Cast iron, competition/sport, steel, rubber coated, soft-sand filled, adjustable, medicine ball-like, and more. All kettle bells are cast in a mold, what happens after can be different depending on the company.
After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE. Depending on whom you ask, you will get different folk stories of what they originally were made from, and what they were used for, as well as which countries claim ownership.
The competition kettle bell is the same size and dimension across the weight range, and is made out of steel. The handle is flat across on top, and joins the body of the kettle bell vertically.
Some brands are an 8 kilogram shell filled with fillers like sawdust and ball bearings to achieve the desired weights, this potentially can become loose and rattle over time or lose balance. More durable competition bells are made from a single piece of steel, cast precisely to the specific weight.
There are ballistics such as Swings, Cleans and Snatches, and grinds, such as Goblet and Double Front Squats, Presses, and Get- Ups. Once beyond the learning phase, the curved handle of the cast-iron kettle bell is the clear winner for swings.
As a result, if the kettle bell ’s contact each other on the way up or down they will have a tendency to bounce off of each other like basketballs. The last thing you want is for the kettle bells to bounce away from each other on the way down and hit the user on the legs.
Another item to consider is that when hiking two large kettle bell ’s through the legs, regardless of weight, the stance used needs to be wide enough to allow room for them to pass. After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE.
I broke one of my wrists mountain biking years ago, and now have a plate and 8 screws holding the end of my ulna together. Both of these surgeries led me to experiment with competition style kettle bells, which contacted my arm below these sensitive areas.
After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE. If you are a gym, I would strongly recommend a full set of both cast-iron and competition style kettle bells.
After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE. We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettle bell workout every week you can click below.
Tim Peterson is the Chief Instructor and Director of Content and Curriculum for Titrant, a revolutionary fitness ranking system based on standardized strength and conditioning tests utilized currently in over 1,000 gyms worldwide in more than 25 countries. Tim has a MS and BA in Kinesiology, and has taught High School Weightlifting for over a decade.
He uses his experiences in and observations of the fitness industry as inspiration for his writing, which appears on the Titrant website, as well as guest posts for Dan John, Kettle bell Kings, and others. For more of Tim’s writing as well as more information about Titrant, a unique challenge that is both standardized yet personal due to tests based upon gender, age, and body weight, visit www.fitranx.com.
Kettle bell Kings creates new workout each week which you can receive in your email inbox. In today’s society of quick fixes we are all too impatient and don’t want to earn our movement skills anymore.
The shoulder joint is a very vulnerable area of the body, it has to be both mobile and strong. In order to keep the shoulder stable and in the correct position it has small stabilizing muscles.
The trapezium, rhomboids, and serrated anterior must be simultaneously activated to pull the scapula into a position of depression and downward rotation. Each hip joint is connected to the opposite shoulder via a muscular sling system that crosses the body.
Get Ups develop this cross body sling system and so naturally improves your rotational strength for racket sports, running and more. “ Core stability is believed to be critical for injury prevention and the transfer of power throughout the kinetic chain during movement.
During the TGU, the core is challenged to resist spinal rotation, exion/extension, and side bending. Turkish Get Ups are great for mobilizing the hips and upper back.
The added core conditioning that you receive from the Turkish Getup also ensure that the lower back is better stabilized during movement. In fact, completing Get Ups without good body alignment is very difficult.
If your posture is not as good as it should be the Get Up will certainly highlight that and put your body into a better position. When performing the Turkish get up muscles are worked throughout the entire body.
The real beauty of this exercise is that every muscle has to work with each other in order to complete the full movement. We all have movement issues whether it is lacking adequate movement through the joints, weak core muscles, dominate large prime mover muscles, poor balance, or bad proprioception.
I frequently use the Turkish Getup as an assessment tool with clients to see an instant snapshot of their current movement skills. A few Kettle bell Turkish Setups before each workout will prepare you nicely and also give you a quick snapshot of your daily health.
Use the opposite hand to adjust the kettle bell position so it lays comfortably against the back of the forearm. Bend the leg on the same side as the kettle bell and place the opposite arm out at 45 degrees.
Failure to sit up smoothly without jerking or using the kettle bell will indicate a weakness in the core muscles. Practice the Single Leg Dead lift as well as this part of the movement without a kettle bell.
Problems sitting up tall without keeping the bottom leg straight could indicate tightness in the hamstrings. Create distance between the bottom shoulder and the ear and open up the chest.
Beginners should certainly practice returning the kettle bell back to the floor and then changing arms and repeating. You will finish at the Sit up position and then return slowly back to step 1 again.
You will be getting a great core workout if you take your time and perform the movements correctly. When you can complete the Turkish Get Up without spilling any water, move onto the next step below.
When you can perform 5 smooth repetitions on each side without putting the kettle bell down in between reps move onto the Full Get Up below. Now you’re ready for the big time, the complete Turkish Get Up with a kettle bell.
Perform just 1 repetition at a time and then put the kettle bell down and change sides. As a guide I usually find that when a client can perform 5 repetitions smoothly on both sides without unlocking the arm then it is time to start introducing the next weight.
Using alternating swings is a great way to not only add some cardio into the movement but also change hands and give the arms a rest. Ensure that you are strong at the Full Get Up before attempting this because your shoulders will have to work harder and for longer before getting a break.
I’m not usually one for making exercises overly complicated but I do like this advanced version of the Get Up. When you get to step 4 of the Get Up stack one foot on top of the other as if performing a side plank.
You will be performing a side plank on one hand and have a kettle in the other so balance and alignment is important. The ladder workout moves through every step of the Get Up so it ensures that no part of the process is missed out.
You will find that by practicing this TGU workout you will quickly identify the areas of the Get Up that require further attention. Basically you are adding an extra step to the movement each round until you complete the full Turkish Get Up.
After you have climbed the ladder to the top you can change hands and repeat the same process on the other side. It is a great idea to combine kettle bell training’s 2 finest exercises together into one workout.
Practicing this workout will give you the best of both worlds, great cardio and fat burning from the swing and full body strengthening and conditioning from the Get Ups. Unlike other kettle bell exercises the Get Up can be performed most days providing the load is not consistently too heavy.
If you have a rest day but feel that you would like to do something more than practicing your Turkish Get Ups is an excellent choice. You will not only protect your body from future injury by performing the Get Up but you will also improve your core strength and better your posture.
Practice the Get Up until is looks and feels effortless and it will pay you back tenfold. Yes, kettle bells are an excellent tool for both increasing muscle size and definition as well as burning fat and improving your cardio.
If you are new to Kettle bell Training then you should focus all your time and effort on the Swing. The kettle bell swing hits all the major muscles of body, increasing your metabolism and generating after burn for up to 24hrs after your workouts.
Perform 20 Double Handed Swings and then 10 Push Ups. At the end of the workout you will have completed 200 Swings and 55 Push Ups.
A super simple kettle bell swing only workout and great for beginners. Perform 20 double handed swings at the beginning of every minute.
The time left over after your 20 kettle bell swings until the start of the next minute is for rest. Alternating between Swings and Burpees will really elevate your heart rate.
This workout will seriously burn some calories as well as strengthening the complete lower body. A KB swing workout using the 2 most important kettle bell exercises.
The kettle bell swing works predominantly the muscles of the posterior chain which includes, the hips, glutes, hamstrings, back, lats, abs, shoulders, and forearms. Perform 10 double handed swings at the beginning of every minute.
The time left over after your 10 kettle bell swings until the start of the next minute is for rest. However, you need to listen to your body and take a day off when you feel you have not fully recovered.
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.
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. Up next, we have a truly unique travel workout accessory called the Kettle Grip.
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.
Best of all, kettle bells deliver the complete package, and by that, we mean that they improve fitness, strength as well as flexibility. It’s a ballistic and totally effective way of exercising that sees results in record time.
They also require functional movement, the kind that replicates what your body carries out on an everyday basis so again, this makes them highly practical and hugely popular. The unique shape and design of kettle bell also affect their center of gravity so in order to really complete the exercises correctly you are absolutely required to engage your core and your glutes in stabilizing your body.
Because you are involved in mostly dynamic swinging actions, kettle bell training also requires you to be very mindful of what your body is doing. While we have mentioned progression and increasing your weights and also doubling up for some exercises, the beauty of starting out with kettle bell training is that you really only do need the one, so it’s a small investment overall.
For most other types of weighted exercises, you really do need to work out with pairs, for example, dumbbells in each hand or plates either end of a barbell. Find something you love, switch things up a bit and you just know that you are going to see, feel and experience results.
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns that people have when started out kettle bell training is hot to ensure they do it safely without risk of unwanted injury. There’s no point steering away from the truth if you do perform your exercises incorrectly you could end up putting unnecessary strain on your lower back and shoulder and perhaps also your hips and knees as there are the most vulnerable areas.
The great news though is that by following a few essential tips, you can perfect your kettle bell form and have lots of fun safely working out. Don’t be tempted to stand with your legs too far apart thinking that this will create a more solid base as it will in fact put more strain on your lower back so get into a proper stance with your feet about hip width apart and make sure you start out with a sensible weight.
The trick is to build up your strength and endurance so don’t go too heavy to start, especially while you are still honing your technique. So engage that core, lift with your hips and ensure that your spine is a nice neutral position which again will significantly help to minimize unwanted injuries.
This unique design, as distinct to a dumbbell, means that the weight is not evenly distributed and this delivers instability, creating counterbalance and the need to really focus on your core while training with this piece of equipment. A: We highly recommend, as do my professional PT’s and athletes, that you do incorporate kettle bell training into your ongoing fitness program.
Incorporating some kettle bell based exercise into your workouts is seriously going to affect your body in nothing but good ways. They require your hips and legs to generate the force and momentum of the swing while your entire core including your abs, back, and shoulder girdle are called upon to stabilize your body and control your balance and posture.
A: The great news here is that yes, you will definitely lose weight, body fat and increase muscle mass by working out with kettle bells. The kettle bell is ideal for weight loss as its low impact and can really help to torch the fat and accelerate your results and gains.
You’ll build solid lean muscle mass and strength while at the same time giving your body a proper cardiovascular workout. There’s little wonder then than kettle bell training is loved by so many and seen as a bit of a 1-stop-shop for increasing your fat loss results and delivering definition.
Ben Coleman is our resident sports and fitness product expert who offers a wide range of information in this field. Its wider handle makes it easier to grip with two hands (for the classic swing move), and its smoother finish is less likely to injure your skin over time.
Dragon Door was the first company to popularize kettle bells in America, which is why the most other brands simply copy that shape down to the millimeter. The Matrix Elite looks the same at first glance, but it features a slightly wider handle that won’t pinch your pinkies in two-handed positions.
Their unique shape and functionality give them many of the strength-building benefits of dumbbells while also providing users with the opportunity to do kettle bell -specific drills that involve a lot of movement, like the swing. The closed-loop handle of a kettle bell offers users a secure grip for movements with both hands.
Dumbbells are better suited to doing squats, curls, bench press, cleans, and other exercises that have less kinetic motion. That means you can fulfill all your workout needs with one simple tool that stows easily in a closet.
One important caveat to this endorsement of kettle bell training is that proper technique makes all the difference between effective and beneficial use and potential injury. You can also consult credible online tutorials, and many trainers will set up a Skype arrangement where you can send videos to them for feedback and coaching.
Dragon Door has the most resources in terms of kettle bell books and DVDs (at least in the “hard style” approach that I use) available. Finally, Steve Cotter is a master practitioner/teacher of competition kettle bell lifting techniques.
While many people recommend women starting with an 8-kilogram bell (about 16 pounds), I think that the two-handed lifts like squats and swings aren’t very well-served by that low weight. If you want to start modestly, my suggestion would be to get the 13-pound version of our budget pick and then order a larger, higher quality bell once you feel comfortable.
With these three, all kinds of single and double kettle bell work is easily achievable and scalable. Both of these linked pieces reiterate my earlier point about seeking credible instruction before beginning an at-home regimen.
Then there is the question about which kind of kettle bell you should buy: cast iron, competition, or adjustable. Cast-iron bells are more comfortable for two-handed grip positions, which beginners should master before moving onto the more challenging one-handed exercises.
As it turns out, there’s not a huge amount of difference between these things because most of them borrow their design from the Dragon Door ROC. Dragon Door was the first US company to run kettle bell instructor certifications (taught by famed instructor Pavel Tsatsouline) and have mass distribution in the US (Dragon Door started selling these bells in 2001).
Dragon Door bells achieved great acclaim, but their high price point (roughly $120 each after shipping and handling, the highest in our test) invited lots of competition from other companies. CAP is another popular fitness company that makes a good bell at a lower price point.
For example, this Yes4All bell is one of the most popular models on Amazon, but its large, flat face is hard on the wrists in one-handed positions. Although much more rare, some companies compete by distinguishing their offerings from Dragon Door’s with different designs.
Perform Better at one point implemented a screw-on rubber skid plate on the bottom of their bells, but later on scrapped it due to negative customer feedback. Vinyl-covered bells were created to protect floor spaces in commercial gyms and homes, but more often, the vinyl is there to smooth over the defects of a cheaply cast bell, and they often get criticized for very uneven handles that cause hand pain and tearing.
A poorly produced handle can rip callouses off the hands during snatching, and this test is where the bells differentiated themselves. In fact, I wouldn’t use the CAP or Rogue bells for high-rep snatching because they have coarse handles and some tackiness from the painted finish.
If you order through the company’s website and have a problem, Kettle bells USA will “make it right, period!” by sending a replacement and taking care of return shipping fees. Photo: Mark Blythe Matrix Elite kettle bell has a slightly different handle dimension and more distance from the ball part of the bell to the handle to create a larger opening for more comfortable two-handed positions.
The Matrix bell clearly outclassed the competition for two-handed work, as the smooth, e-coated handle with a wider grip was consistently easy on the hands, even when doing high repetition sets of 20-plus kettle bell swings. Even when the user advances to the one-handed moves, both two-handed swings and goblet squats should remain essential parts of a kettle bell program.
Any flaws in a kettle bell will be exposed when you use just one hand, but the attention to detail in forging a smooth, seamless handle was clearly on display with this bell. Besides the handle shape, the Matrix Elite (right) looks almost identical to the Dragon Door ROC, which costs anywhere from $30 to $50 more.
Photo: Mark BixbyAnother thing that sets the Matrix Elite apart from other kettle bells (including Kettle bells USA's own “classic” line) is the fact that it’s designed to have the same “rack” position (where the round part rests on your forearm) regardless of weight and size. Most companies use standard molds repeatedly, and inevitably, residue from previous castings creates uneven surface textures like edges or gaps.
Finally, Kettle bells USA showed awesome customer service throughout my process of testing. If you're used to standard Dragon Door ROC kettle bells (or any of its many clones), the Matrix Elite's rack position might feel strange at first, since the ball part sits higher up on the forearm by comparison.
If you see the bell offered at full price (with no discounted shipping), wait seven to 10 days, and you should find it available more cheaply. If the Matrix Elite is unavailable, or if you just want a standard-shaped bell without the wider handle, the Perform Better First Place Kettle bell feels the same in use as the high-end Dragon Door, but costs about 25 percent less.
Like the Dragon Door and Matrix Elite, the First Place has a smooth, seamless handle, few surface defects, and a high-quality finish. While Perform Better wouldn’t divulge what process it uses, I noticed that it’s somewhere between a matte powder coat and a glossy e-coat.
Reading user reviews (see here and here) that slam performs Better for having noticeable seams on the underside of the handle or other defects isn’t helpful considering the construction specs on their bells currently. The bell I received from them was really well-made, and it showed no signs of being defective in build or user experience.
I contacted Perform Better about this discrepancy, and company reps explained that among other small changes, they’d since switched to a gravity casting process, which creates a more uniform surface, as you recall. It’s also worth noting that Perform Better frequently has sales on its kettle bells, and while it’s usually cheaper to buy Perform Better bells directly from the company, it's worth checking Amazon and Strongest before buying to find the best deal.
If budget is your bottom line, then we’d recommend the CAP Cast Iron Competition Bell. But unless you really need to save a few bucks, it’s worth investing in our top pick, since these things last forever.
In fact, none of the five baseball player panelists said they would pay extra for any of the other bells for the basic routines they were testing with. The powder-coated CAP (left) and Rogue (center) bells are rougher than the e-coated Dragon Door (right).
Photo: Mark Blythe CAP bell has a powder-coated matte finish and a slightly gritty (though it’s evenly dispersed grit) handle to provide a good grip (though a bit on the coarser end of those we tested) and a flat bottom so it doesn’t rock when used for push- ups or rowing moves. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Dragon Door ROC Kettle bell should feel pretty good about itself.
Unfortunately for Dragon Door, other companies have been able to duplicate its design at a comparable level of quality for a lot cheaper. Interestingly, the Rogue bell has a 4.9-star rating on its website, with more than 100 reviews at the time of this guide's publication.
Chad Settler, John Forward, Carl Foster, and Mark Andes, Kettle bells: Twice the Results in Half the Time?, ACE Fitness Matters But, in the last decade or so, they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity, not least because they are a part of so many CrossFit workouts.
But Tim Ferris says “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”. This post will reveal the main kettle bell swing benefits and how to do them correctly.
It takes time to master the kettle bell swing, but once you’ve got it nailed, this exercise has a wide range of benefits. Your heart rate will also soar when you swing a kettle bell, which makes kettle bell swings one of the best strength training exercises for fat loss and weight loss.
Tim Ferris's writes glowingly about the fantastic benefits of the kettle bell swing for rapid fat loss and body recomposition in his New York Times Best Seller The Four Hour Body.” Image Credit Tracy & Mark Ranking Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise.
But Tim Ferris says, “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results.” Increased cardiovascular fitness Kettle bell swing training is excellent for your heart and lungs, as well as your muscles.
Because they are a full-body movement, kettle bell swings will drive your heart and breathing rate sky-high, which makes them a beneficial and challenging cardiovascular exercise. Kettle bell swings are fast and explosive, while dead lifts are much slower.
Better posture Kettle bell swings are one of the best exercises for undoing the effects of prolonged sitting. Swings work your posterior chain, which are the muscles responsible for holding you upright against the pull of gravity.
Because kettle bell swings involve so many muscles and joints working together and at the same time, there’s a lot that can go wrong with this exercise. But, if you master a proper kettle bell swing, you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer while avoiding all the risks.
Hold your kettle bell in front of your hips with an overhand grip. Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your abs.
Focus on your hip drive to pop the kettle bell upwards, not your arms. Use your lats and abs to stop the weight swinging upward and then let the kettle bell fall back down.
Tim Ferris's Teaches You How To Do The Russian Kettle bell Swing Russian kettle bell swings generally allow you to lift more weight, and they are easier to learn.
However, it’s all too easy to inadvertently shorten your rep range by not swinging the weight high enough, i.e., below shoulder-height. Swinging the weight up until the arms are vertical ensures that each rep is the same, making them easier to judge and quantify.
However, raising the weight so high will increase stress on the lower back, which could lead to injury. The increased range of movement also means you won’t be able to lift as much weight.
But, unless you are training for CrossFit competitions, the Russian swing is potentially the safer one, which may mean it’s the best choice for most exercisers. As recommended by the American Council on Exercise, ACE for short, this kettle bell workout is best done three times a week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Kettle bell cleans and snatches come close, but they are much trickier to master. Whether you want to burn fat, get fit, or boost your dead lift performance, kettle bell swings will help.
Remember, to get the most from this exercise; you need to do them correctly and give yourself time to recover between workouts. Therefore, it is also an excellent move for a beginner to prepare for a dead lift program.