The Best Kettlebells for Beginners, CrossFit, and Cardio

Whatever your training needs are, your search for the perfect kettlebell ends here.

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The beauty of a kettlebell is in its simplicity. Who would have thought that a ball of cast-iron with a single handle could provide so much benefit? You can swing and snatch a kettlebell for more power, raise and rotate a lighter bell for shoulder health, and use them instead of dumbbells for a new training stimulus. That’s why over the past decade, kettlebells have become increasingly popular with weekend warriors to athletes and everyone in between.

This surge in popularity means that more manufacturers are producing kettlebells. So, more thought is required when choosing the right kettlebell for you. Don’t worry. We’ve spent hundreds of hours testing multiple kettlebells in a variety of scenarios — and we found the best kettlebells for every type of kettlebell workout and athlete. 

The Best Kettlebells

Best Kettlebells Video Review

For more info on how we tested the kettlebells on this list, watch the video below, featuring BarBend‘s former training editor Jake Boly

Best Overall Kettlebell

The best overall kettlebell should be durable, have outstanding grip, and be built to last a lifetime.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

Well, we found it. This kettlebell’s powder coating takes chalk very well and supports grip without it — meaning you can train your hardest with confidence that if your grip fails, it won’t be the bell’s fault. We’re also fans of this kettlebell’s single-cast casting process — meaning it’s forged from a single piece of iron, so it won’t separate — which gives the Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat bell an extremely durable feeling. 

The bell’s gravity casting means that even though kettlebells are designed to be off-balance, your bell won’t be offset or inconsistent. Plus, the weight accuracy will be much better — meaning that when you think you’re lifting 24 kilos, that’s pretty much exactly what you’re lifting. Possibly the biggest perk is the lifetime warranty that comes along with the kettlebell, so in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you’re insured.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

This powder-coated kettlebell is designed to last through all kinds of workouts. It’ll help you keep a solid grip, will resist rust even if you don’t store it in the best location, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Who Should Buy Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

  • Athletes that want a kettlebell that lasts. This kettlebell comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Lifters who need a kettlebell that will perform well in every setting with a handle that works with and without chalk.
  • Users that want to work out at home and need a kettlebell with a nice flat bottom finish.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

  • Someone on a budget. This kettlebell is priced higher than most others. 
  • Beginners who are just getting into kettlebell training and might use a kettlebell once in a blue moon.
  • Folks who want to buy multiple sets of kettlebells. The cost will add up quickly. 

Kettlebell Kings has set a new standard for performance, durability, and versatility when it comes to a classic design. It’s tough to not like these bells.

Best Kettlebell for Your Home

Kettlebells are absurdly versatile in terms of workout style — plus, as a bonus, they look pretty cool. So, they’re a no-brainer for your home gym. Plus, you don’t need a lot of space to store a bell or even take it out and do kettlebell swings or snatch a kettlebell.  

Eleiko Training Kettlebells

When choosing a kettlebell for your home, there are a few important factors to keep in mind: finish, shape, durability, and versatility. Eleiko’s Training Kettlebell scores high marks in all these categories. It’s made from cast iron and has a durable finish that works well with and without chalk. Its flat-bottom construction makes it easy to store. And the extra-wide handle makes it convenient for a variety of movements, especially ones that require a two-handed grip. It comes with a two-year warranty and is calibrated for weight accuracy. 

These also range from 4 kilograms all the way up to 56 kilograms, so there’s a weight (or weights) perfect for your needs. 

Eleiko Training Kettlebells
Eleiko Training Kettlebells
Eleiko Training Kettlebells

Made of cast iron and with a flat bottom, Eleiko's Training Kettlebells feature extra wide handles that more easily allow for a two-handed grip on certain movements. The kettlebells are double moulded with a surface texture designed to promote durability while holding chalk consistently.

 

Who Should Buy the Eleiko Training Kettlebell

  • Any lifter who wants a versatile kettlebell for a variety of movements.
  • Lifters who want a bell that works well with and without chalk.
  • Lifters who store their kettlebells on the floor and not a weight rack.
  • Anyone who wants a wider handle to help facilitate two-handed movements. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Eleiko Training Kettlebell

  • Those who prefer standard handle dimensions. 
  • Folks looking for a bell that is not cast iron. 
  • Kettlebell athletes who want a competition bell to replicate their sport.

Eleiko took the classic cast iron kettlebell and updated it for modern needs. While some might not like the tweaked shape, newer lifters especially may appreciate the extra-wide handle.

Best Competition Kettlebell

A great competition kettlebell needs to be carefully crafted and specifically designed for competitions so kettlebell athletes can train accordingly. 

Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell 

The kettlebells used in Kettlebell Sport are built to a certain dimension — with a handle of either 33 or 35 millimeters, a width of 192.6mm, and a total height of 284.5mm. While most kettlebells scale up or down or size based on weight, competition bells have standardized sizes to even the playing field. The Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell meets all of the competition measurement requirements and is available in weights from eight kilograms all the way up to 48 kilograms. 

This bell is made of steel and is cast from a mold. That means there’s no welding and, therefore, no sharp and painful edges or a welder’s rod —  which is inserted into the bell and can vibrate, which is distracting (and potentially painful). 

Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell

This mold-casted kettlebell is up to competition standards, can withstand a beating, and is designed for you to take it through high-repetition workouts.

Who Should Buy the Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell 

  • Kettlebell Sport competitors who need to acclimate to a competition-grade kettlebell.
  • Lifters who want consistency with each lift, no matter how heavy.
  • Those who want a kettlebell that isn’t welded.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell 

  • Beginners who need a kettlebell for more common, non-competition-style workouts.
  • People who don’t plan to compete in Kettlebell Sport.

If you’re training for Kettlebell Sport — be it long cycle, biathlon, or something else — Kettlebell Kings is a popular choice for many reasons. Their competition bells bring a level of durability, precision, and consistency that few can match.

Best Kettlebell for Beginners

Beginners need a kettlebell that is basic, comfortable to use, and won’t break the bank. 

Eleiko Training Kettlebells

What makes this a great beginner kettlebell is the versatile and accommodating design.

It’s got the right balance in just about everything that matters for kettlebell newbies. The coating is comfortable and works well with and without chalk; the dimensions of the bell, including the handle, scale-up in size, and it’s available from 4 kilograms to 56 kilograms. The handle is extra-wide to help with two-handed movements like swings. That’s a pretty big bonus for folks who aren’t super experienced working with kettlebells.

However, experienced kettlebell athletes may want a kettlebell with more specific dimensions. And if you prefer steel, look elsewhere, as these are cast iron.

Eleiko Training Kettlebells
Eleiko Training Kettlebells
Eleiko Training Kettlebells

Made of cast iron and with a flat bottom, Eleiko's Training Kettlebells feature extra wide handles that more easily allow for a two-handed grip on certain movements. The kettlebells are double moulded with a surface texture designed to promote durability while holding chalk consistently.

 

Who Should Buy the Eleiko Training Kettlebell

  • Recreational lifters that want a kettlebell for swings and cleans, but also more complicated flows. That is, once you learn how to flow
  • Folks who need just a basic kettlebell that scales in size and offers few frilly “extras.”
  • Lifters who want a more comfortable kettlebell. The extra-wide handle might be more accommodating for some.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Eleiko Training Kettlebell

  • Strictly competitive kettlebell athletes who need to practice with a competition kettlebell.
  • Lifters who own a home gym and prefer rubber coating for floor protection.

These kettlebells build upon a classic design with features especially useful for newer lifters. Enjoy the wider handle while you swing away.

Best Kettlebell for CrossFit

Great kettlebells for functional fitness and CrossFit®-style workouts need one key trait — and that’s versatility.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

CrossFit workouts take multiple forms, and for that reason, a kettlebell that matches multiple needs deserves the top spot. The powder coating is smooth so you won’t get nicked or cut, the textured handle prevents slippage for high-volume workouts, and the kettlebells are baked longer for a paint job that won’t wear out. In other words, when you’re diving into a CrossFit session knowing that your body’s going to take a beating, you can rest assured that your kettlebell can handle it, too.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

This kettlebell is durable, comfortable, and slip-resistant, meaning you can get in all the high-volume training you desire without fear of the bell going for an accidental flight.

Who Should Buy Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

  • CrossFit athletes who need a utilitarian kettlebell for a variety of movements.
  • Folks who want a smooth bell that won’t nick or cut them during cleans and other movements.
  • People who use a kettlebell often. The paint job on this kettlebell won’t wear off, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

  • Penny pinchers. These aren’t a cheap product, comparatively. 

These kettlebells perform well with and without chalk, and during longer and sweatier WODs, a secure grip is the last thing you want to be worrying about. We found the powder coat does wonders for performance in the long term.

Best Kettlebell for Groups And Classes

If you like to workout in a group setting, then you’ll need multiple sets of kettlebells. For that reason, they need to be durable and available in a wide range of weights. 

American Barbell Classic Kettlebell

American Barbell Classic Kettlebells come in seven weight varieties, all fashioned from solid cast iron with a textured finish. Each bell is chip-resistant — which is exactly what you need when you’ve got a lot of folks using bells and (let’s be honest) sloppily re-racking them between classes — as well as resistant to rust.

The flat base of these bells will give group fitness folks of all experience levels easier clearance with kettlebell swings, and the colored labels on the handles will help you pick out the best bell for you without having to pick each one up and squint to figure out its weight. 

American Barbell Classic Kettlebell
American Barbell Classic Kettlebell
American Barbell Classic Kettlebell

When you need a durable, chip-resistant bell whose weight is easy to identify at a single glance (thank you, color coding), these kettlebells will come in handy.

Who Should Buy American Barbell Classic Kettlebell

  • People who want chip-resistant, textured finishes.
  • Lifters who train in a group or on the go and need bells that can take a bit of a beating.
  • Folks who want to identify a bell’s weight at a glance with color-coded handle bases.
  • Trainers who host group fitness classes.

Who Shouldn’t Buy American Barbell Classic Kettlebell

  • Kettlebell athletes or lifters who are looking for a rougher finish. American Barbell offers a textured finish.
  • Lifters who prefer a cast-iron or steel coating.
  • Folks who don’t need multiple bells and can afford to buy one premium product.

If you’re looking to outfit a facility or to purchase an array of kettlebells for a group, American Barbell makes a classic, reliable bell that won’t break the bank

Best Kettlebell for the Money

The best value kettlebell is one that delivers top quality for a price most can afford. 

Rogue Kettlebell E Coat

Are there cheaper kettlebells available somewhere in the world? Sure. But Rogue’s E Coat kettlebell made our list because it’s the best value for what you get. And what you get is an American-made kettlebell, forged from a single piece of ductile iron and then finished with an electrically-applied E Coat. This special coating is extra resistant to corrosion, rust, and chips — so, considering that you probably won’t ever have to replace it, your money will go even further.

If aesthetics matter to you (and let’s be real, they probably do), this bell is also pretty. It’s got the Rogue logo on one side of the bell’s body and two weight indicators — in both pounds and kilos for your mathematical convenience — on the other side, making this bell super functional and super delightful to display in its off-hours.

Rogue Kettlebell E Coat
Rogue Kettlebell E Coat
Rogue Kettlebell E Coat

You won’t shell out a lot of money for this bell initially, but the high-quality E coat is going to be tough and long-lasting, stretching your dollar far.

Who Should Buy the Rogue Kettlebell E Coat

  • Those who are looking to buy kettlebells on a budget. These aren’t the cheapest out there, but they’re still below market price.
  • Folks who want a kettlebell that will last a long, long time. Rogue’s E Coat kettlebell is made with a special, ultra-durable coating. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Rogue Kettlebell E Coat

  • People who want a more specialized kettlebell, such as a competition or powder coat kettlebell. 

While the E Coat kettlebell isn’t perfect for everyone, it’s tough to beat the combination of value and quality Rogue is selling here.

Best Kettlebell for Small Hands

Handle diameters all vary slightly on kettlebells, which is why it’s important to take note of widths for those with smaller hands.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

Competition kettlebells have a handle diameter of 33 or 35 millimeters (generally). Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat diameter handle increases along with the bell’s weight, going as low as 32mm and as high as 41mm for their 68-kilogram kettlebell. That’s quite a range. So whether you’ve got tiny hands or large ones, you can find a comfortable kettlebell here. The grip on his bell is excellent, too, as the powder coat provides a texture that both non-chalked or chalked hands will have little issue gripping.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

The handle of these kettlebells scale up and down so whether you have large or small hands, there's a comfortable option for you.  

Who Should Buy Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

  • Athletes with either large or small hands. This brand offers a range of different handle sizes that scale with weight.
  • Folks who need a bell with great grip. The powder coat is textured and allows for great handling.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

Kettlebell Kings has nailed the details here. The fact that their powder coat kettlebells scale handle size with weight is a nice touch that makes them a good choice for athletes with smaller hands — or anyone still working to build that grip strength.

Best Kettlebell for Cardio

Kettlebell cardio workouts usually involve more reps. For this reason, you want a kettlebell that is comfortable for long-term use. 

Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell

The handle of this bell is 33mm, so it’ll fit almost all hand sizes comfortably. Rogue’s Competition Kettlebell edges are smoothed out, achieved with a specific casting process and the materials used. When you’re swinging or cleaning this bell for a lot of reps, you can bet you won’t cut up your skin much, if at all. 

Like any competition bell, all weights will be the same size — but there’s a distinct advantage with the Rogue competition kettlebells. Each bell has four edges that are smoothed flat on the body, making moves like snatches, presses, and cleans much more comfortable for some users. Hardcore and seasoned kettlebell sport athletes might prefer a more traditional shape, but folks who are just repping out many, many sets at home may enjoy Rogue’s design tweak.

Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell
Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell
Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell

When you need both competition dimensions and something comfortable enough to snatch all day long, this single-cast iron kettlebell will do the trick (without cutting up your skin).

Who Should Buy the Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell

  • Athletes who take on long kettlebell workouts. 
  • Lifters that need a kettlebell that accommodates for forearm slap during jerks and snatches.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell

  • The casual gym-goer user who doesn’t use kettlebells often.
  • Beginners who are just getting into kettlebell training.

While these kettlebells might feature a different design than other competition editions, the inset groves mean athletes need to worry less about banging their forearms and wrists during long workouts.

How We Decide The Best Kettlebells

When assessing the countless kettlebells we’ve reviewed, we looked at multiple performance characteristics. Then, to build this list, we broke every kettlebell into three main categories.

Durability 

In terms of durability, we looked at multiple characteristics. For example, there are multiple ways to cast kettlebells, and often a bell’s casting process will correlate to its long-term durability. (Pro-tip: when it’s single-cast rather than welded, you won’t have to worry about much sharpness or potential slippage where the handle meets the body of the bell.)

Additionally, we looked at a kettlebell’s coating, as this, like the casting process, can be a signal for long-term durability. A great coating can provide a better grip and will be chip-resistant. Accounting for factors like this helped us assess the potential life of a kettlebell, so you can be ensured your money will go the distance.

Performance

On top of the durability tests, we looked at the performance of every kettlebell. These are versatile pieces of workout equipment, so they need to perform well in multiple settings with both chalk and non-chalk users. Every handle’s coating and diameter can impact grip, so we spent extra time assessing their ability to support long-duration use.

Value

Lastly, we assessed a kettlebell’s value. Let’s not beat around the bush here: investing in your own home gym equipment is a pretty big deal, and you obviously want the most for your money. By taking the above two characteristics into account and comparing them with price, we tried to identify the benefits of each kettlebell for the money you’d be putting into them.

What to Consider Before Buying a Kettlebell

So, you’re interested in a new kettlebell. Here are some personal considerations that should be acknowledged before investing.

best kettlebells

Your Training Style

You need to consider how and why you train and your training frequency before purchasing a kettlebell. If you’re a kettlebell athlete, for example, you’ll need a specific kettlebell of high quality. Beginners can get away with a cheaper, more basic version, while a more experienced lifter may want to invest in a nicer construction kettlebell. Or, if you engage in CrossFit or cardio workouts, then you’ll need a more comfortable bell with an outstanding grip for high-rep sets. 

Assess your workouts honestly, and then look closer at a kettlebell’s features before clicking “buy.” Kettlebells are a great, versatile single piece of equipment when you can only get one or two new items for your home gym — but they aren’t the cheapest items, so you want to get it right before you shell out for one. 

Price

Most kettlebells are going to be priced closely. So, we’ve made sure that the more expensive options are worth the uptick in price while the cheaper options are still of a certain quality. We take factors like construction, warranty, customer reviews, and our personal testing process all into consideration when looking at a kettlebell’s price tag. 

The Best Kettlebell Exercises

It’s tough to say exactly which kettlebell exercises best. Really, it depends on your training goals and experience levels. However, assuming you want to focus on compound movements that will bolster your strength, power, and conditioning, the five moves below are a great starting point. Separately, they target a lot of muscles and take your body through multiple plains of movement. These are also foundational kettlebell exercises that, once mastered, can be strewn together to create more dynamic and sweat-inducing flows (more on that below). 

Upper Body Kettlebell Exercises

Once again, what you consider “best” will depend on your experience and goals. Are you trying to build upper body power, conditioning, or raw strength (or a combination of the three)? Are you new to kettlebell training, or have you long-since mastered the kettlebell snatch?

woman squatting with kettlebell
Leszek Glasner/Shutterstock

The good news is that lifting with kettlebells can fulfill a wide variety of your training goals with a relatively small repertoire of moves. Push-pressing kettlebells, for example, will develop raw strength, power, and cardiovascular conditioning all at once. For kettlebell snatches, you’ll have to be strong, but the power and conditioning are going to win the day. Whichever moves you choose, you pretty much can’t go wrong training your upper body with kettlebells — as long as you keep your form dialed in. In addition to the upper body-focused exercises above, try these six moves:

Lower body Kettlebell Exercises

Don’t be afraid to stick with lifts that seem super basic — just because a kettlebell goblet squat doesn’t look as flashy as a kettlebell snatch doesn’t mean it’s not going to help you make big gains. Add these four moves, in addition to the kettlebell moves above, into your training repertoire:

Kettlebell Core Exercises

Let’s be clear — pretty much anything and everything you do with a kettlebell is going to challenge your core to some degree. The implement is pretty strangely shaped, and that imbalance alone will keep your core active the whole time. That said, there are a few moves that will specifically attack your core (while also working the rest of your body).

Kettlebell Flows Explained

A kettlebell flow is like a kettlebell circuit — stringing together a bunch of different kettlebell movements. The key difference is that with a circuit, you will be putting the bell down between moves and even perhaps resting a bit in between exercises. With a kettlebell flow, your goal is to literally flow right from one move into the next without stopping or putting the bell down. So, you might perform a small set of push presses, use the last rep to start an overhead carry, and flow from that right into a small series of kettlebell snatches. 

When you’re looking to design your own kettlebell flow, don’t be afraid to look a little silly for a hot second — before you even pick up the weight, simulate the movements to make sure that they can, in fact, flow seamlessly into each other. You’ll need at least one clean programmed in there if you want to transition from a Romanian deadlift to a strict press, for example — so make sure you include all those elements.

Kettlebells Vs. Dumbbells

If you’ve got a limited budget — or only a small amount of space — you might have to make the sad choice of buying a kettlebell or a dumbbell. And while we never want to put two excellent pieces of gym equipment against each other (dumbbells are spectacular training tools), it’s worth noting a couple of things about the versatility of kettlebells:

  • Due to their off-balance shape, kettlebells engage more of your stabilizer muscles during lifts.
  • Many kettlebell movements are ballistic in nature, meaning that they build power, strength, coordination, and conditioning all at once.
  • Kettlebells develop lifters’ grip strength due to the constant pressure needed to stabilize an offset load while it’s rapidly moving. Think about the work you have to do to keep a bell on a controlled path during swings, cleans, and snatches.
  • Kettlebells don’t require a lot of space, and a single implement can be used for a vast diversity of moves and training goals.
  • Even the most cardio-heavy kettlebell lifts are low-impact, meaning that you can go heavy, hard, and ballistic without taxing your joints too much.

The Right Way to Hold a Kettlebell

For a lot of kettlebell lifts, you’ll grip it in a similar way to gripping a dumbbell — in the middle of the handle. You’ll want to keep your fingers light around it, though, even and especially when performing explosive moves like kettlebell swings. It might feel scary at first to not choke the darn thing, but it’s much better for your wrist health — and the ultimate quality of your movement — to practice gentleness in your grip during moves like swings. To test this, you should be able to flutter your fingertips above the handle a little bit at the top of your swing.

woman applying lifting chalk
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

For more complex lifts like cleans, snatches, and Turkish get-ups, you’ll want to implement an offset grip. To avoid the painful flopping of the kettlebell onto your wrist or forearm, don’t grab it right in the center. Instead, tuck the pad between your index finger and your thumb against the curve of the handle. If you’re using your right hand, you’ll be snug against the left side of the handle; with your left hand, you’ll be snug against the right side of the handle.

You can also get creative with how you hold a kettlebell if you’re looking for even more versatile ways to train your grip and stabilizer muscles. A bottoms-up grip will challenge your forearms, wrists, fingers, and shoulders to maintain perfect form while also lifting a load tougher. Holding the bell around the body can help emphasize your shoulders a bit more when front-loading your goblet squat and can provide different angles for overhead and floor presses.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are kettlebells effective?

Kettlebells are fantastic and effective training tools for a variety of reasons.

  • They’re great for training multiple modalities like power, strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Second, they can be used to train unilateral and bilateral movements with ease.
  • Lastly, every fitness level can perform kettlebell variations that suit their needs and experience level best.

Can I work my full body with a kettlebell?

Yes. Actually, it’s hard to avoid working your entire body whenever you pick up a kettlebell. The bread-and-butter kettlebell moves — think swings, snatches, and cleans — all fundamentally require your entire body to work together as a single unit.

Just by mastering kettlebell basics, you’ll be training your body not only to get stronger and more powerful — you’ll also be improving your balance, coordination, and kinesthetic awareness (not to mention those cardio benefits of kettlebell training).

Can I integrate kettlebells into my weight training?

If you’re buying a kettlebell to integrate it into an existing training program, you’re probably wondering how much kettlebell work is too much when you’re a powerlifter, weightlifter, or otherwise focused on non-kettlebell aspects of training. The answer: there are always ways to integrate kettlebell work into your lifting that will not take away from recovery.

If you’re not going super heavy, kettlebell swings and Turkish get-ups can be great ways to grease the grooves of positive movement patterns — making kettlebells a great active recovery tool for your “off” days. You can also integrate moves like light kettlebell halos between upper body lifts to keep your shoulders mobile and ready for the pressure that barbell work can put on them. And, if you’re looking for cardio that doesn’t involve endless runs, look no further than a solid kettlebell cardio session as either a finisher or cardio day all on its own.

How heavy of a kettlebell should I buy?

When you’re considering what kettlebell weight to buy, you need to balance your goals against your “limiting lifting factor.” What’s the exercise you know you want to do with your kettlebell that you will need the lightest weight for? It might be all well and good to spring for a 32-kilogram bell because you can do your lower body work with it (and maybe floor presses). But if you know you want to overhead press and can’t do that with 70 pounds, there’s your limiting factor.

In other words, you might want a heavy bell for all your lower body training needs. That said, if you want to also be able to get some solid upper body lifting in with your kettlebell, make sure you’re taking that into account. It’s a balancing act that will require some deep contemplation and programming creativity, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

What makes a quality kettlebell?

Here are three main factors to consider when looking for a quality kettlebell:

  • First, a quality kettlebell has a single-cast construction, as this means the kettlebell was created with one cast and isn’t pieced together with multiple types of metals. These models are more durable.
  • Second, the coating is durable, chip, and rust-resistant. A strong coating can do wonders for prolonging your investment. 
  • Lastly, a quality kettlebell has a flat bottom finish and is void of seams and other signs of construction imperfections.

How should I care for my kettlebell?

For the most part, kettlebells take care of themselves if you store them in a dry spot — especially if they’ve got rubber coating. You might opt to check your bell over every few months to lightly sand down places where it might chip if you’re training outside or in a garage and have been letting it hit concrete when you set it down. But, for the most part, kettlebells are pretty low maintenance.

If you opt to strip the rust-resistant coating away from your competition kettlebell to give it a more rugged grip, make sure you’re protecting your kettlebell from rust when you’re not using it (pro-tip: wipe off your lingering sweat after each session).

Can I gain muscle with a kettlebell?

You might not immediately associate kettlebells with muscle growth, but don’t underestimate these bad boys as tools for hypertrophy. To maximize hypertrophy with kettlebells, you’ll mainly want to emphasize the traditional types of lifts in the classic hypertrophy rep ranges (eight to 12 per set). Think strict presses, offset kettlebell push-ups, rows, and even curls and skull crushers if you have a light enough bell.  

Are kettlebells better for cardio or weight training?

Generally speaking, if you use lighter weight and perform more reps, then your workout will be more cardio-focused. Whereas, if you perform heavy swings for fewer reps, then you’ll have more of a strength and power focus. 

That said, one of the reasons that kettlebells are such great training tools is because they combine training styles so effortlessly. Even if your main goal is building strength, you will reap cardiovascular health benefits. And even if your primary focus with kettlebells is cardio training, you will get stronger.