Kettlebell – everything you need to know about it
Kettlebell ball weights are a great tool for working on strength, conditioning, power or muscle mass. They are perfect for the home gym, as they do not take up much space. And their versatility means that (depending on our goals) they can be useful both as a complement to the training of triathletes or bodybuilders, as well as the main training element. This is one of the reasons why this cannonball-like device is so popular.
What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Kettlebell
Kettlebell training has gained popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in building strength, endurance, and overall fitness. If you’re looking to jump on the kettlebell bandwagon but don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. One of the most common questions beginners ask is, “Which kettlebell should I buy first?” In this article, we’ll help you answer that question.
Advantages of kettlebells
The biggest advantage of kettlebells is their versatility and functionality.
In addition to this, the important advantages are that:
- We have the possibility to hold the kettlebell with an open hand. This makes it easier to hold it (e.g. in overhead pressing, grip strength will not be a limiting factor for your performance);
- The shifted centre of gravity allows you to engage the deep muscles of the torso more strongly;
- The spherical shape increases freedom of movement. For example: the barbell in the deadlift forces a specific exercise path. The same happens with the overhead press on a barbell, where the positioning of the arms is dictated by its shape. With kettlebell weights, there is no such problem;
- It takes up relatively little space (unless you are a collector of all weights);
- Ideally suited to power-oriented exercises, as they are simpler to learn than the equivalent barbell exercises (such as the deadlift and snatch);
- Most exercises end in an overhead or shoulder position (rack position) and allow for a smooth transition from one exercise to the next, creating so-called ‘complexes’. This style of training allows for a shorter training unit;
- Ballistic exercises like swinging and ripping can greatly improve grip strength;
- We burn fat faster using them (training with this instrument consumes a lot of calories);
- There are pieces in different weights (the weight starts at 4 kg, then 8 kg, 12 kg, etc.).
- In addition, an important advantage of kettlebells is that, by exercising with them regularly, we improve the efficiency of our organism, strengthen the muscles in our forearms, activate deep muscles and also correct postural defects.
Disadvantages of kettlebells
In order to progress in your exercises, you need to own more and bigger weights. These products have a weight increment of 4 kg (although some manufacturers offer kettlebells with an increment of 2 kg). For a man starting at 16kg, this means gradually buying 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40kg or even 44kg and 48kg if he wants to focus on kettlebell training.
Gyms usually have a range of 4-28kg, which is more than enough for most fitness groups. Contrary to what you might think, you can still do a lot in this weight range. However, compared to a barbell, to which you only need to add more plates of weight, this can be a considerable disadvantage. In addition, weights offer too little load when it comes to some strength exercises and more (e.g. the deadlift is performed at a relatively heavy weight). Therefore, it is a good idea to supplement your kettlebell collection with other tools such as a barbell or a bar.
A separate issue, although concerning the disadvantages of this instrument, are the cheap kettlebell models, which may have burrs on the surface or simply be an uncomfortable object that does not want to fit well in the hand – such kettlebells are discouraged, unfortunately the equipment must cost its price to be sure that it was made correctly. Also, when buying equipment from an online shop, check if the shop has good reviews among customers, and you will find plenty of such information by simply typing the name of the online shop into a search engine. If there is no information about it, it is best to refrain from buying, because we will not be sure what kind of company we are dealing with.
Understanding Kettlebell Weight Measurements
Before we dive into which kettlebell you should buy first, it’s essential to understand how kettlebell weights are measured. Kettlebells are usually measured in kilograms (kg), which can be a bit confusing for those used to working with pounds (lbs).
To convert kg to lbs, multiply the kg weight by 2.2. So, for example, a 16kg kettlebell would weigh roughly 35 lbs. It’s important to note that kettlebell weights typically increase in 4kg increments, which is roughly 9lbs.
Kettlebell Weight Recommendations for Beginners
When it comes to choosing the right kettlebell weight for you, it’s essential to consider your fitness level and experience with kettlebell training. As a beginner, it’s best to start with a weight that you can handle comfortably while still challenging your muscles.
Here are some general weight recommendations for beginners based on fitness level:
- Beginners: 8kg – 12kg
- Intermediate: 12kg – 16kg
- Advanced: 16kg – 24kg
It’s essential to note that these are general recommendations and may vary based on personal fitness level and experience.
The Best Kettlebell for Beginners
Based on the weight recommendations above, the best kettlebell for beginners is usually between 8kg and 12kg. Here are some of our top picks for beginners:
|Kettlebell Brand||Kettlebell Weight||Price Range|
|AmazonBasics Vinyl Coated Kettlebell||8kg, 10kg, 12kg||$20 – $30|
|Kettle Gryp||N/A (Transforms Dumbbells into Kettlebells)||$35 – $40|
|TRX Training Kettlebell||8kg, 12kg, 16kg||$55 – $70|
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Kettlebell
When choosing a kettlebell, there are several factors to consider, including:
Material: Kettlebells are typically made of cast iron, but some are coated in vinyl or rubber. Cast iron kettlebells are more durable, while vinyl or rubber-coated kettlebells are better for home use and are quieter when dropped.
Handle: You want a kettlebell handle that is comfortable and smooth to grip. Some kettlebells come with a textured handle for better grip.
Weight Increments: As mentioned earlier, most kettlebells increase in 4kg increments. However, some brands offer different weight increments, which is something to consider when choosing a kettlebell.
Brand: Like with any product, some brands are better than others when it comes to kettlebells. Do your research to find a brand that is known for producing quality kettlebells.
Kettlebell training is an excellent way to improve your fitness and overall health. When choosing your first kettlebell, it’s essential to consider your fitness level and experience with kettlebell training. Start with a weight that is challenging but still comfortable to handle.
Consider factors such as material, handle, weight increments, and brand when choosing a kettlebell. With the right kettlebell, you can start reaping the benefits of kettlebell training and take your fitness to the next level.