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When Is A Kettlebell Too Heavy

author
Maria Garcia
• Tuesday, 13 October, 2020
• 16 min read

By now you’ve discovered the benefits of working out with kettle bells! You’ve purchased your first kettle bell or have been using a friend’s or one at your gym.

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Contents

Poor Form! Chances are, if this question enters your mind, then you’re probably ready! Of course, depending on the move or sequence, you’re going to be able to lift, press, or swing different weights.

If you’re just now shopping for your first kettle bell and have found this article while trying to figure out the proper weight, then my suggestion is to grab whatever weight you have access to, whether dumbbell or kettle bell, and press it over your head. Now if you’re just starting out and feeling a little timid about choosing a heavier weight, then know this: after a couple of weeks of consistent training, you’re going to definitely need a heavier weight to feel the same result.

Trust me, if you’re in the 10-53 lb kettle bell range like most people, then you’re never going to be the next Arnold! Oh, and one more thing: don’t get rid of the kettle bells that you’ve outgrown.

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.

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Tighten your abs, lock your rib cage to your pelvis, and keep it there for the duration of your walk. Walk either for distance or time; 20-30 yards or 30 seconds is a good start.

The suitcase setup and execution is exactly the same as the farmer's carry, with the obvious exception of having that extra kettle bell for balance. 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.

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.

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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.

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Until then, just keep picking up those heavy beasts, squeezing your core for all it's worth, and holding on for dear life. So let’s say you wanted to translate some of your regular barbell work to kettle bells, things like snatches, presses, jerks, cleans etc.

More flexibility in the shoulders is also required for overhead work. For example if you’re doing overhead squats, you’ll have to position the weights right above your shoulders and there is no pull apart ‘V’ that can be created.

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Owner of Caveman training and Kettle bell Training Education. Hey guys, I have a pretty hectic schedule being a law student and all, and I've recently felt like I was incredibly out of shape and just barely scrapping by without it really being detrimental to my overall look.

My cousin purchased a kettle bell recently, and I had the opportunity to try it, and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I actually enjoyed doing the exercises and I could really feel it work all over my body.

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The thing is, my cousin got a 25 pound Kettle bell, which is the size for “stronger women”. I actually found the 25 pound one to be heavy for me (I'm really out of shape, but it won't take much for me to get back into shape) and it created a lot of resistance when I did exercises.

Should I worry about it and play it safe, get the 25 pound one and upgrade down the line? You can always Craigslist the small one if the money is that big a problem for you. In cycling, the equivalent would be trying to use the bike's longest, fastest gear all the time when you're not strong enough to turn it; this is known to mess up your knees if you do it a lot.

I use a pair of 24 kg and 32 kg kettle bells for my routines, though I have some that only use one (Turkish setups, windmills, one arm variations of squats, clean and press). Since you're soft, start off light and don't hurt yourself. Well the videos I've downloaded so far show techniques with only 1 kettle bell.

Money isn't a huge issue, but if I can stop myself from having to upgrade after only a month or two, I will. I just don't know of any stores near me that sell them (the ones that do are pretty far, in the outskirts of the city) so it's hard for me to really go somewhere to test them out.

You rest 30 seconds between each individual workout. I use the 30s for single arm work (presses, rows, etc) and the 50s for cleans, swings, squats, etc.

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That's actually a pretty good idea maybe I should get the 35 founder at least for stuff involving both arms using one bell They might look like iron casts with handles, but they are the most efficient type of workout equipment you can have in your collection.

Ever since its invention in Ancient Greece, Kettle bells have been known to offer numerous health benefits like encouraging core stability. For men and women who are active and athletic, the kettle bell weight they should purchase should be higher.

Therefore, make sure that before you buy any weight kettle bell, the handle has undergone flashing. Handling flashing is the process of filing down the hands’ underside, leaving the surface smooth.

If it has sharp edges, don’t purchase it as this can injure your hands as you work out. If it’s uncomfortable or too tight when you place both hands, don’t buy that dumbbell.

Be careful in purchasing plastic kettle bells, they may appear like the best option because of their affordability, but they do come with their drawbacks. In truth, the number of kettle bells you have doesn’t influence your workout routine.

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Starting with one kettle bell allows you to master proper form and technique for each exercise. The primary reason why experts recommend the use of one kettle bell is because it fully integrates your body during every workout.

However, once you can comfortably perform the proper technique and form for each exercise, you can add the second kettle bell. Therefore, make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew when choosing the kettle bell weight to purchase.

Greetings, last year I started with a 16 kg kettle bell but injured my back due to stupidity in technique, so I gave it a go again last month with a lighter weight and went with an 8 kg. I have experienced some weight loss with the garbage around my waist starting to fade but I have not gained any muscle.

I can still see my rib cage and my neck looks like what you see on Bill Clinton and Al Sharpton. I believe I am ready to move on now to a higher weight as the 8 kg feels at times like swinging a doll but am I looking for one that would help both with cardio and boosting muscle growth.

The 24 kg and 32 kg seem more of a preferred choice among those who have experienced solid gains and developed transformations but I'm not sure if that is too big a leap. Basically, I'd like to hear about your individual experiences on what weight(s) you have used to notice a growth in your physique.

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I am able to work the 40 kg on some moves (swings, goblets & TGU) but still use the 24 a lot. I am able to work the 40 kg on some moves (swings, goblets & TGU) but still use the 24 a lot.

Level 9 Valued Member Master Certified Instructor Greetings, last year I started with a 16 kg kettle bell but injured my back due to stupidity in technique, so I gave it a go again last month with a lighter weight and went with an 8 kg.

I have experienced some weight loss with the garbage around my waist starting to fade but I have not gained any muscle. I can still see my rib cage and my neck looks like what you see on Bill Clinton and Al Sharpton.

I believe I am ready to move on now to a higher weight as the 8 kg feels at times like swinging a doll but am I looking for one that would help both with cardio and boosting muscle growth. The 24 kg and 32 kg seem more of a preferred choice among those who have experienced solid gains and developed transformations but I'm not sure if that is too big a leap.

Level 9 Valued Member Elite Certified Instructor This is quite helpful and yes, I am also limited financially, so I am looking for a weight which I will not outgrow fairly quickly.

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“Beginner” has a very wide range of physical starting states, even if all people are equally new to kettle bells. As to brand, I think most are likely OK for 2 hand swings, but I can say for sure that Rogue is good.

swing, welcome to Strongest Greetings, last year I started with a 16 kg kettle bell ... I believe I am ready to move on now to a higher weight as the 8 kg feels at times like swinging a doll but am I looking for one that would help both with cardio and boosting muscle growth.

I am able to work the 40 kg on some moves (swings, goblets & TGU) but still use the 24 a lot. Obviously the selection of lifts should be thought through carefully (to avoid trauma) and training has to be planned.

I started my Strongest journey with the purchase of a 24 and a Kindle copy of Simple&Sinister. “Beginner” has a very wide range of physical starting states, even if all people are equally new to kettle bells.

It describes how to progress. As to brand, I think most are likely OK for 2 hand swings, but I can say for sure that Rogue is good. I purchased a used copy of Simple & Sinister from Casebooks and hope to receive it by early next week.

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Best, swing, welcome to Strongest I take it you already own a 16 kg bell and if 8 kg is too light, why not just go with the 16 kg and continue progressing. I would consider buying another 16 kg but would prefer a weight that would stay challenging for a while and help with building muscle.

Do any of you have any experiences with the Pavel Brand kettle bells that are sold on the Strongest online store? For hypertrophy, you need a heavier KB than whatever you're comfortably doing volume with now (progressive overload).

Set Simple as your objective goal & let the The come with it (Help Me Screw Things Up). My wife yelled at me when the FedEx guy was struggling up the driveway with double 32s.....

To add to the already good suggestions above, if you only want to do swing, and you really only can afford one kettle bell, the 24 should probably be your go-to bell for now. 16 will be outgrown very fast in most cases for men, unless you have existing medical conditions or are of very small build.

If you then cannot add more kettle bells, you can do the progression: dead lifts (to practice hinging, bracing, ..., you will get the drills in SAS), 2 hands swings, 1 hand swings, snatch (you may or may not need a lighter kettle bell to learn the snatch though). If you also want to do other moves that involve arm and shoulder muscles (TGU, press, ...), you will probably also need at least the 16, unless you are already quite strong.

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I own and have used a selection of DragonDoor, Rogue, and Perform Better cast iron bells, and competition bells from Kettle bell Kings and Kettle bells USA (as well as briefly handling a number of other brands). They may be usable for two-arm swings, but none of them are comfortable. And I think chasing big bells for two arm swings is not an economic strategy, and not necessary to any training goals.

For overloading swings specifically, a T-handle (manufactured or DIY) is much more economical (and comfortable). New York Barbell has these TDS wide handle kettle bells for sale.

I haven't used one, so I can't speak to their fit and finish but the handles look wider than normal in the picture. The question I would be asking myself is... “have I corrected my form issues?” You said you screwed your back up with a 16 kg and poor technique so you bought a 8k.

You can get away with it with light weight but moving up to a 24 kg is just asking for more trouble if your form isn’t spot on. 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.

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.

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.

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Sources
1 www.simplefitnesshub.com - https://www.simplefitnesshub.com/can-you-do-kettlebell-training-every-day/
2 www.marathon-crossfit.com - http://www.marathon-crossfit.com/blog/can-i-kettlebell-train-everyday-article