How to Choose and Buy Your First Kettlebell
Whether you prefer not to struggle for kettlebells in the gym, or just want to work out at home, one well-chosen kettlebell will be versatile, compact, and quite cost-effective. You just have to sift through countless sizes, brands, styles, and weights. Here’s how to determine what is important and what is not.
We’ve already discussed why kettlebells are so cool and everything you can do with them. You might even be willing to add it to your home gym, or install dorm room weights. But of course, every time you buy your own hardware, it’s important to consider how much you want to spend.
Well, get ready to spend between $ 50 and $ 300 for just one weight. A single weight is not an easy investment, although the price varies depending on the design, weight (kilograms or poods ) and brand. It’s tempting to do high-end stuff, but you really don’t need the best kettlebell when you’re just starting out. You want quality, however, because trying to save a few dollars will literally hurt you down the road (we’ll come back to that later).
Some kettlebells are made for competition
The marketplace is filled with weights of all shapes and sizes, made of vinyl, cast iron, or steel and covered in different colors. Some of these differences, such as the width of the handle and the size of the kettlebell, can make a big difference, while others are gimmicks or intended for competition.
Usually, traditional cast iron kettlebells (the all-black ones found in the gym) get bigger as the weight increases. A 16 kg kettlebell will be larger, not just heavier, than an 8 kg kettlebell.
On the other hand, competition kettlebells have the same dimensions for all weights: an 8kg kettlebell will be the same size, including bell shape, base and handle width, as a 32kg or 48kg kettlebell. Some competition kettlebells, such as the Perform Better , are color-coded (in line with international standards) to help you quickly distinguish a specific weight from a set.
Standard weights are not necessarily better. They ensure that your exercise technique stays the same between workouts and competitions. For example, you would know that during the cleaning weights each time the weight will be in the same place on your forearm, irrespective of changes in weight or grade. Because they are made of steel, they last longer. Competition with kettlebells is a great option if you see very serious kettlebell training in the future.
Choose your starting kettlebell weight
Starting light – it’s a win-win when training with weights , but with weights is better to work a little harder than you think. This way you can practice your technique, get stronger, and not outgrow it too quickly.
Start with 8-16 pounds and see what it feels like. If you’re on the stronger side because you’ve been resistance training for a long time, try 20 or 24 kilograms. This is not an exact science. You would probably check the weight of a kettlebell by lifting it like a dumbbell and thinking, “Wow, this is tough!” But don’t think about using kettlebells the same way you would using dumbbells. When you do a kettlebell exercise like swing , snatch , brush, orturkish GET up the box , you use your entire upper body, legs for grip, and your core to keep you from twisting up like a pretzel. In other words, you are using multiple muscle groups instead of an isolated muscle group, as in a typical dumbbell exercise.
With this in mind, a kettlebell that may seem too heavy, for example, for lifting dumbbells for biceps, will not be too heavy for kettlebell swings. It is heavy enough for you to practice the jerky hip movements to propel the kettle forward, but not light enough that you end up using the muscles during the exercise rather than doing it with good technique and benefit.
Don’t overlook the kettlebell handle, this is a very important feature
We all want to save money, but there’s a less obvious reason to spend a little more on a quality weight: a good handle that won’t get your hands dirty.
When you are doing hundreds, maybe even thousands of reps, with the handle floating and sliding over your hands, there is a heck of a price to pay for the roughness of the handle. You can of course wear gloves, but they can also interfere with your exercise technique. Pay particular attention to the handle of the kettlebell, including the bottom of the kettlebell, and make sure it is level. Bigger kettlebell manufacturers like Vulcan and Rogue Fitness usually take care of this, but cheaper kettlebells often don’t. You will still have calluses, but in general, your hands will be grateful to you.
A high-quality handle should be comfortable, but at the same time of the appropriate size and thickness (typically 35 millimeters), have sufficient space between the handle and the main bell (ideally about 55 millimeters), be sanded and smooth. It may not be too smooth, however, because after 20 or so reps, your hands are sweaty and you find it difficult to hold a good grip.
A good weight should last a long time
Weights will last you a long time, especially if you buy cast iron or steel. Painted ones can chip more. You can find more affordable vinyl or plastic weights, but the disadvantages outweigh any money saved. Cheaper kettlebells usually do not conform to any standard shape or size, which in turn changes the mechanics of kettlebell exercises and makes them nothing more than glorified dumbbells. Sometimes there is not enough space between the handle and the ball for you to hold it comfortably.
If you plan on competing at some point, it might be worth looking at the more expensive competition kettlebells from Perform Better or Bells of Steel. If you do it just for fun and overall fitness, you will approach the traditional cast iron weight, for example, from Apollo , Onnit , Vulcan or the Perform the Better . You still plan on spending around $ 100 on most of these weights, but if you think you’ll be using yours a lot, then the price tag is worth it. As a side note: if you are an avid collector of kettlebells or sports equipment, this Marvel Hero Elite Iron Man kettlebell is pretty cool and can be quite practical (full disclosure, I got one sent and found it sturdy and well made. Is definitely a cool collectible. if you have extra money).
You can make the kettlebell yourself, but the handle can break or cut your hands. It’s better to think of DIY kettlebells as a temporary fix or as an introduction to kettlebell exercises until you have a budget for a well-made one. You can find adjustable weights or weights that are made up of two or more pieces. I would not recommend them for serious kettlebell training because they are less safe and less safe. This guide from Garage Gym offers a lot in terms of buying kettlebells .
If you’re ordering online, shipping costs are killer, so it’s usually best to find a local retailer or sports equipment store that has famous brands. My friends are very lucky with Craigslist – you never know when someone might lay a great kettlebell. Also, look out for some manufacturers who sometimes offer free shipping as a promotion, which can result in a significant discount off the final price. Of course, you can always count on Amazon to provide free shipping for some of your kettlebell purchases.
When it comes to buying a kettlebell, it is very helpful to know what you want from it. They are pleasant to eat, but they are also not a change.
Update: We have mistakenly flagged sports kettlebells from several manufacturers that no longer sell sports kettlebells and replaced them with new companies that do sell in this article.