You may have noticed kettlebells in your gym, or on sale at the local fitness store. In fact, they’re pretty hard to miss. They look like a cannonball with a handle attached. You’ve probably wondered what their purpose is. After all, they just look so uncomfortable – far more so than the rack of dumbbells that you’ve come to know and love.
The reality is that kettlebells are one of the most effective pieces of workout equipment you can use. In this article, we’ll identify the best kettlebells on the market now – and we’ll discover just how you can benefit from the kettlebell advantage.
Summary: The Best Kettlebells
Kettlebell training is practical because it combines the benefits of muscle toning, cardio conditioning, and muscular endurance. This will lead to increased strength and power, improved flexibility and range of motion, fat loss, and increased muscle mass. There is no other single exercise device that gives all of these things at the same time.
When you swing the kettlebell, you eccentrically load the muscles of your thighs. This leads to a powerful hip thrust motion, which is basic to all kinds of athletic movements, including running, jumping, squatting, and kicking. It also develops a healthy lower back.
The offset center of gravity of the kettlebell is great for shoulder strength and flexibility. The rounded handle really develops handgrip and forearm strength. The shape of the handle also allows you to move the bell from hand to hand in a juggling motion.
The design of the kettlebell, with its ball and handle arrangements, allows you to not only perform traditional weight lifting moves such as the press, clean and jerk, snatch, and squat but also moves that you cannot do with traditional equipment like dumbbells, such as swings and juggling moves. With a kettlebell, the load is in front of the handle. This allows you to work through a greater range of motion than is you were using dumbbells or barbells.
When you actually try kettlebell training, you realize how engaging and enjoyable it is. It is unlike the monotony of regular weight training, allowing you the flexibility and freedom to engage your whole body – and mind.
Kettlebell training is not only extremely effective, it is also very time efficient. It combines the benefits of strength training, anaerobic and aerobic training, along with flexibility and mobility training. No longer do you have to switch from weight training to cardio. With kettlebells, you are doing them both at the same time.
Kettlebell training is also athletic training. It will teach you to move like an athlete. You will develop balance, agility, coordination, endurance, and stamina. In doing so, you will develop your skills across a whole range of sporting endeavors.
How to Choose Kettlebells
Here are some guidelines on how to choose the correct kettlebell size for your workout requirements. Please note that this also depends on the exercises you want to do.
Size for Men
- 26-pound (12 kg) kettlebells are the ideal size for men who are interested in cardio and endurance as opposed to strength training but have not been training with resistance for very long.
- 35-pound (16 kg) kettlebells are the ideal starting point for men who have been regular gym goers and are training for strength and endurance.
- 44-pound (20 kg) kettlebells are for experienced kettlebell users.
Size for Women
- 13-pound (6 kg) kettlebells are a great starting point for women who don’t work out regularly, or who tend toward light endurance training.
- 18-pound (8 kg) kettlebells are a good entry point for women who train regularly for strength and endurance.
- 26-pound (12 kg) kettlebells are the domain of highly trained and experienced female kettlebell users.
Depending on the price you pay, you may end up with a kettlebell that is made of steel, cast iron, or vinyl filled with concrete or some other material. Steel kettlebells are the strongest and longest lasting. Then comes cast iron bells. However, not all cast iron kettlebells are equal. Some are cast from a single piece of iron, while others are cast from two molds and joined together. These ones are obviously weaker than the single piece kettlebells. Vinyl kettlebells that are filled with concrete or some other material are the least robust.
Some cast iron kettlebells are covered in a rubber sleeve to protect the floor. Other may just have a rubber covering over the base of the bell. The problem with these bells is that they have a tendency to bounce when you drop them. This could be dangerous.
So, what does an effective kettlebell workout look like?
Here are a couple of example workouts to get you motivated.
First up is a full body beginner kettlebell workout.
Now, check out a 25-minute HIIT kettlebell workout designed to work the entire body while burning maximum calories.
The Sunny Health & Fitness vinyl coated kettlebell is a budget kettlebell that provides high-end features to ensure a solid workout performance, time after time. It has wide grip handles, vinyl coating protection, and is made from premium grade cast iron.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Vinyl Coated kettlebell is a budget priced kettlebell that gives you all the features you need to get a good workout. It has a wide handle, which is very smooth to provide for a secure grip with one or both hands. The vinyl coating provides floor protection and adds an element of style to the bell. The vinyl is kept well away from your hand positioning to prevent rubbing irritation.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Vinyl Coated kettlebell range is available in five different colors to let you easily identify their weight.
Value for money
The 15 lb Sunny Health & Fitness Vinyl Coated kettlebell can be purchased for around $28.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Vinyl Coated kettlebell is made from high-grade cast iron. It does have a separately forged handle, with a seam evident on the underside of the handle.
The CAP Barbell Cast Iron Kettlebell is a very strong, sturdy unit that is versatile due to its flat base design. It comes in at a very good price point. Just be aware of the narrow grip and potential for enamel flaking.
The handle and bell of the CAP Barbell Kettlebells are coated with a shiny black enamel. This gives it an impressive appearance. However, pieces of enamel can easily chip off the sides of the bell. The handle is smooth, which can facilitate a more secure grip. When sweat runs into your palm, though, it may be difficult to maintain that grip.
The handle of the CAP Barbell kettlebell is noticeably narrower than competing models. This can make two-handed swings and mid-air hand-to-hand exchanges trickier than they ought to be.
Value for money
The 15 lb cast iron kettlebell from CAP Barbell is available for around $30.
The CAP Barbell kettlebell is a solid, user-friendly bell that has been cast from iron. The handle and bell are cast as a single sturdy unit. The bottom of the kettle is flat, allowing you to use it for exercises such as push-ups.
The Yes4All is a very good kettlebell that provides the user with a wider than normal grip, smooth handle, and chip-free coating. It has a flat surface and is forged from a single piece of iron for greater strength and durability.
The Yes4All vinyl coated kettlebell features a cast iron custom fit design for extra protection. The solid steel handle is smooth, providing you with extremely comfortable grip. The handle is also wider than that provided by many competing manufacturers. This allows you to comfortably and safely grip the kettlebell for such moves as two handed kettlebell swings.
Value for money
The 15 lb Yes4All vinyl coated kettlebell is can be purchased online for under $25.
The Yes4All vinyl coated kettlebell is constructed from a single piece of iron to give you the ultimate in strength and safety. It is finished in a shiny vinyl coating to make sure that there are no rusting or chipping problems.
The SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Kettlebell is an attractive, solid iron kettlebell with a comfortable smooth wide grip handle. It is molded from a single piece of iron for maximum strength.
The SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Kettlebell is a smooth, stylish bell that is available in a range of colors that are coded by weight. This cast iron kettlebell is coated in vinyl to protect both your floor from dents and the bell from rust. It has a wide handle to allow for both single and double-handed exercises.
Value for money
The 15 lb SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Kettlebell can be purchased online for around $30.
The SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Kettlebell is a single cast iron bell with a vinyl coating.
The Tone Fitness set of 3 cement-filled kettlebells is a well-priced, attractive training option for people looking for a bargain. While cement-filled bells are not as long-lasting and durable as those forged from cast iron, they will give you at least a couple of years of reliable service.
The Tone Fitness Vinyl Kettlebell set includes 3 cement-filled kettlebells that are 5, 10, and 15 lbs. A DVD and instruction manual is included for workout tips. The kettlebells are vinyl-covered to protect your floors. They are also color-coded to make it easy to pick the resistance you need.
The kettlebell set has been redesigned for a sleeker profile and a more comfortable handgrip. The added smoothness of the handle will allow you to train without hand irritation.
They also have a flat bottom for ease of storage.
Value for money
The Tone Fitness Vinyl Kettlebell set can be bought for under $30.
The Tone Fitness range of kettlebells is filled with cement. This makes for a most cost effective alternative to the traditional cast iron kettlebell (but also not as durable).
The kettlebell is a strange-looking piece of exercise training equipment that has got everything in its favor. It is versatile, practical, unique, time-efficient and it will develop your balance, agility, coordination, and aerobic capacity like no other device. It is definitely a training style that belongs in your workout regimen.
The best kettlebells on the market feature a wide handle, a comfortable grip, an attractive design, and a robust weight. From our analysis of the market, we can say that CAP Barbell, Sunny Health and Fitness, Yes4All, and SPRI offer great kettlebells. Choosing between them will depend on your budget, your level of experience, and your personal taste.