Kettlebells are one of the best recreational and fitness tools for everyone. They offer a great workout with many different exercises, can be used pretty much anywhere, and they’re affordable!
Just what you need to get back in shape after long winter hibernation. Explore our blog post to learn more about kettlebells and how to use them effectively.
History of the Kettlebell
Kettlebell is the English word for Russian girya - an 18th-century cannonball-like metal (made of cast iron or steel) used to weigh crops, with a Russian unit of measurement called “Pood”.
The kettlebell is a ball of cast iron with “horns” that shape into a handle. The handle is used the most, but the horns are useful when different holds are needed, such as kettlebell squats.
A Pood is a Russian unit of measurement for weight, and it’s the traditional unit of measurement for Kettlebells. According to the Russian pood standard, 1 pood is equal to 35LBS of weight (1pood = 16kg = 35LBS), and it is from this equivalence, other kilogram values are obtained for Kettlebells.
Before the end of the 19th century, Russian girya had found its way into the sphere of competitive weightlifting sports in Russia and some parts of Europe. At the same time, the term “Kettlebell” was widely adopted at the dawn of the 20th century in the Western world. Nowadays, the name kettlebell is, of course, used ubiquitously around the world when referring to kettlebell sports and competition.
So, what’s special about a kettlebell compared to dumbbells and other weight training tools? A kettlebell’s weight is not distributed evenly like it is with dumbbells. This creates the need to counterbalance and stabilize your body during kettlebell exercises, which are amazing for core strength, balance, and coordination.
Benefits of Kettlebell Exercises
Many incredible benefits come from doing kettlebell exercises. Kettlebells improve overall strength, core power, balance, flexibility, and coordination while melting fat and sculpting healthy and lean muscles.
Because a kettlebell has an offset centre of gravity, usually about 6 to 8 inches away from your grip on the handle, it is harder to control. Therefore, the best kettlebell exercises are going to require strict and controlled form and body mechanics.
Here are a few other benefits of kettlebell workouts:
Combines Strength and Cardio
Kettlebells require practising ballistic exercises that combine strength, cardio, and flexibility training for a full-body workout. They’ll add extra weight while doing squats, twists, or swings, which help you build strength but also up your cardio. They also improve the range of motion while burning fat.
Improves Functional Strength
Kettlebell exercises target multiple muscle groups that help with everyday tasks and daily life. For example, the Russian twist with a kettlebell improves both back and core strength, which will help with posture and your ability to balance and lift heavy items.
Compact and Portable
Kettlebells are small, and you only need one or two to train your entire body. Because of their size and shape, they are easy to store and carry to and from the gym if desired.
Fun and Versatile Workouts
Kettlebell exercises offer a wide range of movements that target every muscle group for a total body workout. There are many exercises that can be combined in various ways to keep your everyday workout routine interesting.
What to Consider When Buying the Kettlebell Weight That’s Perfect for You?
Your weightlifting experience
You have to consider if you have had any weightlifting training before. If you are new to weight training, it’s best to start at a beginner level so you can learn proper mechanics. If you are experienced in traditional weightlifting, you will likely start at a heavier weight than those new to both weightlifting and kettlebell training.
Your reason for taking up Kettlebell training
The reason you’re training with kettlebells will also help you make a good choice when it comes to buying a Kettlebell. Is it for weight loss, more strength, flexibility or cardiovascular strength?
Your age and fitness
Age and fitness are not to be neglected at the point of choosing your Kettlebell size. Younger folks should have Kettlebell trainers and guardians with them as Kettlebell training might be harmful if care is not taken. Your age, fitness, and experience determine the type of Kettlebell training you can take on. The following are the two broad types of Kettlebell training that exist:
Kettlebell Grinds: Kettlebell training grinds include squats, presses, and deadlifts. The varieties of these three grinds include bent press, overhead press, Turkish get-up, windmills, sots press, and so on. These are called grinds because of the consistency and dedication attached to them. Kettlebell grinds are not only the best for beginners, but they are also very great for experts as their technique is perfect for building muscle and strength. For Kettlebell grinds, you don’t need to use the biggest kettlebell in the gym, all you have to do is ensure consistency with the little (or big) weight you choose.
Kettlebell Ballistics: Living up to its name, Kettlebell ballistics are very similar to the two most common human ballistic movements – jumping and throwing. These two movements are usually of two stages- a stage whereby you exert your energy and a stage whereby you leave everything to the force of gravity to complete the job – which comes first depends on whether you’re jumping or throwing. Kettlebell ballistic training includes snatches, swings (dead stop swings, two-hand swings, and one-arm swings), cleans, and more.
Quality of the Kettlebell
Well, there are a few tips about a Kettlebell that you need to know when buying a Kettlebell on the market. The following tips should be of help to a beginner:
Kettlebells have smooth handles: Not just the Handles, kettlebell Horns and Corners are also smooth. Gripping is part of Kettlebell training, after all. The obtuse shape of the handle also helps ensure a perfect grip, and some products now come with a chip-resistant coating that enhances grip and lets users see the weight written on the kettlebell through contrast.
Kettlebells have windows: As stated in its anatomy, the space between the handle and the Bell is the Kettlebell window. That distance is very important, and every potential Kettlebell trainee needs to ensure that that window is comfortable enough for them to get a convenient hold of the kettlebell.
Check for an anti-rust guarantee: Kettlebells are cast iron or steel, but some manufacturers might not ensure the right manufacturing process. Therefore, you should ascertain the existence of a guarantee for the product – to ensure your kettlebells do not rust.
What Size Kettlebell Should I Start With?
The best weight kettlebell for beginners to start with differs depending on your gender. Of course, to know the right answer to this question, we may need to ask you some questions about your body weight, age, current fitness level, and workout goals. While we’re not sure what your answers to such questions are and so we may not be able to directly give you the answer to your very personal question of “what size kettlebell is right for me as a beginner,” there are average kettlebell sizes for both male and female beginners. You’re sure to find the best answer for yourself if you continue reading.
What Size Kettlebell for Weight Loss?
What weight Kettlebell should I use to tone up, burn fat, and keep fit? A kettlebell workout is a great way to tone your body, burn fat, earn some killer abs and keep fit.
- For average active women, the best Kettlebell size for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 18LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 26LBS as you get used to the bells.
- For average active men, the best Kettlebell size for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 26LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 44LBS.
If your goal is to burn fat, you want a weight that you can use with little rest and HIIT workouts. This means you should go lighter than you would use for traditional sets and reps workouts with longer rest.
What Weight Kettlebell for Men?
When we talk about men here, we mean active males starting from the age of 18 years. In general, men can start from any weight between 24LBS to 35LBS kettlebell weight. While most men will be proud to start with something bigger and more challenging, what you start with is irrelevant in the long run. The most important thing is an improvement, the ability to fulfil your potentials as your training progresses.
Consistency is what you need to achieve your workout goals. You don’t need to do all the swings and squats that you would normally do in a week in a day. Moreover, you don’t want to pick up an injury when you venture into this game, which might become discouraging.
It is our professional recommendation that you start with a weight that is proportional to your skill level and fitness. This helps you to maintain a good form while you scale up with smiles and less stress. An average active man can start with 24LBS, while a man known to be athletic can start with 35LBS. All in all, you can’t go wrong by choosing anything in-between.
Starting with anything in this range will help you conveniently learn how to use proper techniques, whether you’re training independently or with a trainer. Then when progress beckons, as it will surely do, you scale up!
FAQs About Kettlebell Weight
Like we mentioned with men, the talk of women here refers to females starting from age 18 years. We recommend Kettlebell weights between 13LBS and 18LBS for women who are beginners.
Many women might consider this too light, but when one is considering the Kettlebell weight to carry, one needs to just carry the right one – not too light, not too heavy.
While we advise everyone to carry just enough weight, some women have been found to underestimate their strengths, opting for Kettlebell sizes that are too small.
Kettlebell exercises can be very helpful for seniors. They can help you build your strength and balance, as well as improve your cardiovascular fitness.
However, to avoid injuries, if you’re a senior just starting a workout with kettlebells, you should use lighter kettlebell weights. As you improve your form and strength, you can gradually increase the kettlebell weight you carry.
For seniors asking, “What size kettlebell should I use?” the average male senior should start with 20-26LBS, and the average female senior should start with 15-18LBS.
And it will be wiser for you to focus on cardio-based kettlebell exercises such as swings, squats, cleans, and presses because you’re no longer trying to build excessive muscles, but just enough to keep your bones together and covered. Most importantly, you’re trying to tap into the life-preserving benefits of kettlebell exercises.
One thing to keep in mind is joint health. If your joints are fragile, we recommend a lighter weight than mentioned above. If you have any doubts, be sure to ask your doctor or a physiotherapist about kettlebell training and if it’s right for you.
No doubt, Kettlebells are one of the best home gym equipment for all age groups. You can learn more about other essential home-gym equipment from our Most Effective and affordable Home-gym Equipment in Factory Weights.
Now, as a beginner, don’t rush into using two Kettlebells to start your training. You don’t have to join your friends in those two-handed swings when they started before you. Start with just a single weight and increase your reps as you get used to it. It is also an opportunity for you to learn how to grip the kettlebell conveniently.
Nonetheless, it will be best to have Kettlebells of equal or different weights at your disposal (having two is different from training with two, right?), even from the beginning. No matter what stage you are as a Kettlebell trainee, having different Kettlebell sizes will let you pick up the right weight at the appropriate time as you improve and become aware of your strength. Also, having more than one kettlebell of the same size will let you change your workout when appropriate and when you wish to do so.
So we recommend the following sets:
- For women - 18LBS, 26LBS and 35LBS Kettlebell(s)
- For Men - 26LBS, 35LBS and 53LBS Kettlebell(s)
If the poundage is more or less a couple of pounds than the above recommended, that’s fine. i.e. men can get 25, 35, and 50, and it’s pretty much all the same.
With these three sizes of weights, it will be perfectly adequate for you to do most types of Kettlebell exercises in an effective manner - ballistics, grinds/traditional movements, and flows/complexes. In addition, the varying weights will be good for the different types of exercises (i.e. for men, a 25lb kettlebell for complexes [sequence of movements], the 35lb kettlebell for ballistics, and the 53lb kettlebell for exercises like goblet squats and deadlifts).