The difference between the various kettlebells may not seem obvious right away which is why we created this guide to bring you through all that you need to know when choosing the right kettlebell— but first, let's take a look at the basics.
What are kettlebells
Kettlebells are either a cast iron or steel ball with a handle on top of it. Unlike the dumbbell, the kettlebells centre of gravity is not even, so you work different muscles. They are primarily used for strength training but are also suitable for ballistic exercises— this is a combination of cardio, strength, and flexibility training.
Why using a kettlebell is a great workout
It increases your power endurance: Using a kettlebell helps you develop power in your arms. It differs slightly from strength as power endurance enables you to sustain quick, powerful movements over an extended period.
Changing centre of gravity: As the centre is lower than your grip on the kettlebell, it will help you contend with the changing centre of gravity and adjust where needed.
Strong Grip: To use a kettlebell, you'll need to develop a strong grip. It will also increase the strength you have in your forearms, giving you an overall stronger grip.
Is it one size fits all?
With kettlebells, it is not a one-size-fits-all product. Kettlebells come in different weights and materials. You need to consider a few things when choosing one, including handles, material, and weight amounts.
Choosing a Kettlebell
The first thing you need to find out is which weight you need. Men usually go for kettlebells that are too heavy for them, while women tend to go for kettlebells that are too light for them. For active men, we recommend going for a weight between 16kg to 20kg, while athletic men should go for 16kg to 24kg. An inactive man should start between an 8kg to 12kg kettlebell.
For active women, we recommend going for a weight between 8kg to 12kg, and an athletic woman should go for 12kg to 16kg. For an inactive woman, 6kg to 13kg is a good starting point.
It is essential not to get one too heavy as it can cause damage to your body, while going too light is pointless when looking to increase your strength.
Moving on from the weight, another important aspect is the material of the kettlebell. There are a few to choose from:
Cast iron kettlebells consist of one solid piece of metal, and depending on the weight, the size will increase with it. Using a cast-iron kettlebell is a great way to begin kettlebell training as it allows for two-handed exercises.
There are a few key differences in using a competition kettlebell. For one, the size of the competition grade kettlebells remains the same, and the handle is a lot smaller, so if you are looking to do two-handed exercises, this one is not for you. These kettlebells are great for stability as your hands don’t slide around as there is limited space.
A major benefit of these is having the size of the kettlebell and handle remain the same which makes it an easier transition when you are upping your weights.
The only difference between a traditional handle and chrome handle kettlebells is that the chrome is softer on your hands, so it is easier to use in general than the steel handle counterpart.
Why not check out our Kettlebell Bundles to get a range of kettlebell weights!
What to avoid
There are a few things you need to look out for when you are choosing a kettlebell, and there are also a few things you need to avoid at all costs, otherwise you may be left with a sub standard kettlebell.
Too thick handles
When getting a kettlebell, always be sure you can wrap your hand completely around the handle. Having the handle too thick will quickly tire your hand and forearm out. Always check the diameter for the handle before buying to be sure.
Too narrow handles
If you are only starting, you need enough room for both hands to fit on the kettlebell. If it's too narrow and you can only hold one hand on the handle, doing the exercise you want can be challenging.
Kettlebells with added sections
A kettlebell should be naturally rounded with a flat bottom. It should never come with a base or bottom part attached to keep it steady on the ground. We recommend you stay away from them if you see something like that as they won't be made of the best quality.
Space between the handle and base
Make sure the kettlebell has enough space between the kettlebell's body and the handle. If it doesn't, then you will find that it may dig into your wrist. Similarly, if it is too much space if you are doing overhead exercises, it may dig into your forearm when working out.
It is not difficult to find the perfect kettlebell for your workouts, and the tips in this post should help you with that. Remember, though, this is just a guide, and weights may vary. Everyone is different, and what suits one person may not the next. We hope this guide helps you decide which kettlebell is right for you.
Want to know more about the benefits of kettlebells? Check out our blog post on the Benefits of Kettlebells (Including 4 Killer Kettlebell Workouts)