All that aside, kettle bell workouts also just didn’t seem necessary since I have dumbbells and resistance bands to cover lots of fitness routines. 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. Peter Bahia, director of personal training at Athletic Development and Performance Training, told me he realizes a kettle bell can be a substantial investment for some, but still considers it a unique piece of equipment that can build functional strength and improve range of motion — both worthwhile endeavors in the work from home reality many of us face.
It’s easy to use and ultimately gives you unrivaled flexibility with what weight size you want in your kettle bell given you have the appropriate dumbbells to match with it. 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. Former gym owner and personal trainer Alicia McKenzie said that a kettle bell is always one of the first pieces of equipment she recommends for anyone attempting to start a home gym — it took me more than eight months of in-home workouts to find the motivation to test a kettle bell.
I used the CAP brand when I owned a gym and their equipment can really take a beating,” McKenzie said. Are you worried about bringing such a heavy piece of equipment into your home and the associated risk of denting your floors?
“It is durable, can withstand general wear and tear — but most importantly, it isn't going to damage your home or hurt (as much) if you slam it into your foot.” The handle on this kettle bell is relatively large, too, which gives you plenty of grip space for two-handed movements like a kettle bell swing. Kettle bells challenge your balance because they change your center of gravity, turning regular exercises like lunges and squats difficult.
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. Beginners need a kettle bell that is basic, comfortable to use, and won’t break the bank.
The coating is comfortable, the dimensions of the bell, including the handle, scale-up in size, and it’s available from 12 to 88 pounds — which is just right for most lifters. 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. Great kettle bells for functional fitness and CrossFit-style workouts need one key trait — and that’s versatility.
The powder coating is smooth so you won’t get nicked or cut, the textured handle prevents slippage for high-volume workouts, and the kettle bells are baked longer for a paint job that won’t wear out. 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. And what you get is an American-made kettle bell, forged from a single piece of ductile iron, and then finished with an electrically-applied E Coat.
This special coating is extra resistant to corrosion, rust, and chips — so, considering that you probably won’t ever have to replace it, your money will go even further 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. Kettle bells are fantastic and effective training tools for a variety of reasons.
First, they’re great for training multiple modalities like power, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. 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. Kettle bells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines.
Kettle bell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time. Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness.
Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance. You’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads.
Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises. You can always increase the weight once you’re comfortable with the correct form for each exercise.
Fitness experts suggest using kettle bells with the following weights if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level with your strength training: Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength.
Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles. Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight.
This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs.
Engage your abdominal muscles and set your shoulders back. Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you.
Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly.
Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position. Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides.
Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place. A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate.
When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap. Sit with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the kettle bell slightly across your body.
When you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position. Push ups target your chest, triceps, and core muscles.
When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position. Hold a kettle bell by the handle so that it rests against the outside part of your shoulder.
There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups. According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness.
Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity.
Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study. According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance.
You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells. If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises.
A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out. Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness.
The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer. Pros: Wide, comfortable grip Durable gravity cast molding Won't slip during use
Cons: Paint is prone to chipping off Those with smaller hands might find the handle too thick Doesn't have rubber coating 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. Available sizes range from nine to 79 pounds, making the Garage Fit one of the best kettle bells for beginners through advanced users.
Pros: Each weight is a different color Flat-bottom design increases stability on the ground Comfortable wide-grip handles 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. A flat bottom design keeps the kettle bell from tipping over or rolling when it’s placed on the floor.
Pros: Wide weight range appeals to all abilities Secure and comfortable ergonomic handle Many trainer-led exercises available 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. The set contains a weight range of 17 to 53 pounds, making it more suitable for intermediate to advanced users.
Pros: Ideal for many types of workouts Suitable for beginners through advanced users Coated finish minimizes noise 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. Pros: Includes several non-weighted spacer disks Textured handle surface increases grip Can be used for a variety of workouts
Cons: Some find the exterior too rough Range may be too limited for beginners and more advanced users Design is somewhat bulky 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.