Before the end of the 19th century, Russian girl had found its way into the sphere of competitive weightlifting sports in Russia and some parts of Europe while the term, Kettle bell,” was widely adopted at the dawn of the 20th century in the Western world. Unlike the simple structures of Dumbbells and Barbells, Kettle bells have complex, equally-important parts, each of which contributes to its uniqueness.
The anatomy of a Kettle bell, as seen from the above picture, includes the Handle, Corner, Horn, Window, Bell, and Base. The Bell is the center of mass of a Kettle bell while the Window is the space that separates the Handle from the Bell, affording the user convenient and flexible movements that are lacking in Dumbbells and Barbells.
If you are new to weight training, it's best to start at a beginner level so you can learn proper mechanics. Your age, fitness, and experience determine the type of Kettle bell training you can take-on.
Kettlebell grinds are not only the best for beginners, but they are also very great for experts as its technique is perfect for building muscle and strength. The obtuse shape of the Handle also helps in ensuring a perfect grip and some products now come with a chip-resistant coating that enhances grip and lets users see the weight written on the Kettle bell through contrast.
Note: Although those increments may seem big, a jump from training with 15lbs to 20lbs is normal for kettle bell lifting. For one, it gives users greater flexibility to choose between the wide range of weights and ease scaling-up a bit if they please.
When we talk about men here, we mean active males starting from the age of 18 years. The most important thing is an improvement, the ability to fulfill your potentials as your training progresses.
It is our professional recommendation that you start with a weight that is proportional to your skill level and fitness. This helps you to maintain a good form while you scale up with smiles and less stress.
Starting with anything in this range will help you to conveniently learn how to use proper techniques whether you’re training on your own or with a trainer. Like we mentioned with men, the talk of women here refers to females starting from age 18 years.
While we advise everyone to carry just enough weight, some women have been found to underestimate their strengths, opting for Kettle bell sizes that are too small. A general rule of thumb is for you to carry a Kettle bell weight with which you’re able to do 5 repetitions (reps) of any workout you’re starting with.
Also, if you’ve reached a stage whereby you can conveniently do 20 reps of that workout, then it’s the right time for you to pick up something heavier. The American Academy of Pediatric shad since the year 1990 asserted the potential benefits of monitored weightlifting for children and adolescents on health and athleticism.
A kid’s Kettle bell size for a workout will depend on fitness and age. In the end, it will be the level of fitness that will determine the number of Kettle bell workout reps each child will perform.
Kettle bell lifting for kids should be limited to simple exercises. They can help you build your strength and balance, as well as improve your cardiovascular fitness.
And it will be wiser for you to focus on cardio-based kettle bell exercises such as swings, squats, cleans, and presses because you're no longer trying to build excessive muscles, but just enough to keep your bones together and covered. If you have any doubts, be sure to ask your doctor or a physiotherapist about kettle bell training and if it's right for you.
When you aim to do a lot of ballistic workouts with the kettle bell and you have never done any of such activities before, starting with 18LB is good for women while 26LBS will be alright for men. If you had done some moderate ballistic workouts before, 35LBS is a good start for men and 26LBS is okay for women.
When you aim to do lots of slow lifts with the kettle bell and you have never done anything like that before, starting with 22LBS is good for you as a woman while 30LBS for you as a man. Some people start doing kettle bell workouts because they want to build their size and strength.
To build your size and strength using kettle bells, you need to focus on exercises that can give you the most beneficial results. Additionally, you can include another free-weight equipment in your Kettle bell exercise to get the most out of your workout.
Excellent free-weight equipment you can combine with Kettle bells for incredible muscle build-up is the Steel Mace. You can learn more about how to get the best out of these two weightlifting equipment from our Steel Mace and Kettle bell Arm Blast Workout.
The kettle bell swing is a ballistic exercise that you can use to train your posterior chain muscles and it’s most useful in building your hip power and speed. To perform the kettle bell swing, you need to move the bell in a pendulum motion from between the knees to anywhere at your eye-level or above it.
For average active men doing Basic Goblet Squats, the best Kettle bell size is 40LBS. The Goblet Squat is a typical beginner’s exercise to help new Kettle bell lifters get positional awareness, accumulate basic squat strength and technique, and get a better balance.
You can learn more about perfecting your squat by reading our How to Fix Hip Pain article. The Kettle bell Turkish Get-ups are very useful for developing your solid movement foundation as they tend to focus on your small stabilizing muscles.
Not only does it reveal your problems, but it also helps you develop a functional core, serves as a safeguard against back pain and improves your posture. Beginners, intermediate and advanced flows exist for individuals fitting each level.
It is best to use the Kettle bell size that you are most comfortable with for two to three exercises you want to put into a flow. Complexes can be done in a sequence or one exercise after the other (i.e. 5 x squats then 5 x presses then 5 x sumo dead lifts, without resting or putting the kettle bell down).
Unlike other Kettle bells, their handles and other parts are always of the same shape and dimension regardless of their weights because of the need to maintain consistency in competitions and fairness among competitors. They are usually based in kilograms and range in 2 or 4 kg increments according to international standards, each weight having varying color for convenient identification.
A kettle bell workout is a great way to tone your body, burn fat, earn some killer abs and keep fit. For average active women, the best Kettle bell sizes for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 18LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 26LBS as you get used to the bells.
For average active men, the best Kettle bell sizes for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 26LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 44LBS. If your goal is to burn fat, you want a weight that you can use with little rest and for HIIT workouts.
This means you should go lighter than what you would use for traditional sets and reps workouts with longer rest. If we had to choose the three overall best Kettle bell sizes, we'd go 26, 35, and 44LBS or 20, 30, and 40lbs, depending on the supplier you buy from.
It enhances core strength and stability through its multi planar and unilateral movements. It’s the most convenient way to reduce body weight, burning up to 400 calories in 20 minutes.
A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century. They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century.
The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ). Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb).
The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century. Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements.
Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot. By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.
The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training.
Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.
The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.
Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.
It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.
The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.
Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.
A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.
By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.
One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.
This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.
In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.
Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.
The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.
Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position. An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom.
Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead. Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again.
Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor. The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk.
These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps. The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms. The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms.
Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion. The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception.
Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles. Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts.
With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension. Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance.
Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.
The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well. One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle.
21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04). “The kettle bell way: Focused workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities”.
Blast Fat & Build Strength With Innovative Equipment!” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22).
“Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF). Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”.
^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”. Ballistic (explosive) lifts: swings, cleans, snatches, tossing, juggling.
For ballistic lifts you can use a heavier kettle bell than with slow, grinding movements like get-ups and windmills that must be carefully controlled throughout the entire range of movement and require a smaller bell. Our experience with kettle bells has boiled it down to the following general recommendations for men and women.
All cast iron kettle bells such as the Matrix Elite precision e-coat series change dimensions, including handle diameter, as the weight increases or decreases. Many men have the unfortunate habit of starting out with a kettle bell that is too big for them.
Add the fact that if you have only used dumbbells and barbells for weight training, snatching a kettle bell for the first time may come as a bit of a shock to your system and ego! Men take our advice and don't buy a heavy bell unless you already know you can manage it.
Lifting kettle bells will not make you big and bulky and rob you of your feminine curves. On the contrary, with proper training and dedication it will give you the body you've always wanted.
Single Cast Mold With No Seams, Ridges or Rough Spots. A quality kettle bell is cast in a single step into the mold and is finished like a piece of fine furniture.
Competition or “Pro Grade” kettle bells are made to fixed specifications. To find out more about the differences between cast iron and competition kettle bells click here.
Real kettle bells are designed to be balanced in a certain way, and they are actually precise tools. If a kettle bell can be improved by new materials or a new engineering insight or manufacturing process so that real users will benefit then we will do so, however, we are not interested in gimmicks that are solely designed to misinform consumers and take their hard-earned money from them.
We have been in the kettle bell business for some years now, and we will not compromise our principles just to make money off innocent, uninformed consumers. Without proper kettle bell lifting technique you will not get the full benefit of the movement and you greatly increase your chance of injury, and this defeats the purpose of training with kettle bells in the first place.
We recommend that whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced lifter, that you have a few kettle bells in different weights. Also, the high leverage lifts such as Turkish Get-ups, Windmills and Bottoms-up presses, require less weight especially when you are first learning them so having a range of kettle bell weights will give you the required training flexibility need to progress.
If your budget can handle it then buy at least two kettle bells to start with in different weights and then add to your collection as your form gets better and your conditioning level increases. CrossFit aficionados use this term quite a lot as do many old school kettle bell instructors.
At Kettle bells USA® we prefer kilograms or pounds because we think “Food” is a confusingly weird word! Some other aspects of kettle bell design are grip diameter, grip width, ball diameter, the distance from the top of the ball to the bottom of the handle.
Those large cannonballs with handles, sitting in the corner collecting dust, look intriguing. But you're not about to start at the bottom, in the “pump” class with puny yellow and pink kettle bells that look like they belong in the daycare.
And as much as I love basic kettle bell moves like the swing, get-up, and snatch, I also recognize that not everyone is ready to subject themselves to the learning curve that goes along with those movements. By that, I mean that strength in awkward positions that fighters and other athletes seem to have in spades, but that barbells, dumbbells, and machines seldom produce.
“The rack hold is a powerful position for building strength throughout the body.” Bend down as if you were about to dead lift the kettle bell and grab the handle with your working hand.
The kettle bell will be resting on two points of contact: The back of your wrist and on your upper arm, just below your shoulder. Your forearm and upper arm will form a triangle in which the kettle bell sits.
Your hand should be facing the center of your body, and your elbow pointed down toward your hip. Like the farmer's carry, 10 minutes at the end of your workout is a good plan.
It adds a level of difficulty to the carry that many people find surprising, in the form of increased abdominal stress, respiration demand, and the way it reaches the little stabilizer muscles along your spine. Many gym rats and bodybuilders don't have the necessary wrist and shoulder flexibility to perform a true barbell front squat with a clean grip.
Holding one or two kettle bells also puts a larger-than-normal pressure on the abs, making them work harder than a far greater barbell load would, as I mentioned in my last article. Additionally, I consider the kettle bell front squat to be an incredibly effective “loaded mobility” exercise.
Because of the way the load is situated, your abs automatically contract, your shoulders depress, and your hips magically seem to have more space in them, allowing for a deeper squat than many people can manage with just a barbell. It also serves as a little assessment, since if the two sides feel dramatically different, there's a good chance you have a side-to-side imbalance.
If that's the case, you may not want to load with a heavy barbell, due to the possibility of injury, until you spend some good time with the kettle bell alternative. Squat until you go as low as you can, maintaining pressure in your abs, and keeping a slight extension in your lower back.
The single-arm floor press will not only strengthen your triceps and your lockout, but it will help you refine your bench press groove by positioning your arm in the strongest position to lift big weights. Roll to your side, and grab the kettle bell by the handle, using the pistol grip, like you did with the rack hold.
Pause with your upper arm on the floor for 2-3 seconds and then press the kettle bell. These six movements are more than enough to teach you about the unique challenges and benefits of working with kettle bells.
Experienced kettle bell lifters regularly utilize things like loaded carries and floor presses to address strength deficiencies and practice building tension. When you're ready, the floor press also has the benefit of preparing your arms and shoulders for one of the best kettle bell exercises you can do: the Turkish get-up.
Until then, just keep picking up those heavy beasts, squeezing your core for all it's worth, and holding on for dear life.