What is the best Kettle bell size for building muscle, gaining strength, burning fat? It's all organized by sections, so if you want to scroll down to your specific question, it will be easy to find.
History of the Kettlebell is the English word for Russian girl — an 18th-century cannonball-like metal (made of cast iron or steel) used to weigh crops, with a Russian unit of measurement called “Good”. According to the Russian Food standard, 1pood is equal to 35LBS of weight (1pood = 16 kg = 35LBS) and it is from this equivalence that other kilogram values are gotten for Kettle bells.
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.
You should ascertain the existence of a guarantee for the product — to ensure your kettle bells do not rust. We will discuss more on each of these factors and recommend the best sizes for you in our thorough guide to buying the right kettle bell weight below.
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.
For another, it affords kids and other not-so-strong individuals the opportunity of having the Kettle bell taste. Kettle bell sizes you will most easily find on the market include:
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.
No doubt, Kettle bells are one of the best home gym equipment for all age groups. With these three sizes of weights, it will be perfectly adequate for you to do most types of Kettle bell exercises effectively — ballistics, grinds/traditional movements, and flows/complexes.
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.
It isn't as simple as it sounds because improper kettle bell swings just worsen your postural imbalance and cause more damage than good. However, another thing that can cause more damage than good is using the wrong kettle bell size for your swings?
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.
For instance, in Gregory Sport competition events, they use progressive lifts like: 18LBS (8 kg) — Pink color26lbs (12 kg) — Blue color35lbs (16 kg) — Yellow color44lbs (20 kg) — Purple color53lbs (24 kg) — Green color62LBS (28 kg) — Orange color71lbs (32 kg) — Red color
Some Gregory Sports competitions start male competitors with 26LBS, up to 88LBS; and females from 18LBS, up to 53LBS to a varying number of repetitions in lifts such as Snatch, Jerk, and Long Cycle. 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. Embedded in this ancient weight-measuring tool is everything you need for your total body-conditioning goals and you can know more about what you'll start to gain from it by reading our 18 Benefits of Kettle bells article.
26 Body weight Leg Exercises for Muscle, Strength & Explosive Power December 06, 2020 The Best Full Body Kettle bell Workout for Beginners December 03, 2020
With the explosion of kettle bell training over the last 10 years there are now many shapes and sizes available to buy. Common kettle bell exercises involve swings, lifts, and presses, but unlike weightlifting or powerlifting, kettle bell training can be performed bilaterally and unilaterally in all planes.
The Single Arm Dead lift exercise can be performed with any type of kettle bell : As you can see from the competition kettle bell image above the handle is much smaller and is squarer in design.
The advantage of these types of kettle bells is that your hand doesn’t slide around due to the limited space plus you can get used to the size even when the weight changes. If you are a beginner then the cast iron kettle bell is much more diverse in its usage
A kettle bell with a handle that is too thick is going to quickly tire out your forearms and finishing repetitions of an exercise can be very tough. The bottom of the kettlebellshould have a natural flat but it shouldn’t have an attached rubber or plastic base.
Bases can be good for preventing marks on your floor but unfortunately they’re going to really dig into arm and into your body when you’re using the kettle bell. The fourth thing is to make sure that there are no sharp edges on the kettle bell handle.
Look out for kettle bells that have sharp bits of paint and also check where the handle meets the body that there are no small nicks that can cut into your hands. If you have got an existing kettle bell with sharp edges, then you can sometimes sand them down with sandpaper.
Avoid a kettle bell that’s a round ball with a big, sharp handle stuck on the top There should be a nice smooth bit of continuity with the kettle bell from the body into the handle.
If the handle spacing is too small you’re going to find it really digs into your wrists when in the racked position or overhead. It seems to be trendy to coat kettle bells in vinyl or plastic to avoid marking floor etc.
However, due to the huge rise in popularity there are now many weight sizes in-between the ones listed above. The great news is that if you make the right purchase you will only need to buy a few of the best kettlebells, and they will last you for a lifetime.
Here are the 3 kettle bell weight sizes that I recommend all women should buy: 8 kg (17lbs) — perfect starting weight, great for learning the basic movements and later Turkish get ups 12 kg (26lbs) — used for the two handed swing to begin with and then later many other exercises 16 kg (35lbs) — perfect progression for the two handed swing when more advanced to compliment the 12 kg
If you feel that 8 kg is too heavy for a starting weight then you need to understand the type of exercises you will be performing. 12 kg (26lbs) — perfect for beginners with no weight lifting experience, great for beginner Turkish get ups 16 kg (35lbs) — starting weight and great for swings and most single-handed exercises 24 kg (53lbs) — great progression for the two handed swing and later other single-handed exercises
At a later date more experienced kettle bell practitioners may work on overhead presses with the 32 kg plus may need to bridge the gap between the 16 kg and 24 kg with a 20 kg for single-handed exercises. I have to say that I’ve learned the hard way and bought lots of kettle bells that turned out to be completely useless.
Here are one brand that I have consistently used over the past few years without any problems, they are very reasonably priced and available on Amazon.com in the USA: For those based in the UK, head on over to Wilkerson Fitness and check out their black series of kettle bells.
Cast Iron kettle bells are the most diverse and excellent for beginners and almost anyone not interested in going in to competition. If you are more advanced and want to focus on purely single-handed exercises than the competition kettle bell may be for you.
I’ve also outlined above what size kettle bell women should use and also the recommend starting weights for men too. 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.
It’s also designed so that kettle bells of different weights will rest on the same place on your forearm, regardless of their size—this is preferred by advanced users for one-handed work. Finally, we like that Kettle bells USA often has the Matrix Elite on sale for just a few dollars more than our budget pick.
Besides, one of these things will basically last forever so it’s worth spending a bit more on something that’s a lot nicer to use. It also has a slightly wider base that makes it more stable to hold in a plank position—something that advanced users will appreciate.
If the goal is to learn kettle bell basics and use two-handed techniques, all of these bells are quite suitable, and being budget conscious (finding sales/free shipping) isn’t a bad route. We (Keira and I) have trained more than 800 clients in kettle bell techniques since 2008, and we’ve taught multiple instructor certifications in the US and abroad.
Kettle bell exercises combine cardiovascular and resistance training in one exercise—which means you’re improving conditioning (and burning fat) while building muscle. While they’ve been around since the early 18th century (the word first appears in a Russian dictionary from 1704), kettle bells have experienced a huge resurgence in the fitness industry in the past 10 years.
(Most recently, as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to work out at home, significant stock shortages have become the norm.) 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. My wife, master ROC trainer Keira Newton, has an awesome YouTube page with all kinds of tutorials/workouts for kettle bells.
In terms of credible resources on kettle bell techniques and workout ideas, here are a few great sources available digitally and/or in print: 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. Cast-iron bells are more comfortable for two-handed grip positions, which beginners should master before moving onto the more challenging one-handed exercises.
It’s not worth paying extra unless you actually plan on competing—a slim minority of home kettle bell users. Photo: Mark BixbyUnlike with dumbbells, adjustable kettle bells aren’t a good buy.
A kettle bell should be capable of being thrown, dropped, and even juggled, so I would opt for single-forged metal that can stand up to a beating—and stay together in the process. Also, a major frustration with adjustable kettle bells is that they don’t offer a wide enough weight range to make them ideal for many.
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.
They were extremely uneven in terms of metal handle quality, had limited weight options, and they weren’t significantly cheaper than the budget options we ended up testing—you don’t even save money on shipping. From left: Matrix Elite, CAP Cast Iron Competition, Rogue, Perform Better First Place, Dragon Door ROC.
Photo: Anton BrkicOur testing group, which consisted of myself and five members of the high school varsity baseball team I coach, worked with all five bells at the beginner/intermediate level and did only two-handed moves (dead lifts, squats, presses, high pulls, and swings). However, if a person is interested in exploring the full range of what kettle bell exercises have to offer (including the kettle bell snatch, which in lab testing has yielded a remarkable rate of burning 20.2 calories a minute over a 20-minute workout—the same rate of caloric burn as a 6-minute mile pace), a premium bell like the Matrix bell is definitely what they should opt for.
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.
In fact, its dimensions are identical except for the extra half inch of flat base diameter on the bottom of the Perform Better bell. This means it performs identically, but is easier to hold in a push-up position for the sometimes-precarious renegade row —typically done with two kettle bells of the same size.
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 Tim Peterson, Chief Instructor for Titrant, has created a great post for us about selecting your kettle bell.
Kettle bells are a great tool, that can be used for strength work, hypertrophy, conditioning, power, and endurance. 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. More importantly, and again something that affects beginners more than experienced lifters, is that the larger size body rests on the meat of the forearm rather than the bone protrusion of the wrist, which is right where the smaller body of a lighter kettle bell will sit.
I can hear the naysayers now — “No pain, no gain,” or “Suck it up buttercup!” Well, I have personal experience 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.
This back to basics aesthetic is more than just appealing — turns out kettle bells are some of the most functional pieces of equipment you can incorporate into your training. No matter if you’re looking to get started with your first bell tomorrow or want a quick refresher on every reason why the kettle bell is a versatile and fantastic training tool, look no further.
A kettle bell is a type of free weight that is round with a flat base and an arc-shaped handle. For this reason, bells can be thrown, pressed, swung, or moved in hundreds of ways.
Because they’re so small and portable, it’s easy to incorporate kettle bells into all kinds of training. Kettle bells help engage and activate several muscle groups at once, making the benefits of using them in training extensive.
No matter your fitness level, it’s easy to find the right starting weight of a kettle bell and begin training. The number of benefits is surprising, and given all you can do with one single bell, the kettle bell is one of the most underrated fitness tools around.
If you feel like your current programming has stalled, or you’re looking for a way to refresh your fitness, you might consider adding in kettle bells for the following reasons. Enhances flexibility Kettle bell swings are hard to master because a lot is going on in each movement.
Every time you swing, you engage your glutes, which then first activates and then relaxes your hip flexors. Over time, dedicated kettle bell training might help combat the ever-pressing issue of sitting too much and improve overall hip flexibility.
Kettle bells can be used for strength, endurance, balance training, and overall flexibility — the factors which are commonly referred to as the four main aspects of fitness. Having strong stabilizer muscles in all ranges of motion and an increase in core power means that your athleticism will skyrocket in no time.
There are a few challenges with picking a kettle bell weight, depending on your training experience. For either instance, the best thing to do is toss aside your perception of weight training and explore using a kettle bell as something new, different, and progressive.
As with all things' fitness, this choice is primarily based on personal experience, current conditioning, and ongoing training. For ballistic lifts that rely a lot on power, it’s possible to use a heavier kettle bell than with grind movements like Turkish get -ups and windmills.
Other factors to consider include your overall fitness, current training programs, and your overall experience with weight lifting. For average men with a semi-active lifestyle, a good kettle bell startup kit might include bells between 8-10 kg for grind movements and 12-14 kg for ballistic lifts.
But, if your brand new to fitness and haven’t picked up any kind of weight in a very long time, it’s best to start light and move up from there. For the average woman, it’s a good idea to make sure that your bell weight challenges you.
The myth that heavy kettle bells will make you bulky is so old and dated that it should be put on pension already, but somehow it continues to exist. For ballistic movements like swings, the average active woman might start with kettle bells between 8-10 kg.
Grind movements like windmills require more precision, so much like with men, kettle bell weight selection here is lower. Choose a bell that you can press overhead easily 8-10 times with fluid control.
As mentioned, the starting weight you choose will be based on your kettle bell experience and your overall fitness and strength level. Ultimately, this distinction determines whether you want to purchase a “competition” kettle bell or one created for general fitness.
The advantage of a competition bell is that it won’t slide around, and the shape is always consistent, no matter the weight. But, since they’re designed for just one hand, any two-handed movements (like goblet squats or other beginner exercises) are inaccessible.
Steel kettle bells are great for high-rep workouts because of the wide, flat base and the uniform size. When a kettle bell is made from iron, it can range widely in size, depending on the weight.
That means that the manufacturer uses a specific mold to precisely cast the kettle bell at the correct weight. Handles that are overly thick will tire out your forearms before the rest of your body fatigues.
More comfort overhead and in the rack position means better workouts over time. Intermediate and advanced kettle bell users can cut down rest times to make it more intense.
One-Arm Press — Using the same foot placement as for a goblet squat, start by holding your kettle bell in one hand at shoulder level. Rubber coated and made from cast iron, the Body Revolution Kettle bell is a great choice if you already know that you want a bell for general fitness.
The wide handle makes it easy to held and very comfortable in the front rack position. But, if you’re working out in a top floor flat, the neoprene coating and bottom might be helpful to keep down the noise.
The Gorilla Sports Contract kettle bell starts at just 2 kg and moves all the way up to 20 kg, so chances are there’s a bell to suit your fitness level. Things we don’t like Plastic coating, compressed cement filling Has a flat bottom base
Summary If your brand new to kettle bells and don’t want to dish out for something of higher quality, you might consider purchasing this bell just to find out whether you like the movements and the training. It’s made from cast iron and a rubber base, so no need to worry about nicking the floor.
Summary This adjustable kettle bell features a very wide horn, so it’s great for two-handed movements. It would be nice if the handle were just a little thicker, but grip strength is easily bulked up with additional gym chalk.
Bionic Body reinvented the kettle bell when they added a soft material to the outside. Now you don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting yourself with your bell and leaving a big bruise.
Things we don’t like Handle is a little narrow and thin for optimal use Bell shape isn’t standard, so it might take some adjustment Summary This a definitely a twist on the standard kettle bell so it takes some getting used to if you’re accustomed to training with a typical bell.
The padding on the outside makes this a great choice if you’re working on pass-through movements like Figure 8s or you’re trying to perfect your Turkish Get Up. Develop explosive hip hinge movements that help you take you Olympic lifts to the next level.
Or, use kettle bell training helping develop a strong core and intense cardio capacity. The flat bottom is good for setting the bell on the floor but can make the weight feel a little off balance.
Kettle bells are a versatile tool to add to any training program, no matter your fitness goals. By constantly having to recheck your center of gravity, you challenge your cardio and can work several muscle groups at once.
Bridging the gap between strength and cardio can reduce your overall training time and ensures you never miss a workout. 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.
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. Of course if you are 250 lbs and have been lifting weights all your life, feel free to buy whatever size bell you want to!
If you are not active and do not consider yourself to be “in shape” you might want to start with a 12 kg — 26 lb kettle bell. For controlled, grinding movements like Turkish Get -ups and windmills you should choose a kettle bell that you can easily press overhead about 8-10 times.
Out of shape, inactive men should try an 8 kg — 18 lb kettle bell. 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. For ballistic movements like kettle bell swings, cleans and snatches an average, active women should start with a kettle bell between 8 kg — 18 lb and 12 kg — 26 lb.
As with men, for controlled, grinding movements like Turkish Get -ups and windmills you should choose a kettle bell that you can easily press overhead about 8-10 times. 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. The answers to these questions depend on many factors including your gender, fitness level, and what type of kettle bell exercise you’re doing.
However, if you have a lot of experience with weight training and can bench press over 200lbs, you can try starting with a 40lb kettle bell. A 40lb kettle bell is roughly equivalent to a 20 kg weight, FYI A man who is older or out of shape should start at about 25lbs.
Learning proper form is extremely important in kettle bell training, and starting with too high of a weight can lead to injury quickly. However, if you have a lot of experience with weight training and can bench press over 200lbs, you can try starting with a 40lb kettle bell.
Learning proper form is extremely important in kettle bell training, and starting with too high of a weight can lead to injury quickly. However, women who have previous weight training experience may want to start with a 25lb bell.
You want to make sure you have enough weight to get a good workout in, but not so much that you sacrifice learning form. Some grind style exercises include overhead press, squats, and dead lifts.
Some examples of ballistic exercises include swings, snatches, cleans, and jerks. While these are the two major categories, there are also some varieties that include combinations of grind and ballistic movements.
If the weight is too light you can use your muscles incorrectly and never learn proper form. This is because with grinds you are working more slowly and targeting more specific muscle groups.
Ballistic exercises use the full body and therefore require a heavier weight. A trained eye will ensure you’re using proper form and let you know if a weight is too light or too heavy.
When you begin kettle bell strength training you will probably notice yourself getting stronger relatively quickly. If you notice your training getting easier, you may want to increase the weight you are using so that you can continue to improve.
This is a pretty big jump so don’t get discouraged if moving up is harder than you expected. Save yourself from potential injuries by improving your form before you go for the bigger weights.
Make sure you’re practicing your technique for each exercise regularly before you move up, especially if you’re starting with a beginner’s routine. Testing your progress by maxing out should be done sparingly, as it takes your body time to recover after doing this.
The main factors to consider when choosing the proper kettle bell weight are your gender and fitness level. Overall remember to put your form and technique first in your training and you should be increasing your weight before you know it!