With kettle bells, you can do your standard weight lifting, but you can also add swings, jerks, and a bunch of other HIIT moves to the mix. The kettle bell ’s large, easy-to-grip handle and teardrop design make it perfect to use for just about everything.
This $16 kettle bell, which offers up weights ranging from five to 50 pounds, is an Amazon bestseller. Not everyone feels comfortable gripping an iron kettle bell handle.
You can also ramp up your weight as you build strength with this $34 set, which features five, 10, and 15-pounders. A vinyl coating helps protect your floors and reduce noise.
Many kettle bells are crafted out of cast iron, which isn’t exactly cheap. A wide handle allows for easy grip, while a flat bottom keeps the whole thing from rolling away.
Kettle Grip allows you to take your existing dumbbells and turn them into kettle bells. Just clamp it around the dumbbell handle, close it, and start using your weight like a kettle bell.
This $120 adjustable kettle bell has a massive range, with weight options from five to 40 pounds. It’s all thanks to six drops cast iron plates that can easily be removed or added to change the weight of your kettle bell.
Unlike other companies, KettlebellKitchen meals only last 2 days! I let them know about the delayed shipment and warm food, and they did give me store credit though.
*This ranking is lower than my reviews of Factor 75 and Freshly. So much so my husband was asking me when more Bison Sliders and Buffalo chicken were coming.
I started to notice feeling a little sick from the Pork Egg Roll (shown above in this post), but I assumed it was from the oils and seasonings put on it. In order to get in enough healthy fat, they add in oils and dips to a lot of the recipes.
Since I wasn’t used to such a fancy type meal, I figured my body was adjusting to it. The next night we opened up Turkey Nuggets with Buffalo Cauliflower (also featured in a picture above).
The reason this is relevant…the Turkey Nuggets tasted like the wood vanish smelled. So needless to say, after the pork egg roll and now this meal, I wasn’t looking forward to Thursday’s delivery.
The combination of the couple bad meals and the smell of the hot ones did me in. They gave me a credit for the Turkey Nuggets and ruined meals.
The first two orders were slightly warm, but I felt safe eating them. The box was soggy, the food stank, and the ice pack was completely melted.
I mean, it’s rare to find Veto and Vegetarian options all at one delivery service. The only way you could cut that out is if you have a local pick up place close by.
If you want purely veto options, it’s hard. Its wider handle makes it easier to grip with two hands (for the classic swing move), and its smoother finish is less likely to injure your skin over time.
Dragon Door was the first company to popularize kettle bells in America, which is why the most other brands simply copy that shape down to the millimeter. The Matrix Elite looks the same at first glance, but it features a slightly wider handle that won’t pinch your pinkies in two-handed positions.
Their unique shape and functionality give them many of the strength-building benefits of dumbbells while also providing users with the opportunity to do kettle bell -specific drills that involve a lot of movement, like the swing. The closed-loop handle of a kettle bell offers users a secure grip for movements with both hands.
Dumbbells are better suited to doing squats, curls, bench press, cleans, and other exercises that have less kinetic motion. That means you can fulfill all your workout needs with one simple tool that stows easily in a closet.
One important caveat to this endorsement of kettle bell training is that proper technique makes all the difference between effective and beneficial use and potential injury. You can also consult credible online tutorials, and many trainers will set up a Skype arrangement where you can send videos to them for feedback and coaching.
Dragon Door has the most resources in terms of kettle bell books and DVDs (at least in the “hard style” approach that I use) available. Finally, Steve Cotter is a master practitioner/teacher of competition kettle bell lifting techniques.
While many people recommend women starting with an 8-kilogram bell (about 16 pounds), I think that the two-handed lifts like squats and swings aren’t very well-served by that low weight. If you want to start modestly, my suggestion would be to get the 13-pound version of our budget pick and then order a larger, higher quality bell once you feel comfortable.
With these three, all kinds of single and double kettle bell work is easily achievable and scalable. Both of these linked pieces reiterate my earlier point about seeking credible instruction before beginning an at-home regimen.
Then there is the question about which kind of kettle bell you should buy: cast iron, competition, or adjustable. Cast-iron bells are more comfortable for two-handed grip positions, which beginners should master before moving onto the more challenging one-handed exercises.
As it turns out, there’s not a huge amount of difference between these things because most of them borrow their design from the Dragon Door ROC. Dragon Door was the first US company to run kettle bell instructor certifications (taught by famed instructor Pavel Tsatsouline) and have mass distribution in the US (Dragon Door started selling these bells in 2001).
Dragon Door bells achieved great acclaim, but their high price point (roughly $120 each after shipping and handling, the highest in our test) invited lots of competition from other companies. CAP is another popular fitness company that makes a good bell at a lower price point.
For example, this Yes4All bell is one of the most popular models on Amazon, but its large, flat face is hard on the wrists in one-handed positions. Although much more rare, some companies compete by distinguishing their offerings from Dragon Door’s with different designs.
Perform Better at one point implemented a screw-on rubber skid plate on the bottom of their bells, but later on scrapped it due to negative customer feedback. Vinyl-covered bells were created to protect floor spaces in commercial gyms and homes, but more often, the vinyl is there to smooth over the defects of a cheaply cast bell, and they often get criticized for very uneven handles that cause hand pain and tearing.
A poorly produced handle can rip callouses off the hands during snatching, and this test is where the bells differentiated themselves. In fact, I wouldn’t use the CAP or Rogue bells for high-rep snatching because they have coarse handles and some tackiness from the painted finish.
If you order through the company’s website and have a problem, Kettle bells USA will “make it right, period!” by sending a replacement and taking care of return shipping fees. Photo: Mark Blythe Matrix Elite kettle bell has a slightly different handle dimension and more distance from the ball part of the bell to the handle to create a larger opening for more comfortable two-handed positions.
The Matrix bell clearly outclassed the competition for two-handed work, as the smooth, e-coated handle with a wider grip was consistently easy on the hands, even when doing high repetition sets of 20-plus kettle bell swings. Even when the user advances to the one-handed moves, both two-handed swings and goblet squats should remain essential parts of a kettle bell program.
Any flaws in a kettle bell will be exposed when you use just one hand, but the attention to detail in forging a smooth, seamless handle was clearly on display with this bell. Besides the handle shape, the Matrix Elite (right) looks almost identical to the Dragon Door ROC, which costs anywhere from $30 to $50 more.
Photo: Mark BixbyAnother thing that sets the Matrix Elite apart from other kettle bells (including Kettle bells USA's own “classic” line) is the fact that it’s designed to have the same “rack” position (where the round part rests on your forearm) regardless of weight and size. Most companies use standard molds repeatedly, and inevitably, residue from previous castings creates uneven surface textures like edges or gaps.
Finally, Kettle bells USA showed awesome customer service throughout my process of testing. If you're used to standard Dragon Door ROC kettle bells (or any of its many clones), the Matrix Elite's rack position might feel strange at first, since the ball part sits higher up on the forearm by comparison.
If you see the bell offered at full price (with no discounted shipping), wait seven to 10 days, and you should find it available more cheaply. If the Matrix Elite is unavailable, or if you just want a standard-shaped bell without the wider handle, the Perform Better First Place Kettle bell feels the same in use as the high-end Dragon Door, but costs about 25 percent less.
Like the Dragon Door and Matrix Elite, the First Place has a smooth, seamless handle, few surface defects, and a high-quality finish. While Perform Better wouldn’t divulge what process it uses, I noticed that it’s somewhere between a matte powder coat and a glossy e-coat.
Reading user reviews (see here and here) that slam performs Better for having noticeable seams on the underside of the handle or other defects isn’t helpful considering the construction specs on their bells currently. The bell I received from them was really well-made, and it showed no signs of being defective in build or user experience.
I contacted Perform Better about this discrepancy, and company reps explained that among other small changes, they’d since switched to a gravity casting process, which creates a more uniform surface, as you recall. It’s also worth noting that Perform Better frequently has sales on its kettle bells, and while it’s usually cheaper to buy Perform Better bells directly from the company, it's worth checking Amazon and Strongest before buying to find the best deal.
If budget is your bottom line, then we’d recommend the CAP Cast Iron Competition Bell. But unless you really need to save a few bucks, it’s worth investing in our top pick, since these things last forever.
In fact, none of the five baseball player panelists said they would pay extra for any of the other bells for the basic routines they were testing with. The powder-coated CAP (left) and Rogue (center) bells are rougher than the e-coated Dragon Door (right).
Photo: Mark Blythe CAP bell has a powder-coated matte finish and a slightly gritty (though it’s evenly dispersed grit) handle to provide a good grip (though a bit on the coarser end of those we tested) and a flat bottom so it doesn’t rock when used for push-ups or rowing moves. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Dragon Door ROC Kettle bell should feel pretty good about itself.
Unfortunately for Dragon Door, other companies have been able to duplicate its design at a comparable level of quality for a lot cheaper. Interestingly, the Rogue bell has a 4.9-star rating on its website, with more than 100 reviews at the time of this guide's publication.
Chad Settler, John Forward, Carl Foster, and Mark Andes, Kettle bells: Twice the Results in Half the Time?, ACE Fitness Matters The meal delivery service catered to the health conscious, starting in New York City and expanding nationally in 2017.
Kari Pearce, a CrossFit Games Athlete who also held the title for “Fittest American Woman,” endorsed the brand. North Castle Partners, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, invested $26.7 million in KettlebellKitchen in October 2018.
North Castle has worked with a slew of wellness brands, including Equinox Fitness, Curves International and Naked Juice Company. You see these Instagram accounts of amazing meals laid out in neat little boxes in a clean refrigerator and you think to yourself, “This Sunday, it’s happening.
Cling desperately to our New Year's resolutions only to be tempted by a spicy chicken sand from Wendy’s, then turn it into a combo and then add a small frosty to cool the flames? Enter KettlebellKitchen, a delightful service that will ship freshly made, pre-proportioned and fully customized meals straight to your door.
No more scouring the dark web for recipes, weighing food on a scale like a crazy person, or chopping vegetables until your nail beds bleed. Their website was super easy to navigate, offering a lot of different options for diets, allergies, sensitivities, etc.
I love that KettlebellKitchen seeks to understand your personal goals first before recommending any type of plan. In full transparency, KettlebellKitchen hooked me up with three weeks of breakfast, lunch, and dinner on their perform plan which is focused on nutrient dense meals primed and timed to give you the best PRE and post workout experience.
But in fairness to you, our loyal readers, I will do my best to give an honest evaluation of my experience and refuse to leave anything out! I never felt like two days in close succession featured the same meals, flavors or textures.
We are talking about grass-fed steak with chimichurri sauce and roasted yucca, bison sliders with greens and sweet potatoes and my favorite, pancakes with blueberry topping and turkey bacon. I have RUINED training sessions with food choices, so, for the most part, I try to do them in a fasted state.
This works, at least most of the time, but it can also lead to a really unbalanced and sluggish feeling during key moments. This meal plan kept me full, focused, and energized during my workouts without feeling weighed down.
The packaging was made from mostly recycled materials, shipped in considerate sizes for those that share a freezer with you, and above all, they serve as a nice warming tray for your meals. In a different world, where eggs magically maintained the proper texture and consistency, the breakfasts in this meal plan would have been incredible.
I consider myself a busy person, and sometimes food prep just falls down the list of things that I absolutely have to do on a daily basis. Without that proper preparation, it gets difficult to stick to a plan and ultimately I end up making some bad food choices.
With that in mind, I certainly think of this as a worthwhile investment as it cuts down on stress, for the most part, the meals taste incredible, and KettlebellKitchen offers enough customization to provide you with exactly what you are looking for in an easy, seamless experience.