It's a two-for-one exercise, meaning you're able to combine strength training and cardiovascular conditioning into one efficient movement. Though it looks easy to perform, the swing can take a significant amount of time, practice, and coaching to perfect.
It teaches you to move fluidly, and when you add the external load (a kettle bell) it requires strength, mobility, and skilled movement. It's a powerful full-body exercise that requires attention to detail and a respect for human movement.
The unique shape of a kettle bell and offset handle allow you to press in the natural plane of motion relative to your shoulder joint. You just feel like you have more power to press efficiently with a kettle bell, mostly because of the more natural plane of motion.
Similar to the kettle bell swing, the clean is another explosive exercise for total-body strength and conditioning. The difference here is that the kettle bell finishes in the rack position as opposed to being projected horizontally away from your body.
The kettle bell snatch is physically demanding and technical, but offers outstanding total-body strength and conditioning benefits. It can help transcend athletic performance to new levels, build explosive strength, and forge strong, powerful shoulders.
The snatch requires proper technique, explosive hip power, and athleticism. This exercise should not be attempted until the kettle bell swing hip-hinge pattern and explosive hip drive are established.
Though watching videos is helpful, the best way to learn how to correctly do these challenging movements is to work with a certified kettle bell instructor. Think fitness devices like cable machines, boxes for jumps and even some free weights, specifically kettle bells.
However, given the inherent difficulty of attending gyms right now with a face mask and the potential risk of exposure, I decided to shake things up and took the plunge: I ordered a kettle bell. If you’re likewise looking for the best kettle bells to buy, you’ll quickly find lots of options and some might seem very similar to others.
I’ve found a lot of value in even basic exercises, which challenged my body in gym-worthy ways, an especially significant value in workout gear as we head into winter. Other fitness pros I talked to had predictably different takes on the best approach to equipping your home gym with kettle bells.
Heidi Pocono, a personal trainer and manager of training at GYMGUYZ, recommends a vinyl coated cast iron kettle bell. “This is my go-to piece of equipment, no matter where I’m training,” Pocono said, noting the “comfortable” cast iron handle glides smoothly in her hand whether she’s performing a kettle bell swing, snatch or a windmill.
Kettle bells challenge your balance because they change your center of gravity, turning regular exercises like lunges and squats difficult. A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century.
They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century. The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ).
Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb). The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century.
Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements. Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot.
By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work.
Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training. Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks.
When training with high repetitions, kettle bell progression should start out slowly to build muscle endurance, support the joints and prevent injury. Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression.
They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength. The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another.
A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement. Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again.
As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization. It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead.
The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front. The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind.
Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating. Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground.
Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack. A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball.
Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm. By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power.
A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible. One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm.
Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time. This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion.
Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells. In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down.
Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants. Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack. The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement.
Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat. Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position.
An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom. Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead.
Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again. Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor.
The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk. These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps.
The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms.
The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms. Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion.
The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception. Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles.
Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts. With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension.
Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance. Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body.
Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power. The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well.
One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle. ^ , «» .
« » “ ”, 22 August 2016 (with period photographs). 21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04).
Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22). “Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF).
Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”. ^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”.
When using the kettle bell, the body becomes the hinge that bears the weight of the equipment using the hands, the legs form a triangle shape to support all kinds of movements, and your core muscles are engaged in this process. The motion starts by involving the glutes, quads, and hips slowly gaining hold of the core and then the shoulders and pecs.
The kettle bell is one of the most efficient weight training equipment that works wonders on the human body. Optimal for developing strength and endurance, the Russiankettlebell swing is a full-body exercise that’s great for building muscles and burning fat.
The discovery of the kettle bell is a gift to mankind as its usefulness in performing body-building exercises is limitless and undeniable. This is one of the powerful equipment to perform any forward motion that starts from the posterior chain (muscles that are present on the backside of your body) Helps in reaching target heart rate rapidly due to the fiery swing movement Apt for building muscle mass and endurance One of the best ways to burn more fat and calories.
A study by the ACE found that individuals doing kettle bell workouts burned 20.2 calories per minute making it a valuable choice for HIIT training Simple to increase resistance levels Suitable for any age group and any body weight as it causes no impact on the joints Can perform exercises in a limited space Ability to work out several muscle groups simultaneously Whatever might be your fitness level and stamina, it is always recommended to start slowly and improve gradually.
Start your Russiankettlebell swing workout by using a lightweight kettle bell initially. Any workout benefits more when more reps and sets are performed with higher resistance levels.
This is an anaerobic workout as it involves short bouts of explosive exercise sets with longer breaks in between. But for this, it is recommended to use medium/heavyweight kettle bells, perform short sets of reps and benefit from increased muscle mass, endurance, and stamina.
Repeat this movement of swinging the plate down in between your legs and taking it right up your head for as many times as you can. The Kettle Grip weighs less than a pound and is highly durable made of impact-resistant ABS plastic.
Reap maximum benefits by working out using the Russiankettlebell swing as it helps you achieve a full-body workout. The equipment consumes as little space as possible, can target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, and is one of the best pieces for weight training.
But the way in which you hold the equipment and how you sway your hips are critical to refrain from causing any injury to yourself. Also, make sure that you start with lighter weights and then move onto heavyweight equipment for optimal resistance levels.
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Put maximum tension on the lats and prevent your forearms from burning out. Hit your entire core with these somewhat odd, but incredibly challenging, moves.
A 6-month-long study used experienced lifters to pinpoint what amount of volume would build the most muscle and strength. Jim Gender's 5/3/1/ program promises slow and steady gains that will eventually turn you into the strongest guy in the gym.
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The ultimate combination of the most powerful kettle bell exercise and hardcore strength work. A strong libido is a sign of a healthy, fit body.
Fourteen training, programming, and diet tips to make this your best year yet. Barbell back squats are actually not the king of leg exercises.
All it takes to make serious gains is to come up with 10-15 exercise variations that you enjoy and can hit hard. The effects are similar to that of a reverse hyper which places a lot of tension on the glute complex, spinal erectors, and hamstrings.
Additionally, the anterior core experiences a fair amount of contraction at end range. Stronger folks usually won't have access to a heavy enough kettle bell to get the job done, which is why you may want to add a band for resistance.
Keep in mind though, adding band resistance changes the intent of the movement, increasing the demand on fast-twitch fibers. While this isn't a bad thing, it may be harder to sustain this level of power output for bigger sets so changing the rep counts may suit you better.
Band-Resisted Russian Swing Do 100-200 total reps and increase volume over time. Another great option if you don't have access to a particularly heavy kettle bell is to add another 'bell to the mix.
The contraction of the glutes at the top of each rep may be stronger with this variation compared to the last. By using the box and breaking up the phases of the lift, you'll add an even greater level of difficulty.
But that'll defeat the purpose of what you're trying to achieve, which is single-limb strength while keeping the midline engaged. It's a nice change from its dumbbell counterpart because of the placement of the load and the higher demand on the forearm flexors.
Because it's a globally demanding movement that's more challenging for the respiratory system than it is for local musculature. While it's “higher skill” than any of the other listed movements, the learning curve is still not nearly as long as its barbell counterpart.
15 Double Kettle bell Clean & Jerk 500 Meter Row And most people don't need to go into an excessive amount of spinal extension to gain range of motion, particularly at lockout.
Additionally, the unilateral component is exactly what more people need anyway, so this version will actually strengthen your overhead press. The biggest limiting factor with this exercise (which is almost why I decided NOT to share this one) is finding the right load.
But if you do have access to a pair of lighter 'bells, this is an excellent version to train the top range of your bench press lockout while enhancing stabilization of the lats. Plus it's a novel version of the one-arm row because of the placement of the load versus a standard dumbbell.
This teaches you how to brace and create 360 degrees of tension, which is paramount to staying safe with big lifts like the squat and dead lift. In this case, I've opted for the single-arm front rack carry simply because I see too many people do this incorrectly.
When performing this unilaterally you can use the opposite hand to provide a tactile cue to keep the abs tight and turned on. Whether your goal is strength and performance, or getting better at the “sport of fitness,” kettle bells have a variety of benefits.
The fact that you can experience a novel stimulus during otherwise basic movements is important in avoiding stagnation. It's also important in keeping you interested and excited to train each day.
Kettle bell training can be an excellent way to boost your strength considerably, conditioning as well as cardio fitness and just like an adjustable dumbbell, they don’t take up a lot of space, so they are the perfect piece of equipment for a home workout too. As with all things exercise related, start out with a sensible and measured approach and you can build from there as and when your body tells you it’s time to go heavier.
Right now the most important thing is to start incorporating from kettle bell work into your current training program to fast track those fitness results. Choosing the right kettle bell for you though can be a bit daunting, and you don’t want to splash the cash on something that’s just not suitable weight wise for the results you are looking to achieve.
As little as ten years ago your options were reasonably limited when it came to purchasing kettle bells, but these days, plenty of companies do their own versions. So let’s take a look today at some Best Kettle Bells which will you swinging your way quickly to that honed and toned physique you’ve been struggling to acquire up till now.
They are constructed from a single cast without any welded parts, and each individual weight is color-coded with a ring at the base of each handle. They feature a flat-bottomed design which makes them perfect for a range of exercises including push-ups and renegade rows as well as being easy to store.
It has an ergonomic handle that is designed to fit most hands and it feels very similar in terms of resistance. This Tone Fitness Vinyl Coated Cement Filled Kettle bell Weight is a device that enables you to achieve flexibility, strength, endurance, and stability in your muscles as well as a lifetime of general physical well-being.
It is capable of taking on every part of your major body muscles to give you that agility, poise, energy and general fulfillment. Constructed from a cast-iron molded cement coated with vinyl, its flat bottom ensures stability and guarantees the user a firm grip.
Its workout functions include applications in snatches, squats, get-ups and other fitness endurance muscle toning exercises. It comes in a variety of weights to Improve strength, stamina, and coordination whilst increasing the lung and heart capacity.
As a result, it helps enhance agility and speed and will improve significantly cardiovascular disorders, is the preferred choice in workouts to prevent such conditions as heart attack or strokes. With its wide range of weights, the Yes4All Powder Coated Kettle bells is a professional and amateur companion, to derive the maximum from your fitness exercise and training sessions.
This little piece of equipment will boost your power, stretch, strength, and endurance and is ideal for use in swings, squats, lifting, and dead lifts. The Kettle Grip itself weighs less than a pound so is the perfect lightweight solution to back in a bag.
It’s a portable, adaptable, and economical solution and a great option for a home gym or for anyone who frequently travels. Made from vinyl leather and filled with sand, it weighs an impressive 20lbs, which is enough to give you a serious workout.
Remember that the action of using a kettle bell is far more dynamic and creates a lot more velocity and movement than working with static dumbbells so even as a slighter framed woman, you’d be surprised at what you can manage to start with versus when you first started out lifting weights. If you do know that you are committed and will want to incorporate kettle bell training into your program long term then a set of three is a good option so that you have ongoing progression and regression if you ever need it too.
Make sure that the seams are smooth as even if you are wearing weight training gloves, uneven handle edges can be a pain and will hinder your enjoyment which will affect your performance. A good uniform handle size, regardless of the weight, is about 33 mm so check these details before investing.
Best of all, kettle bells deliver the complete package, and by that, we mean that they improve fitness, strength as well as flexibility. It’s a ballistic and totally effective way of exercising that sees results in record time.
They also require functional movement, the kind that replicates what your body carries out on an everyday basis so again, this makes them highly practical and hugely popular. The unique shape and design of kettle bell also affect their center of gravity so in order to really complete the exercises correctly you are absolutely required to engage your core and your glutes in stabilizing your body.
Because you are involved in mostly dynamic swinging actions, kettle bell training also requires you to be very mindful of what your body is doing. While we have mentioned progression and increasing your weights and also doubling up for some exercises, the beauty of starting out with kettle bell training is that you really only do need the one, so it’s a small investment overall.
For most other types of weighted exercises, you really do need to work out with pairs, for example, dumbbells in each hand or plates either end of a barbell. Find something you love, switch things up a bit and you just know that you are going to see, feel and experience results.
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns that people have when started out kettle bell training is hot to ensure they do it safely without risk of unwanted injury. There’s no point steering away from the truth if you do perform your exercises incorrectly you could end up putting unnecessary strain on your lower back and shoulder and perhaps also your hips and knees as there are the most vulnerable areas.
The great news though is that by following a few essential tips, you can perfect your kettle bell form and have lots of fun safely working out. Don’t be tempted to stand with your legs too far apart thinking that this will create a more solid base as it will in fact put more strain on your lower back so get into a proper stance with your feet about hip width apart and make sure you start out with a sensible weight.
The trick is to build up your strength and endurance so don’t go too heavy to start, especially while you are still honing your technique. So engage that core, lift with your hips and ensure that your spine is a nice neutral position which again will significantly help to minimize unwanted injuries.
This unique design, as distinct to a dumbbell, means that the weight is not evenly distributed and this delivers instability, creating counterbalance and the need to really focus on your core while training with this piece of equipment. A: We highly recommend, as do my professional PT’s and athletes, that you do incorporate kettle bell training into your ongoing fitness program.
Incorporating some kettle bell based exercise into your workouts is seriously going to affect your body in nothing but good ways. They require your hips and legs to generate the force and momentum of the swing while your entire core including your abs, back, and shoulder girdle are called upon to stabilize your body and control your balance and posture.
A: The great news here is that yes, you will definitely lose weight, body fat and increase muscle mass by working out with kettle bells. The kettle bell is ideal for weight loss as its low impact and can really help to torch the fat and accelerate your results and gains.
You’ll build solid lean muscle mass and strength while at the same time giving your body a proper cardiovascular workout. There’s little wonder then than kettle bell training is loved by so many and seen as a bit of a 1-stop-shop for increasing your fat loss results and delivering definition.
Ben Coleman is our resident sports and fitness product expert who offers a wide range of information in this field. They might look like heavy teapots without a spout but kettle bells are, in fact, a very powerful tool in the fight against flab.
These compact weights are small enough to fit into even the smallest rooms and the majority of workouts require just one kettle bell, meaning you could enjoy some fat-torching training time from the comfort of your own home for less than a tenner, as long as your home has literally enough room to swing a cat (NB: don't actually swing a cat in order to ascertain this). Those venturing out into the world of kettle bells for the first time should go easy on the weight, as the grueling sessions will prove impossible if you can't lift the bloody thing above your head.
Finally, it's also worth noting the handle clearance from the bell (or 'window', to give it the correct title) and its diameter. Larger hands could find certain 'bells difficult to grip and comfortably on the forearm, which is required in burly overhead press exercises.
The neoprene sleeve over the cast iron body will help keeping the floors intact too. A small pointy bit on the handle can result in a bruised palm after a grueling kettle bell swing session.
They all sport flat, non-wobble bottoms, color coded handles and an engraved logo at the front of the kettle bell. The difference is mainly felt in your wallet: while you will have to pay the premium price Tax kettle bells, the Gym reapers variety will a bit of extra money in the pocket.
Signing up for stock alerts and visiting the Gym reapers website often is highly recommended. Admittedly the Bow flex Selected 840 Kettle bell looks more like an actual kettle than a home weight, but don't let the looks deceive you.
Reasons to avoid You may have noticed that a number of dumbbell manufacturers have started offering selectable systems that negate the need to fill your house with a spread of weights. Well, Växjö has taken this idea one step further with its electronically-adjustable kettle bell system, which offers a spread of 5 kg-19kg in a singly, albeit slightly bulky, unit.
Plus, you'll have to invest in two of these if you want the ultimate kettle bell workout (squats, two-hand overhead press etc. The king of suspension weight training has long sounded the bell for kettle bells, as the lumps of iron make the perfect companion to spruce up any dangling Suspension Trainer workout.
It also results in that lovely, flat bottom, which makes it's easier to rest the kettle bell on the floor when switching hands during an arduous squat routine. Tax has added a splash of color to the handles, making it simple to spy the correct weight if swapping between kettle bells mid-workout.
I'd say the 16 kg unit is the one to go for if you're a bloke in reasonable shape, but there's a good spread of weights, making this one piece of fitness equipment that will likely outlast the fickle New Year's resolution to shed a few pounds. Wilkerson Fitness has harnessed its many years of experience in knitting out the UK National Kettle bell Teams when designing and producing its range of superior quality 'bells.
Modern casting methods means each bell is formed out of a single piece of metal, meaning no joins or welds, while a distinct lack of cheap plastic handles ensures they come with a lifetime guarantee. Don't fret, if these prove a little daunting to the introductory kettle bell lifter you can always check out the slightly less hardcore range, which is still brilliantly constructed.
The perfect antithesis to the digital delights of the aforementioned Växjö is a good, old-fashioned selection of kettle bells. Rebel kettle bells don't come cheap, but they are engineered to last, fashioned from premium-grade Iron Ore, not scrap iron (as with cheaper alternatives) and using a one-piece cast mold to ensure the kettle bells feel well-balanced in the hand and built to last.
The powder coated finish means they won't flake, chip or rust when covered in sweat, too. We don't know many professional kettle bell athletes, but we are pretty sure they are very aware of Gorilla Sports and its range of competition-spec swingers.
With very strict regulations on dimensions and the aperture of the window (the handle, to you and me), these solid steel numbers are really only for the very serious enthusiasts out there. Each solid steel unit is individually priced, with the weedier 12 kg model costing around £50.
Reasons to avoid It's not always a good idea to go out and blow a large sum on workout equipment on a get-fit whim. If you're new to the whole kettle bell thing, this vinyl number from Opt is a real bargain, with a cheap but substantial finish proving enough for most novice swingers.
The 10 kg maximum mass could feel a little light in time, but for those starting out, or who don't require massive heft from their 'bells, this is great. The compact size makes it perfect for stashing away at home for the odd impromptu session.
Reasons to avoid The vinyl coating swaddling these cast iron weights is a handy addition for anyone worried about damaging their parquet, yet the unit remains robust and a much more long-term option than cheaper all-vinyl offerings. Body power also offers a very impressive range of weights, with the option to package them up into a small set of, say, 6 kg-12kg increments.
That's not a huge maximum weight, obviously, but it allows lighter users to switch between high-resistance and low-resistance/high rep workouts with ease, for not much money. The vinyl coating may feel cheaper than the cast iron and steel suggestions on this list but all three of these will set you back half the price of a single kettle bell from some other brands.
It's simply a solid lump for lifting above your head while screaming like a hungry caveman. It's also one of the cheaper 16 kg weights on the market, making it very tempting to splash out on a couple to create a pretty awesome home gym set-up.
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.
This puts stress on the metal that will eventually lead to fatigue and fracture. I’ll get into the details shortly, but I first want to comment on the excellent packaging they used to ship their kettle bells.
This is a far cry from other vendors like Rogue Fitness, who typically just throw the bell in a box with some cardboard shims and hope for the best ¯\_()_/¯ 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. Additionally, the create option allows for a nearly infinite amount of customization and personalization.
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.
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 box and the plastic were worn away, and some damage had been done to the coating of the kettle bell as a result.
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. 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.
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.
Imagine you’re a soldier posted at a foreign military base. Western : occasional soul-crushing, long, brutal workouts followed by days of weakness as you recover.
Eastern : easier, shorter training performed every day with little weakness or recovery. Pavel Tsatsouline, the “father of the kettle bell ”, focused his entire career on the Eastern strength approach.
Greasing the Groove (GTG) is a micro-workout approach to every day kettle bell training. Instead of long dedicated blocks of all-out workouts, Pavel prescribes light sessions every day.
Sessions with long rests between sets, and stopping well before failure. Best of all, light, every day kettle bell training doesn’t require recovery.
Greasing the groove can stand alone as a complete workout, or layered on top of an existing routine for faster results. Intense kettle bell training should be relegated to three to five days per week.
If this all seems too confusing, Pavel designed a great program for everyday Kettle bell Training called Simple & Sinister (Amazon). He gives you daily kettle bell routines and lays out the common rookie (and veteran) mistakes.
While exercising, the moment your form slips up just a tiny bit, STOP. I can trace back most of my injuries to ignoring poor form cues.
For the best results, perform 70-250 kettle bell swings daily before breakfast when hormones and enzymes are primed to burn stored body fat. For an average strength lady, Pavel recommends 16 kg for KBS and 8 kg for TGU.
I’ve found that I can complete a workout of Kettle bell Swing and Turkish Get-Ups in just about 10 minutes. Most people begin noticing big results and improvements in 2-4 weeks.
Cardio and strength benefits begin earlier, while goals like weight loss can take a little longer to show. Every time you enter the room, hit a few kettle bell swings.
The Eastern workout approach is the antithesis of the way I trained. I started GTG and reclaimed 15 hours previously consumed by the gym.
Paradoxically, swinging kettle bells kept me consistently near full strength while I continued to build muscle. I no longer spent 90 percent of my weeks recovering from monstrous personal-record setting workouts.
I hack my workouts with an incredible technology I wrote about called blood flow restriction training. Every day I make a point to get a few minutes of a little exercise “snack”.
But, in the last decade or so, they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity, not least because they are a part of so many CrossFit workouts. Of all the exercises you can do with a kettle bell, the swing is arguably the most popular and may even be the most valuable.
Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise. But Tim Ferris says “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”.
This post will reveal the main kettle bell swing benefits and how to do them correctly. It takes time to master the kettle bell swing, but once you’ve got it nailed, this exercise has a wide range of benefits.
These muscles are crucial for better posture, as well as improved sports performance. Your heart rate will also soar when you swing a kettle bell, which makes kettle bell swings one of the best strength training exercises for fat loss and weight loss.
Tim Ferris's writes glowingly about the fantastic benefits of the kettle bell swing for rapid fat loss and body recomposition in his New York Times Best Seller The Four Hour Body.” Image Credit Tracy & Mark Ranking Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise.
But Tim Ferris says, “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results.” Increased cardiovascular fitness Kettle bell swing training is excellent for your heart and lungs, as well as your muscles.
Because they are a full-body movement, kettle bell swings will drive your heart and breathing rate sky-high, which makes them a beneficial and challenging cardiovascular exercise. Better posture Kettle bell swings are one of the best exercises for undoing the effects of prolonged sitting.
Swings work your posterior chain, which are the muscles responsible for holding you upright against the pull of gravity. In many instances, this will also eliminate the back pain often caused by poor posture.
But, if you master a proper kettle bell swing, you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer while avoiding all the risks. Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your abs.
Focus on your hip drive to pop the kettle bell upwards, not your arms. Use your lats and abs to stop the weight swinging upward and then let the kettle bell fall back down.
However, it’s all too easy to inadvertently shorten your rep range by not swinging the weight high enough, i.e., below shoulder-height. Swinging the weight up until the arms are vertical ensures that each rep is the same, making them easier to judge and quantify.
However, raising the weight so high will increase stress on the lower back, which could lead to injury. The increased range of movement also means you won’t be able to lift as much weight.
But, unless you are training for CrossFit competitions, the Russian swing is potentially the safer one, which may mean it’s the best choice for most exercisers. As recommended by the American Council on Exercise, ACE for short, this kettle bell workout is best done three times a week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
No other kettle bell exercise offers so many benefits and is so easy to learn. Whether you want to burn fat, get fit, or boost your dead lift performance, kettle bell swings will help.
Remember, to get the most from this exercise; you need to do them correctly and give yourself time to recover between workouts. Dead lifts are one of the best exercises on the planet to change your body dramatically, no matter what your age.