So you are thinking about starting kettlebell training. Firstly may I congratulate you upon trying this excellent full-body routine. This routine is capable of leaving you struggling for breath while your muscles are screaming at you. Prior to starting, you will need to understand which are the best kettlebell for workouts and I will explain the different types below.
The precise year kettlebells were introduced is not clear however one thing is agreed is that they first appeared in Russia approximately 300 years ago. They were originally used to weigh crops and in later years have been the favourites of circus strongmen and athletes alike, I would not recommend using medieval kettlebells as these were very crude in design as seen here.
Types of Kettlebells
Below I will explain in depth the types of kettlebells available and the limitations of each. Firstly let’s list the types available.
- Plastic Kettlebells
- Vinyl coated Kettlebells
- Cast Iron Kettlebells
- Competition Kettlebells
- Novelty Kettlebells
- Adjustable Kettlebells
- Homemade Kettlebells
- Kettlebell Handles
When looking for a Kettlebell the most important points are the weight and construction. The ideal weight for beginners should be in the range of 8kg (17lb) – 12kg (26lb) for women or 12kg (26lb) – 16kg (35lb) for men.
These Kettlebells are often the cheapest on the market and are often found used as door stops after they have been used. They offer a cheap entry into Kettlebell training however are often poos quality and lack the comfort of other types of bell. A great starting point for the beginner – Cheap but effective however I would personally limit using these when you are able to use 10kg (22lb) bells or are swinging regularly. The main downfall is their construction and a lack of denseness – Heavyweights tend to become very unwieldy
Vinyl coated Kettlebells
These are probably the most common type particularly for home use – They are metal Kettlebells that are vinyl dipped for a smooth colourful finish. The addition of colour allows you to quickly identify the correct weight and the vinyl-coated protects the bell and your floor. A great addition to any home gym and I would recommend these as the best everyday kettlebell unless you look into kettlebell competitions or which to site with tradition.
Cast Iron Kettlebells
The cast iron or traditional kettlebell is a kettlebell in its raw state – They are cast in one piece to ensure they are all weighted identically. As the
These are good enough for competition and if you find yourself working up the weights and experience I would suggest you need to purchase these. I have progressed to using two of these at 24Kg (53lb) for my double-handed swings and will be purchasing this type for all new Kettlebells. The advantages of these are that every bell is the same size and shape meaning they will always land on your forearm in the same location. They are also colour coded according to the below
- 8 kg / 18lb – Pink
- 12 kg / 26lb – Blue
- 16 kg / 35lb – Yellow
- 20 kg / 44lbs – Purple
- 24 kg / 53lbs – Green
- 28 kg / 62lbs – Orange
- 32 kg / 70lbs – Red
- 36 kg / 79lbs – Grey
- 40 kg / 88lbs – White
- 44 kg / 97 lbs – Silver
- 48 kg / 106lbs – Black
If you are looking for a bit of fun or even wish to mix up how your normal bell feels then these are great – All very well-made and if you wish can be painted for the full effect. I would question that some designs will not feel great if used for should presses or any movements which involve impacting the forearms but for swings of all types these would make an excellent fun addition to any workout.
The adjustable kettlebell could be the best kettlebell for workouts for those who are expecting to build weight quickly. It is also perfect if you do not wish to purchase lots of separate kettlebells. I like having different individual bells ( my wife says I’m a kettlebell horder). Doing so allows for quick transition without effort but this will to some be deemed the expensive option.
If you are so inclined or are low on funds, Kettlebells can be made with metal pipes or bars and usually concrete shaped into balls. I have located an excellent site that explains the process. These bells will still give you an exercise but I personally have not used one that feels quite the same as a bought item. The following link will show you how to make one for under $10/£10 – Link
If you already have a selection of small-diameter weights have a look at this kettlebell handle. You can use the weights you already own and convert them. These handles can be swung in the same manner as a kettlebell. You can still perform many exercises with this excellent idea without issue.
Choosing the best kettlebell for workouts is a lot down to your personnel preference. Budget is also a deciding factor. However, If I was pushed – The best all-around Kettlebell would be vinyl coated for general light home use. If was to purchase one now for my home gym I would buy a competition bell.
Whichever kettlebell you decide upon I have prepared reviews upon all the different types and also if you are new to Kettlebell workout head over to the “best kettlebell exercises for beginners” for a few tips on the top 5.
Please leave me a comment below particularly if you have experienced positive or negative with any of the above Kettlebells.
Enjoy your Journey
Owner and author at shortandintense.com , 25 years as a quality and health and safety professional with an in-depth knowledge of functional and corrective exercises. IHoS registered,lead auditor, personal trainer and human movement specialist.
6 thoughts on “Best kettlebell for workouts -Lets sort this out”
I must admit I have not really done much with kettlebells so I was intrigued to read your article. I didn’t know that there were so many different types that can used. I do like the idea of the adjustable ones these would be great to use from home as they would take up less room I presume. Is there a certain type that you would recommend to use if you havent used them before ?
Thank you for the comment Martin . If you are new to Kettlebells i would recommend heading over to Kettlebells for beginners to learn all you need and i would suggest you started with a vinyl coated bell due to how they feel when being used – You will not regret it . I find adjustable Kettlebells can feel loose in the hand and can limit you with certain moves
Wow! Great idea to write about kettlebells. Who knew there are so many varieties to choose from? I have been doing kettlebell exercises for about four years now. When I read the book by Timothy Ferris titled the Four-hour body, he did quite a write-up on kettlebell exercises and that’s what got me started. It really can provide amazing results as I have found out for myself. This is an excellent website by the way.
Your post gets a five-star rating from me!
Thank you Ray for the comment 🙂
Yes i agree Timothy Ferris is indeed a great read and follows many great concepts i particularly like his 4 hour work week. Kettlebells can indeed provide excellent workouts and results and i hope your journey surpasses your dreams.
This is great for comparing the different kinds of kettle bells you can use. When I was playing hockey we had all cast iron kettle bells, and they were so old and rough looking they often got overlooked and rarely used.
It wasn’t until I was joining the army that they had far superior quality for kettle bells, and then we learned a ton of easy workouts you can do with them. They have to be the single best piece of workout equipment for at-home-workouts.
Thanks for doing this comparison. In the world of fitness, where there are a ton of experts, it can sometimes be overwhelming with how much information and science there is. Having comparisons and recommendations like this really go a long way to helping my understanding in the workout equipment available to me. Now I can make an educated decision when going to purchase a kettle bell. Thank you
Hi Nathan –
I truly love those battered dusty balls sitting in the corner of most gyms – I also like it that most people overlook them (More time for me ) I hope you find a Kettlebell that suits your needs and head over to my beginner kettlebell worksouts once you are ready