Like some other newer people here, it wasn't until March of this year that I began using kettle bells as my only training tool. By the end I was able to do the full routine with a 28 kg bell and could easily press a 32 kg.
I farted around for a bit trying to figure out what I wanted to do next that didn't involve workouts that lasted up to two hours on the heavier days (as was the case with Top). Then I realized I could not even do a Turkish Getup with the 28 kg kettle bell I had just spent so much time pressing.
I started very light and slow to make sure my technique was solid. But because I am going to be drinking tonight I decided, fuck it, I'm going to try to give myself a good reason to celebrate.
It was hard work but I ended up finishing my swings in 4:45 and my get-ups in 9:00. I love this program and plan to stick with it to Sinister if I can — although I will probably work in a few cycles of Top along the way.
I'm quite experienced with lifting, running and sports in general, but have taken up kettle bells during COVID-19 lockdown and damn, do they hit you. Think fitness devices like cable machines, boxes for jumps and even some free weights, specifically kettle bells.
To me, kettle bells always seemed too clunky and heavy and I couldn’t fathom how to stash them in my living room — my workout area — in a way that would be both stylish enough and functional enough for my preferences. 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. A: There's even more to say on this subject, but the most frequent answer in this sub is the “Simple and Sinister” program designed by popular kettle bell instructor Pavel Tsatsouline.
It is described in his book Simple and Sinister (which you should buy if you intend to follow the program), but the basics -- enough to get started -- are detailed below. But I think there are several reasons why good quality kettle bells are worth springing for.
Good quality kettle bells have smooth handles of uniform thickness and comfortable texture. And, they won't have molding seams making them wobbly or hard to hold.
With that in mind, here are a bunch of brands of kettle bell you won't regret buying. Kettle bell Kings offers 'free shipping' in the US; in other words, the cost of shipping is flat regardless of how far you live from their Austin, TX headquarters, and added into the price of the bell.
2021 Update: in the last few years (at least since COVID-19) KB Kings prices have gone up dramatically. A 35 lb powder coat kettle bell is currently $165 (perpetually 'marked down' from $195) with free shipping.
CFF offers 'free shipping' in the US; in other words, the cost of shipping is flat regardless of how far you live from their warehouses (in Lancaster, PA and Phoenix, AZ); and added into the price of the bell. A 35 lb Powder Coat kettle bell from CFF is $78 shipped as of this writing.
Rogue is the brand of choice for many high-end CrossFit gyms/boxes, and their bells are built to take daily abuse. Anecdotally, Rogue's bells have a slightly 'rougher' finish than CFF or KB Kings -- a little easier to grip when sweaty, good with chalk, but a little more 'coarse' on your hands.
First Place offers free shipping on orders over $45, but charges a surcharge ($10-$30) on heavier bells Frustratingly, VF currently only offers FedEx Ground for kettle bells, making their shipping costs significantly higher than other brands, particularly if you live farther away.
Again Faster is a company I don't see mentioned much around this Subreddit; but I personally own several kettle bells of theirs that I really like, so I'm putting them on the list. The finish in their kettle bells is smoother than Rogues, but still drippy; and have a very high-quality feel.
Here is a recent video comparing Kettle bell Kings to Rogue and CAP. (Summary: he thinks Kettle bell Kings are the best, but recommends Rogue as good at their price point.)
If you think you might be on the outer edges of the bell curve, either because you're an experienced weightlifter or because you've been sedentary for a while and are maybe of below-average strength, you've got a few options. Strong people will still find 20 or 35 lbs useful for learning form and aerobic work; and people who aren't so strong will get stronger quickly while learning the techniques.
If you're still unsure, you can head to a gym or store stocked with kettle bells, or even dumbbells. One metric is to choose the heaviest kettle bell (or comparable weight dumbbell) you can comfortably overhead press for reps.
But if it is frequently recommended for beginners (and experienced athletes new to kettle bell training as well). It's built around only two exercises, so there is a lower skill barrier to getting started than programs with more movements to learn.
If it's between spending half an hour doing your first SAS workout, or half an hour reviewing different programs trying to decide, my recommendation is to start with Simple and Sinister today, and shop around for your ideal beginner program tomorrow. Gradually reduce rest until you can complete 100 reps of 1-handed swings with perfect form in 5 minutes.
Eventually, you'll become strong enough to take 10 minutes to do your 10 reps (5 per side), maintaining a roughly 1:1 work:rest ratio (alternating 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest for 10 minutes). The book is absolutely worth buying, because it goes into incredible detail about how to perform the movements safely, and how to be smart about progressing up through the program.
(2020 note: The Revised Edition of Simple & Sinister presents a routine that is very similar to the above, but incorporating a progression that is even more effective than what I've described. Rather than update my post to share the revised ed, which feels like plagiarism, my suggestion for a beginner is: feel free to use the above as a starting point, but buy the book as soon as possible to get the most up-to-date version of the program.)
In the simplest terms, Hard style focuses a little more on explosive power, and shorter sets with heavier weights. Competition kettle bells typically use a uniform color scheme to distinguish different weights.
Hard style kettle bells are often black, sometimes with weight-distinguishing colored stripes where the handle meets the bell. What kind of kettle bell you buy depends on what program you decide to follow.
I wrote a post a few years ago meant to answer the most frequently asked questions in this Subreddit at that time. The FAQ is a great list of resources, but it is maybe a bit overwhelming for someone coming in for some super-basic advice.
(If you find this post helpful, I'd selfishly love it if you shot me a one-sentence message to let me know. If you have thoughts, suggestions, or find broken links, feel free to reach out as well.)
Feel free and safe to post. Endurance, proprioception, strength, agility, general fitness, cardio, you name it, the kettle bell can provide it to you, and safely, as long as you ask questions and keep an open mind.
Post your form check videos Ask kettle bell related questions Post your workouts Invite others Post kettle bell photos Share information Answer questions you know the answer to Focus on the goal not your preferred method Don't be closed minded Be polite and treat people how you want to be treated Don't spam Subscribe to the largest kettle bell YouTube channel for workouts, tutorials, complexes, and more.
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.
Made from a hard cast iron anti-corrosive material, it comes off as a superior quality — a solid sturdy, seamless and dependable piece of equipment devoid of welds to answer every one of your major your muscle building activities. It is prominently color coded and doubly marked in both imperial and metric system units and lets you identify the different weights without difficulty.
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.
Unlike cheap kettle bell handles, you won’t experience cramp after a couple of reps. Add this to the offset center of gravity and you can perform large movements with superior control. As a general rule of thumb, if you are a novice to using kettle bell ’s and about to get started out, then the following weights are recommended to get you into the swing of things so to speak!
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. There is a heap of benefits that come with kettle bell training which is why they’ve risen in popularity in gyms globally as well as in home setups.
Firstly, they help to torch fat and burn calories in a big way. Depending upon your body shape and size and the effort you are putting in, you should be able to blast up to 20 calories a minute which is the equivalent of the rate you’d be burning if you were fit enough to run a 6-minute mile!
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.
Your regular running shoes are not the best choice as they will elevate your heels off the ground which is not a good position for kettle bell workouts. These will give you a better grip and stop the kettle bell from potentially slipping out of your hand, and you got it, landing on that toe we just mentioned!
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. 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. This surge in popularity means that more manufacturers produce kettle bells.
The best overall kettle bell should be durable, have outstanding grip, and be built to last a lifetime. This kettle bell tops our list because it performed exceptionally well in all of our tests.
We like the bell’s powder coating, which takes chalk very well and supports grip without it. Possibly the biggest perk is the lifetime warranty that comes along with the kettle bell.
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.
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. 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. 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 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.
Warning — this is a ridiculously long article, so I’ve structured the content to list the bestkettlebell options first, followed by the full reviews. I use a simple five point rating scale to score each kettle bell :
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.
They also have programs targeted for healthy eating and battle ropes for a more well-rounded approach to health and fitness. One kettle bell sport event in particular called ‘long cycle’ is a very efficient way to work your entire body in ten minutes with just three moves — the swing, clean, and jerk.
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’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. UPDATE — Innit has stopped selling this model and has moved to a powder coat version that has not yet been reviewed.
Since they’re local to Austin I visited the Innit Academy Gym in person to buy a kettle bell to evaluate. It looks like it could take a decent amount of abuse from a careless shipper, but the lack of reinforcement straps around the box could be an issue if the kettle bell has to travel a long distance.
The finish on the Innit kettle bell is clean, although the textured coating is thick enough to potentially mask small imperfections. Aesthetically, there are spots on the kettle bell where I can see how the coating application ran down the handle and dried, similar to how spray paint drips when applied too thickly.
I thought maybe this was a fluke, so I intentionally banged the kettle bells together again with medium force and another chip flaked off. The coating chipped several more times during the testing period through normal use, mainly from getting bumped against other kettle bells.
It’s a small difference, but enough to force an adjustment of technique for exercises like the overhead snatch. Innit Labs kettle bells are a good budget option, but not the most durable of the bunch.
If you do buy these, take wonderful care of them because the finish is prone to chipping. The finish on the kettle bell is very clean, and although the casting seams are slightly visible on the body due to how thin an e-coating is, they are not prevalent on the handle at all.
The Matrix Elite Precision line of kettle bells have a reformulated e-coat intended to increase grip over a traditional e-coating. The unique aspect of Matrix Precision Elite kettle bell is the redesigned handle.
The increased height means the kettle bell will sit just a bit lower on the forearm rather than resting right on the wrist bones, which is more comfortable for some people. The reformulated e-coat is stickier than the e-coats on the Dragon Door and even the Matrix Classic line.
The friction is alleviated with light chalk use though, which is a small trade off for the durability and comfort the Matrix Elite Precision kettle bell provides. I ordered a kettle bell from Rogue last year, and it arrived damaged due to flimsy packaging.
This year, I’m happy to say they’ve improved the packaging because I had no problem with my order this time around ? The finish on the Rogue kettle bell is good, although I can feel a few small flecks of excess metal on the handle when I run my hand over it.
The powder coat on the Rogue kettle bells is textured, with a feel of fine grit sandpaper. The handles of the Rogue kettle bells are among the thickest of the test group, making them more suitable for people with large hands.
The price is good too, especially if you live close to Ohio and can take advantage of a lower shipping cost. They are a pretty good deal if you live close to Ohio, otherwise the cost of shipping makes them much less appealing.
If you have large hands and prefer an aggressive grip, Rogue powder coat kettle bells could be the right option for you. CFF offers a full line of athletic equipment, including kettle bells.
The form-fitting foam is an extra level of protection that’s typically only used for shipping more costly competition steel kettle bells. The coating has a slightly aggressive texture, which works very well for maintaining grip without needing chalk.
The combination of finish and textured coating will hold a lot of chalk if needed. It’s clear to me a lot of thought went into the creation of the K2 and it shows in every aspect of the design and packaging.
I included Rep Fitness kettle bells in last year’s review, and they garnered four stars during testing. Not content with that, the folks at Rep Fitness have upped their game by improving on the issues I noted in the previous review.
The Rep Fitness kettle bells came well packed, with plenty of foam inserts and even bubble wrap on the 20 kg. Thankfully, I didn’t have to take him up on this but it’s nice to see this kind of focus on customer service.
The powder coating has a very smooth chalk-like texture that provides a decent amount of grip without the need for chalk. The coating is also really durable, these kettle bells have withstood several hard blows without chipping.
They offer an excellent value for the price, especially if you live close to Colorado and you can save on shipping. Fringe Sport is a strength & conditioning equipment company based in Austin Texas.
Since they’re local, I paid them a visit to pick up a few of their Prime Kettle bells to review. Every Prime Kettle bell comes packaged in a form-fitting cardboard box and wrapped with reinforcement straps.
The finish on the Prime Kettle bells is clean and the bottoms are ground completely flat. The powder coat kettle bell is evenly applied and provides a decent amount of grip.
The grip the is on par with the majority of powder coat kettle bells I’ve tested, providing a smooth yet “drippy” texture. When I first got them, I was surprised at how much larger the handle diameters were when compared to similarly sized kettle bells from other vendors.
I’m not a tall guy (5’8”) and many of the people I work with in my kettle bell club are even shorter than I am, both men and women. The handles do run fairly thick though, so these are a great option for people with large hands.
Fringe Sport runs frequent sales, so if you’re patient you could score a pretty good deal on these. American Barbell is a strength & conditioning equipment company based in San Diego California.
Their barbells have a solid reputation in the home gym community, and they’ve somewhat recently added kettle bells to their product lineup. American Barbell kettle bells have a very clean finish and a slightly textured coat.
The bottoms are ground flat and wider than most of the other options, making them a very stable base for exercises like renegade rows. The handle dimensions overall are on the thinner side of the spectrum, making these kettle bells very comfortable for use by people with smaller hands.
Price-wise, American Barbell powder coats are super-cheap, but that savings is offset by the cost of pricing. 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 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. 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.
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. FYI — the lighting I used to take the pictures for this review makes the kettle bell look brown, but the coating is actually black.
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. That doesn’t make it bad though, it’s still a decent option if it suits your needs.
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 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.
FYI — the lighting I used to take the pictures for this review makes the kettle bells look gray, but the coating is actually black. The powder coat finish on 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.
You’ve breached the barbells and dominated dumbbells, but if you’re still steering clear of kettle bells you’re missing out on arguably the best burn at the gym. Think about a baseball bat, says trainer Jason C. Brown, creator and owner of certification program Kettle bell Athletics.
“Kettle bells create a longer lever arm, which requires you to use more force to move an equal weight the same distance,” Brown says. This recruits more muscles, challenges inter- and intramuscular coordination, and generally delivers one hell of a burn.
But resistance is assistance, so going too light or too heavy can compromise technique — not to mention increase your risk of injury with the added momentum of most moves, Brown adds. The general rule of thumb is the more joints involved, the heavier the kettle bell weight you can use.
The dead lift is a multi joint move, so the average guy can probably handle 32 kg/70 lbs here to start, Brown says. Not only are your shoulders and abs working hard to keep you stable, but there’s more challenge to your grip since all the weight is in one hand.
“Most use a goblet squat solely as a mobility exercise — they get low and do a hip pry. “It teaches a powerful hip snap and can be a great bicep and PEC builder — but it’s difficult to master the clean unless you really have your swing dialed-in,” Lopez says.
Turkish Get-Up This move involves a lot more than just lying down and standing up with a weight overhead. “The get-up is known in most training circles as the perfect exercise because the whole move — all 14 steps — includes every possible human movement pattern,” Lopez explains.
Lopez actually makes clients ace all 14 steps while balancing their shoe on their fist before they’re allowed to try it with a kettle bell (you can opt for a two-pound dumbbell to save face at the gym). When you feel confident that you have the form down sans resistance, reach for a 12 kg/26 lb kettle bell.
Since form is so imperative here, Lopez says you shouldn’t move up a weight until you’re able to maintain perfect vertically with your arm, keep the elbow fully locked throughout all 14 steps, and feel comfortable going slow (most people rush due to discomfort). But because it doesn’t require swinging momentum or extension, a carry has a lower risk of injury than other kettle bell moves, which means you can go a bit heavier.
Grab a kettle bell that’s the equivalent of half your body weight to carry in each hand, Brown recommends.