it more difficult to do snatches and cleans with this kettle bell, but that’s nothing a light dusting of chalk on the handle can’t fix.
The handle diameter is on the larger side of the options tested, measurements will be added later. If saving money is your primary concern and you’re willing to sacrifice some quality, the Amazon Basics kettle bell is a decent option.
CAP introduced a new powder coat kettle bell into their product lineup sometime within the last couple of years, and I’m finally including it in the roundup. The finish on the CAP kettle bell is good, although I can feel a few small flecks of excess metal on the handle when I run my hand over it.
The powder coat on the CAP kettle bell is textured, with a feel of fine grit sandpaper. The handles of the CAP powder coat kettle bells are among the thickest of the test group, making them more suitable for people with large hands.
I was learning how to perform the kettle bell snatch at the time I owned these, and the burrs kept digging into my palms during the transitions. I toughed it out as long as I could but eventually used a metal file to smooth down the handle and make the bell a little more usable.
I painted it with Mausoleum to try and stem further rust damage, which is why the kettle bell is colored brown in pictures. The enamel finish on the large bell was extremely smooth and hard to hold once I broke a sweat.
I don’t recommend CAP enamel coated or plain “cast iron” kettle bells for your home gym. In fact, I actively recommend you stay away from them entirely because you will inevitably rue the day you purchased them.
The recognition is reflected in the price because Dragon Door kettle bells are the most expensive option included in this review. They don’t look great, but the coat on all of them is in okay shape considering they were stored year-round in a garage subject to three years of humid central Texas summers.
The ROC kettle bells all have prevalent seams left over from the casting process on the handles. These seams often pinched the skin of my palms, indicating a poor finishing and grinding process.
That extra money is clearly not being invested back into quality control at Dragon Door. There’s always a chance Dragon Door has upped their game since these bells were originally made.
Without knowing exactly what your current kettle bells look/feel like, I can tell you that things such as seams could indeed have been a problem exclusive to a batch or perhaps they were kettelbells that made it past inspection.” “My advice to you would be to give our latest kettle bells a try on your own and if you are dissatisfied you can of course return them.
In fact, several of the companies offer no guarantee whatsoever and will not accept a return at all unless your purchase is defective. I’m willing to give Dragon Door the benefit of the doubt and assume their newer kettle bells have a higher quality finish than what I currently own.
The best things Dragon Door ROC kettle bells offer is a 1-year satisfaction guarantee and a durable coating. However, given the quality of the competition these factors aren’t enough to offset their substantially higher cost.
Whatever it is, the coat provides just enough grip with low friction to allow for high rep work without needing chalk. The burrs only exist on the smaller kettle bells that I don’t use as much, which might be why they haven’t been an issue for me.
One minor nit to pick is with the quality of the paint job on the faces of the kettle bells. This is a purely cosmetic issue that doesn’t take away from the usability of the kettle bells at all, but it does detract from the overall perception of quality.
In case you didn’t know, prior to the pandemic pretty much every brand of kettle bells was manufactured in China. Then coronavirus hit, people were stuck at home, and supply chains out of China were disrupted.
This was the perfect storm for a massive run on fitness equipment, and several months later most companies are still having trouble keeping products in stock. Rogue Fitness has attempted to circumvent the supply chain issues by sourcing this new line of kettle bells from a foundry in Michigan, and I applaud them for doing this.
The handle of the Rogue E-Coat kettle bell is probably the thickest of the test group so far, making them more suitable for people with large hands. To be honest, I was excited to review this kettle bell since it’s the first one I’ve owned that is made in the USA.
As the name implies, USA-Iron is an entirely U.S.-based operation and is among the first few companies to manufacture their own line of kettle bells in the United States. In case you’ve been asleep for most of 2020, prepare to be rudely awakened…prior to COVID-19 most (if not all) kettle bells were manufactured in China.
Then the ‘RNA hit, people were stuck at home, and supply chains out of China were severely disrupted. This was the perfect storm for a massive run on fitness equipment, and several months later most companies are still having trouble keeping kettle bells in stock.
USA-Iron has stepped into the breach producing high quality kettle bells to make sure we can keep on swinging, and I’m very glad they did. The owner of USA-Iron reached out to me in the comments of this article and was kind enough to send me a set of 25lb and 35lb kettle bells to evaluate and review.
I was told by the company owner that the powder coat paint formulation was specifically chosen to provide some texture for improved grip, and that choice is evident during use. USA-Iron is one of the few companies I’m aware of that adds a separate wash step to the manufacturing process to clean dust off the kettle bell before the powder coat is applied.
This is an important step because the factories where kettle bells are made are dirty, dusty places. Lots of that dust settles on the surface of the bells while they sit patiently waiting for paint.
The end result is a very durable finish with a textured coating that will hold plenty of chalk if needed. I don’t knock them for this though, since the kettle bells are high quality and some people will really like the thicker handle size.
However, people with smaller hands may find the thicker handle size more difficult to hold during longer workout sessions. If that weren’t reason enough to support them, I like that the company is small and open to feedback, and the people there are very committed to producing a high quality product.
The handle dimensions are on the larger end of the spectrum, so if you have small or medium hands you may want to look at other options. The guy narrating the video, Pavel Tstatsouline, was affiliated with Dragon Door when the video was filmed so the process likely shows how Dragon Door kettle bells were made back in the day.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be a slow process that takes months on end of bland foods and long, boring workouts. You can safely lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks if you use the following tips as a base to get you started.
I’m not going to recommend a “miracle” nutritional supplement, expensive workout equipment, or hokey gimmick. The weight loss tips in this article are supported by scientific research and don’t require you to buy anything, starve yourself, or do anything that’s dangerous or downright silly.
Walking at a moderate (brisk) pace will only burn about 295 calories an hour. The better way to exercise for weight and fat loss is to do interval style resistance training workouts.
If you are just getting started and want to lose weight fast, give yourself a chance to get used to the intensity of these workouts. The foods you need to really limit for the next 2 weeks include processed carbohydrates (bread, cookies, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, fruit juice, and soda).
In addition to limiting certain types of carbohydrates, if you want to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, the next thing you need to make sure of is that you eat plenty of protein and healthy fats. High protein foods you should eat at every meal include eggs, fatty fish, chicken, and red meat.
Just make sure the protein you eat is about the size of the palm of your hand at every meal, and you’ll be on track to get enough every day. The way their bubbles make your mouth tingle feels great, too.
Studies show that drinking diet soda can actually make you eat more and gain weight Scientists believe this is because the artificial sweeteners in these drinks send signals to your brain that make you want to eat, even if you’re not hungry.
You’ll feel full longer between meals, and because of the lemon juice in the water, your body will digest food slower and can even help keep your energy levels stable. One study showed that drinking cold water can help you burn more calories, too.