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. Its wider handle makes it easier to grip with two hands (for the classic swing move), and its smoother finish is less likely to injure your skin over time.
Dragon Door was the first company to popularize kettle bells in America, which is why the most other brands simply copy that shape down to the millimeter. The Matrix Elite looks the same at first glance, but it features a slightly wider handle that won’t pinch your pinkies in two-handed positions.
Their unique shape and functionality give them many of the strength-building benefits of dumbbells while also providing users with the opportunity to do kettle bell -specific drills that involve a lot of movement, like the swing. The closed-loop handle of a kettle bell offers users a secure grip for movements with both hands.
Dumbbells are better suited to doing squats, curls, bench press, cleans, and other exercises that have less kinetic motion. That means you can fulfill all your workout needs with one simple tool that stows easily in a closet.
One important caveat to this endorsement of kettle bell training is that proper technique makes all the difference between effective and beneficial use and potential injury. You can also consult credible online tutorials, and many trainers will set up a Skype arrangement where you can send videos to them for feedback and coaching.
Dragon Door has the most resources in terms of kettle bell books and DVDs (at least in the “hard style” approach that I use) available. Finally, Steve Cotter is a master practitioner/teacher of competition kettle bell lifting techniques.
While many people recommend women starting with an 8-kilogram bell (about 16 pounds), I think that the two-handed lifts like squats and swings aren’t very well-served by that low weight. If you want to start modestly, my suggestion would be to get the 13-pound version of our budget pick and then order a larger, higher quality bell once you feel comfortable.
With these three, all kinds of single and double kettle bell work is easily achievable and scalable. Both of these linked pieces reiterate my earlier point about seeking credible instruction before beginning an at-home regimen.
Then there is the question about which kind of kettle bell you should buy: cast iron, competition, or adjustable. Cast-iron bells are more comfortable for two-handed grip positions, which beginners should master before moving onto the more challenging one-handed exercises.
As it turns out, there’s not a huge amount of difference between these things because most of them borrow their design from the Dragon Door ROC. Dragon Door was the first US company to run kettle bell instructor certifications (taught by famed instructor Pavel Tsatsouline) and have mass distribution in the US (Dragon Door started selling these bells in 2001).
Dragon Door bells achieved great acclaim, but their high price point (roughly $120 each after shipping and handling, the highest in our test) invited lots of competition from other companies. CAP is another popular fitness company that makes a good bell at a lower price point.
For example, this Yes4All bell is one of the most popular models on Amazon, but its large, flat face is hard on the wrists in one-handed positions. Although much more rare, some companies compete by distinguishing their offerings from Dragon Door’s with different designs.
Perform Better at one point implemented a screw-on rubber skid plate on the bottom of their bells, but later on scrapped it due to negative customer feedback. Vinyl-covered bells were created to protect floor spaces in commercial gyms and homes, but more often, the vinyl is there to smooth over the defects of a cheaply cast bell, and they often get criticized for very uneven handles that cause hand pain and tearing.
A poorly produced handle can rip callouses off the hands during snatching, and this test is where the bells differentiated themselves. In fact, I wouldn’t use the CAP or Rogue bells for high-rep snatching because they have coarse handles and some tackiness from the painted finish.
If you order through the company’s website and have a problem, Kettle bells USA will “make it right, period!” by sending a replacement and taking care of return shipping fees. Photo: Mark Blythe Matrix Elite kettle bell has a slightly different handle dimension and more distance from the ball part of the bell to the handle to create a larger opening for more comfortable two-handed positions.
The Matrix bell clearly outclassed the competition for two-handed work, as the smooth, e-coated handle with a wider grip was consistently easy on the hands, even when doing high repetition sets of 20-plus kettle bell swings. Even when the user advances to the one-handed moves, both two-handed swings and goblet squats should remain essential parts of a kettle bell program.
Any flaws in a kettle bell will be exposed when you use just one hand, but the attention to detail in forging a smooth, seamless handle was clearly on display with this bell. Besides the handle shape, the Matrix Elite (right) looks almost identical to the Dragon Door ROC, which costs anywhere from $30 to $50 more.
Photo: Mark BixbyAnother thing that sets the Matrix Elite apart from other kettle bells (including Kettle bells USA's own “classic” line) is the fact that it’s designed to have the same “rack” position (where the round part rests on your forearm) regardless of weight and size. Most companies use standard molds repeatedly, and inevitably, residue from previous castings creates uneven surface textures like edges or gaps.
Finally, Kettle bells USA showed awesome customer service throughout my process of testing. If you're used to standard Dragon Door ROC kettle bells (or any of its many clones), the Matrix Elite's rack position might feel strange at first, since the ball part sits higher up on the forearm by comparison.
If you see the bell offered at full price (with no discounted shipping), wait seven to 10 days, and you should find it available more cheaply. If the Matrix Elite is unavailable, or if you just want a standard-shaped bell without the wider handle, the Perform Better First Place Kettle bell feels the same in use as the high-end Dragon Door, but costs about 25 percent less.
Like the Dragon Door and Matrix Elite, the First Place has a smooth, seamless handle, few surface defects, and a high-quality finish. While Perform Better wouldn’t divulge what process it uses, I noticed that it’s somewhere between a matte powder coat and a glossy e-coat.
Reading user reviews (see here and here) that slam performs Better for having noticeable seams on the underside of the handle or other defects isn’t helpful considering the construction specs on their bells currently. The bell I received from them was really well-made, and it showed no signs of being defective in build or user experience.
I contacted Perform Better about this discrepancy, and company reps explained that among other small changes, they’d since switched to a gravity casting process, which creates a more uniform surface, as you recall. It’s also worth noting that Perform Better frequently has sales on its kettle bells, and while it’s usually cheaper to buy Perform Better bells directly from the company, it's worth checking Amazon and Strongest before buying to find the best deal.
If budget is your bottom line, then we’d recommend the CAP Cast Iron Competition Bell. But unless you really need to save a few bucks, it’s worth investing in our top pick, since these things last forever.
In fact, none of the five baseball player panelists said they would pay extra for any of the other bells for the basic routines they were testing with. The powder-coated CAP (left) and Rogue (center) bells are rougher than the e-coated Dragon Door (right).
Photo: Mark Blythe CAP bell has a powder-coated matte finish and a slightly gritty (though it’s evenly dispersed grit) handle to provide a good grip (though a bit on the coarser end of those we tested) and a flat bottom so it doesn’t rock when used for push-ups or rowing moves. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Dragon Door ROC Kettle bell should feel pretty good about itself.
Unfortunately for Dragon Door, other companies have been able to duplicate its design at a comparable level of quality for a lot cheaper. Interestingly, the Rogue bell has a 4.9-star rating on its website, with more than 100 reviews at the time of this guide's publication.
Chad Settler, John Forward, Carl Foster, and Mark Andes, Kettle bells: Twice the Results in Half the Time?, ACE Fitness Matters They range from five to 50 pounds and come color-coded, with a smooth steel handle for an easy grip.
Reviewer rave: “Product delivered in excellent condition with more than enough packaging. Reviewer rave: I bought it about a month ago, and it’s been in my workout bag ever since.
With the dial at the top, you can change the kettlebell's resistance between 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 49 pounds, making it super easy to switch from endurance exercises to strength moves without missing a beat. Reviewer rave: “I live in a city apartment with limited space, so I just don't have room for a whole rack of kettle bells.
This kettlebell's super-wide grip makes it great for incorporating two-handed movements into your workouts (or if you've just got big hands! Reviewer rave: “I like the smooth handle, without the cross-hatch grips, so my hands won't get tore up and I don't have to bother with wearing gloves.
Reviewer rave: “I wanted to start using kettle bells and this was a good starter set for a decent price.” Bionic Body amazon.comic you prefer something that won't come down as hard from an accidental drop (it can happen), opt for a soft kettle bell option like this one.
It features a large handle that will give you a secure, comfortable grip, and it's available in weights from 10 to 40 pounds. Reviewer rave: “This is a great kettle bell for exercise because it is a soft base and a sturdy handle.
Amazon.common'll feel a little safer tackling all your swing movements using this kettle bell that's way softer than a cast-iron option. Amazon.these kettle bells are available in weights from 15 to 50 pounds, and feature a large, textured handle for easy grip.
Part of what makes them such a complete package is the way that they're designed: “The kettle bell loads the weight on one side instead of it being evenly dispersed like a barbell or dumbbell,” says Kan ski. And while all KB's have this one feature in common, there are other distinguishing factors to consider before buying one.
Laura Miranda, DPT, CSS, points out that heavier weights are good for power movements like swings and snatches, while lighter loads are ideal for things like presses and Turkish get-ups. Opting for an adjustable kettle bell lets you play with different levels of resistance with just one weight.
You can also consider going for a soft kettle bell set instead, which will protect you and your floors in case of accidental drops. Bottom line: The weight set you should buy really depends on your lifting history, says Kan ski.
But for newbies, she considers 8–12 kilograms to be a good range for women working on overhead movements, and a little heavier for lower body movements, like swings and goblet squats is a good idea. Here are the best kettle bell options for you to pick from, based on customer reviews and top ratings on trusted sites like Amazon.
View Gallery10 Photos This Home Arms Workout Requires Minimal Equipment You can swing and snatch a kettle bell for more power, raise and rotate a lighter bell for shoulder health, and use them instead of dumbbells for a new training stimulus.
It’s why over the decade, kettle bells have become increasingly popular with weekend warriors to athletes and everyone in between. The best overall kettle bell should be durable, have outstanding grip, and be built to last a lifetime.
We like the bell’s powder coating, which takes chalk very well and supports grip without it. A powder-coated kettle bell that is designed for versatile workouts, has excellent grip, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Lifters need a kettle bell that will perform well in every setting with a handle that works with and without chalk. Users that want to work out at home and need a kettle bell with a nice flat bottom finish.
The best kettle bell for home workouts needs to be constructed well, focused on performance, but most importantly, drop-resistant so it doesn’t ruin floors in the event of accidents. Kettle bells are easy to store and, as a bonus, look pretty cool.
Rogue has produced a rubber-coated kettle bell, which, if dropped, won’t damage floors as badly as cast-iron or steel might. The one downside is that these range from 25 to 70 pounds, so if you want to go lighter or heavier, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
The rubber coating means that this kettle bell is more comfortable on your skin and far more floor-friendly than steel or iron varieties. Any lifter that is overly cautious of dropping a kettle bell on their floor.
Lifters that like a rubber coat for their bell when making contact with the skin. That means there’s no welding and, therefore, sharp and painful edges or a welders' rod, which is inserted into the bell and can vibrate, which is distracting.
With 11 weight increments, from 13 to 88 pounds these kettle bells offer enough room for growth and a basic, comfortable design. Recreational lifters that want a kettle bell for swings and cleans, but also more complicated flows.
They’re also compact, so easier to lug around if you like to train outdoors or want to haul them with you on a road trip. As a bonus, Perform Better is known for its stellar customer service, so you’ll feel cared for when dealing with the brand.
This kettle bell is comfortable and very durable, making it a great choice for frequent use and varied workouts. Folks who want a smooth bell that won’t nick or cut them during cleans and other movements.
The paint job on this kettle bell won’t wear off, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. The best value kettle bell, we think, is one that delivers top quality for a price most can afford.
Handle diameters all vary slightly on kettle bells, which is why it’s important to take not of widths for those with smaller hands. People will small or large hands can find a comfortable kettle bell.
The grip on his bell is excellent, too, as the powder coat provides a texture that both non-chalked or chalked hands will have little issue handling. The handle of this bell is 33 mm, so it’ll fit almost all hand sizes comfortably.
Rogue’s Competition Kettle bell edges are smoothed out, achieved with a specific casting process and the materials used. When you’re swinging or cleaning this bell for a lot of reps, you can bet you won’t cut up your skin much, if at all.
A single-cast iron kettle bell that provides competition dimensions and a durable coating to ensure a long-lasting bell. Lifters that need a kettle bell that accommodates for forearm slap during jerks and snatches.
When assessing the countless kettle bells we’ve reviewed, we looked at multiple performance characteristics. Then, to build this list, we broke every kettle bell into three main categories.
Additionally, we looked at a kettle bell ’s coating, as this, like the casting process, can be a signal for long-term durability. Accounting for factors like this helped us assess the potential life of a kettle bell, so you can be ensured your money will go the distance.
On top of the durability tests, we looked at the performance of every kettle bell. These are versatile pieces of workout equipment, so they need to perform well in multiple settings with both chalk and non-chalk users.
Every handle’s coating and diameter can impact grip, so we spent extra time assessing their ability to support long-duration use. Let’s not beat around the bush here, investing in your own home gym equipment is a pretty big deal, and you obviously want the most for your money.
By taking the above two characteristics into account and comparing them with price, we tried to identify the benefits of each kettle bell for the money you’d be putting into them. Beginners can get away with a cheaper, more basic version, while a more experienced lifter may want to invest in a nicer construction kettle bell.
Or, if you engage in CrossFit or cardio workouts, then you’ll need a more comfortable bell with an outstanding grip for high-rep sets. We take factors like construction, warranty, customer reviews, and our personal testing process all into consideration when looking at a kettle bell ’s price tag.
It’s tough to say exactly which kettle bell exercises are the most popular or most important, however, here are five that we think are worth learning first: Lastly, a quality kettle bell has a flat bottom finish and is void of seams and other signs of construction imperfections.
For our round-up, we assess the best brands on multiple criteria including kettle bell construction, warranty, and functionality. We think Rogue is a quality brand and a safe fallback for anyone looking for any sort of kettle bell.
The kettle bell swing can be both cardio and strength focused depending on the reps, sets, and intensities you’re choosing to use. Whereas, if you perform heavy swings for fewer reps, then you’ll have more of strength and power focus.
Pros: Flat bottom keeps it from rolling or tipping over Weight markings in pounds and kilograms Non-corrosive finish guards against rust From plyometrics to strength training to general fitness workouts, this kettle bell has a powder coating for ultimate durability.
Cons: Those with large hands might find the handles too small Vinyl material is prone to nicks and cuts Some complaints of an initial chemical odor This versatile piece of equipment comes in handy for many exercises, from squats to rotational swings to throws, jerks, snatches and more.
Cons: Some more advanced users wish the weight range was higher Slightly bulky design Those with larger hands might find the handle a bit small This adjustable Bow flex kettle bell has a weight range of eight to 40 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it as your strength increases.
A weight selection dial allows you to make adjustments as desired in small increments at a time. You can choose to keep the setting on one specific weight or alter it for workouts such as twists, squats, rows, swings and more.
Pros: Available as individuals or in sets Weight range of nine to 106 pounds caters to all levels Powder-coated handle for secure grip Rep Fitness kettle bells aren’t cheap, but they’re versatile and can be purchased individually or in a set.
An available weight range of five to 50 pounds makes the Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettle bell a practical choice for most users. The kettle bell handle is wide and fairly smooth, with just enough texture to provide a secure grip as you work out.
The body is outfitted with a vinyl coated finish, which not only resists corrosion but also minimizes noise. This kettle bell is suitable for virtually any age or gender and works just as well for dead lifts and swings as it does squats, snatches and other exercises.
Pros: Available as individuals or sets Wide handle increases versatility Flat bottom keeps the kettle bell stable on the floor The kettle bell features a solid cast iron construction that’s free from seams and weddings.
A wide handle ensures a secure and comfortable grip during many types of movements, whether you’re using one hand or two. Another perk is its flat bottom, which keeps the kettle bell from tipping over or rolling across the floor when you set it down.
Cons: Some competitors have a higher weight range Handle surface is a bit rough A few complaints of an initial chemical odor Not only does its stable base hold the kettle bell in place on the floor, it also remains planted while you do push ups.
The kettle bell has a sturdy cast iron handle, with a slightly textured grip for added security. The included weight plates go inside the kettle bell shell to create a complete set.
Pros: Made with concrete and vinyl for durability Flat bottom design increases stability Set comes with a DVD and exercise chart A flat bottom holds the kettle bell steady, while its wide opening handle ensures a comfortable and secure grip.
The kettle bell includes a weighted handle and is made with durable cast iron material. Not only does the handle have plenty of texture to ensure a secure grip, it also comes in a handy U-shape for full control during workouts.
Pros: Every kettle bell has weight markings on its side Wide handle for easy grip Durable cast-iron construction Such a wide weight range makes this kettle bell just as suitable for beginners as more advanced users.
Pros: Weight range of five to 25 pounds Each kettle bell has a wide, textured handle Convenient flat bottom design The Sunny Health & Fitness Vinyl-Coated Kettle bell caters to beginners, with a weight range of five to 25 pounds.
As an added bonus, each kettle bell has a wide handle with just enough texture to provide a secure and comfortable grip as you complete your favorite movements. Every kettle bell base has a flat bottom design for upright storage, and to prevent it from tipping over.
The source recommends performing a set of eight to 12 repetitions to the point of muscle fatigue for the best results. Whether you consider yourself an athlete or you're simply ready to take your kettle bell workouts to the next level, you'll find plenty of worthy options.
The handle is also easy to grip, so you can confidently complete your favorite strength exercises and transition to others. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Additionally, the create option allows for a nearly infinite amount of customization and personalization. I never need chalk when using the cast iron kettle bell, which is a huge plus for me.
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. I can’t see or feel any seams or casting defects on the handle or on the body of the kettle bells.
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. I ordered a 16 kg Titan Fitness kettle bell off Amazon, and I was shocked at how bad it was.
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. As a result, they have a large amount of brand recognition in the kettle bell community.
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.” 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.
The finish on the Rogue kettle bell is slightly on the rough side, which isn’t a bad thing because it provides some texture for improved grip. 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. They are a pretty good deal if you live close to Ohio, otherwise the cost of shipping makes them much less appealing.
USA -Iron is a brand-new player in the kettle bell space, a scrappy upstart company forged in the crucible of the COVID-19 pandemic (see what I did there? 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 powder coat finish on the USA -Iron kettle bell feels very good in my hand during swings and snatches, with a slightly rough texture. 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. This will depend on your baseline strength and the exercises you’ll be performing, but many are surprised to learn that almost anyone can get started with at least a 20 lb kettle bell.
Kettle bell workouts, on the other hand, are very dynamic, typically engaging strong muscle groups together. Compared to a barbell (symmetric) lift, in which both sides works together towards the same aim, as you moving a kettle bell around (asymmetric), you core has to be engaged to stabilize the movement.
A kettle bell can be the ultimate gym condensed into a single solid lump of glorious cast iron. For most people working out with a range of exercises at home or elsewhere, having 3 or 4 weights gives an excellent variety and challenge.
Four testers were chosen (two females and two males), all of whom had a good amount of experience in the use of kettle bells. We then tallied the scores from the three raters on each of the following categories: appearance, use for the swing, value, durability, and use for the snatch and clean.
Thus, there are some omissions such as Dragon Door’s kettle bells, which used to be known for excellent quality (I used older ones a few years which were great). We also omitted the cheap, no-name brand kettle bells that we had accumulated over time (and usually sat in the back corner as no one wants to use them).
They have a great surface that holds chalk for competition-style usage, but the handle also provides enough grip. The color stripe around the handle allows for quick identification of the weight.
The Again Faster and Perform Better kettle bells were at the bottom of the appearance list as they look quite similar, except the rubber plate on the bottom of the Perform Better bell (these are the kettle bells Clark Kent would use; mild-mannered but effective). Many people just learning the kettle bell use it primarily for a two-handed swing movement or some sort of dead lift.
The Valery Federico is a competition-style kettle bell and has a handle made for one-handed movements. The Rogue kettle bell is a bit rougher and might be easier to keep a grip on when hands get sweaty.
It has a notch on the top where the forearm sits, which just calls for you to clean it when you take it out of the box. It was created for competition-style lifts where a person is performing many cleans or snatches, and as such it excels in this category.
The Perform Better and Again Faster kettle bells matte finish may feel good initially, but the smoothness can become almost sticky and lead to ripped callouses. The Perform Better kettle bells were a bit higher priced, but there are often better deals ($89.99 + $37.14 shipping for a 24KG).
The Valery Federico kettle bell ($221.00 with free shipping for a 24KG) is a high-end model and the cost reflects it. Again, if Bruce Wayne were equipping his garage with kettle bells, cost would not be an issue.
The Valery Federico kettle bell is made to be sanded and painted. Summary : A competition style kettle bell with great looks and durability.
Cons : A competition style does not allow for two handed grip; expensive. Cons : Matte finish can be tough on grip, rubber plate on bottom can snag ground.
Many people, mostly Cross fitters, are true fans of the Overhead Kettle bell Swing but I find the risks of this exercise far outweigh the rewards. The shoulder is a very complicated joint needing to be both mobile for movement and stable for support.
For beginners overhead exercises can cause real problems because basic stabilization strength has not yet been developed. More advanced lifters can also have issues with overhead exercises due to a lack of shoulder mobility leading to compensations further down the kinetic chain.
As a dead lift based exercise that works predominately into the buttocks, hamstrings and core muscles I don’t see the benefit of jeopardizing the shoulders by lifting overhead. Most people nowadays due to more sedentary lifestyles suffer with mobility issues concerning the shoulders or thoracic spine.
When you swing a kettle bell overhead tight shoulders or a limited upper back will lead to a compensation of movement further down the body. Repeated overhead swings will continually arch and aggravate the lower back as you compensate for the lack of movement in the upper body.
For most of the people I coach I want to get in more reps in less time to promote cardio benefits, so the Overhead Kettle bell Swing is less efficient for this. In order to power the kettle bell overhead you will need to use less weight than the conventional swing to avoid bad technique and compensations in movement.
First beginners need to master the basic hip hinge movement, then how to isometrically hold the back flat during dynamic movement, and finally how to avoid overextension at the lower back all while coordinating timing with the arms and the kettle bell. A lack of power from the hips will also see an excessive lower back extension and many participants will lean backwards just to get the kettle bell into the top position.
Repeatedly swinging overhead with the hands together put the shoulders at risk, aggravates the lower back, reduces the amount of work and promotes bad form in beginners. With any kettle bell exercise you need to consider the true benefits of the movement, what are the risks and what are the rewards.
Repeatedly swinging overhead with the hands together puts the shoulders at risk, aggravates the lower back, reduces the amount of work and promotes bad form in beginners.