Kettlebell Buying Guide
We have provided some good tips for purchasing a quality kettlebell for your exercise routines. This information will ensure that you choose the one that will meet all of your fitness needs.
- Only purchase cast iron kettlebells. This heavy duty material will stand up to the toughest workouts you can throw at them including those that involve throwing the kettlebell.
- Make sure the handle is made from steel and is smooth for the best and most comfortable grip. Smooth handles are better for performing such exercises as swings and cleans.
- The kettlebell handle needs to be welded to the bell section. Those that have been bolted can come loose and pose a danger to the user.
- Look for kettlebells that are all the same size regardless of the weight amount. This makes the workout more consistent so you don’t have to alter your stance or technique as you move up in weight.
- The best weight to start at is the weight that allows you to perform 8 kettlebell swings with good form without struggling hard. Women are usually able to start off with a bell that is in the 15-20 pound range and men with a 35 pound bell.
Things to Consider
Consider these different features when you are researching and looking at different kettlebells.
- Handle – The handle of the kettlebell is what you will have the most contact with. You want to be sure that it is a well made handle that has been welded to the bell and is securely attached. Bolted handles are never a good idea. Look for handles that are mostly smooth with a tiny bit of texture to prevent a lot of slipping during the workouts. On the other hand, too rough of a texture on the handle can tear up your hands. Make sure there is plenty of room for your hand to grip comfortably between the handle and the bell itself. The thickness of the handle should be the right size to strengthen the fingers, forearms, hands and wrists but you want it to be thin enough to fit around the handle without stretching or pain.
- Spacing – Look for kettlebells that have plenty of spacing between the handle and the bell. If there is not enough room, the hand can feel pinched which can cause discomfort and pain during the workout. The standard spacing is about 2.2 inches from the bottom of the handle to the top of the bell. You don’t want to have to squish your hand into the handle to use the bell.
- Durability – Cast iron is the best material for your kettlebell. Anything else is not going to have the same consistency and benefits. Cast iron kettlebells are susceptible to rust so look for those that have vinyl or enamel coating on them which offers plenty of protection.
Steel kettlebells are probably the most indestructible. They will have to sometimes be sanded to remove rust if they are used outside. Plastic and vinyl kettlebells should be passed over as they are not very sturdy. Adjustable kettlebells can also become weaker as they are adjusted to fit the workout increases. Do not get kettlebells that are covered in rubber as this can make the bells bounce which is not safe during a workout.
How many do you need?
Only start with one kettlebell if you are just getting started using them. As you get stronger you will probably want to purchase more in higher weights. Once you can do 100 repetitions of kettle swings with a particular weight, you are ready for a second one. Once you do decide to buy the second one, make sure that it is heavier than the first one.
Best Kettlebell Sizes for Men
Many men will start off with a kettlebell that is too big for them to perform the proper form with. They want to be stronger than they might be and think that starting with a lower weight is somehow un-masculine. All this does is create an opportunity for frustration and possible injury since the exercises for a kettlebell are different than those done with dumbbells or free weights.
Start off with a kettlebell that is in the 25 to 35 pound range. This is going to provide you with a good workout that you can build from. Once you are able to do 100 swings with that current weight, you can move up in weight with the next kettlebell you purchase.
Kettlebell Sizes for Women
Women tend to go the other direction when purchasing kettlebells and they will often choose a weight that is too light; sometimes exceptionally too light. Women should not worry that working out with kettlebells will give them big, bulky muscles. With the right workout, you can get the body you’ve always wanted. Women typically start off with kettlebells in the 15-20 pound range and can build up from there.
Where to Find Tips and Instructions
If you are not familiar with kettlebell workouts, you can find everything you are looking for online on Youtube or another website by doing a search. After you have purchased your kettlebell, you will want to be sure that you are using it correctly. One of the choices above offers an ebook that you can use to get started. Proper training, proper form and dedication will help you reach your goals.
Kettlebells have been around for a long time but they still may be new to some people that don’t work out around weight frequently. Even though they may look complicated to use, they are easy to master and the workout that you can get from them is top notch. If you are looking to add a good combination of weight training and cardio to your fitness routine, adding a kettlebell or two to your workouts is the way to go.
The three top rated kettlebell choices we have provided for you above are all perfect examples of the kind of quality and construction you want to look for. The information in this guide is designed to help you identify the quality products from the ones that you shouldn’t touch and to make a confident decision on a kettlebell for your needs and preferences.
Once you have worked out with one it is unlikely that you will go back to not using them. They can be fun, they are effective and they produce excellent results when used properly. A quality kettlebell will last decades so take the time to research and choose one that meets the preferences you have.