Kettlebells have been around for years. In fact, they are some of the oldest pieces of workout equipment that are still in use today. While traditionally used by strongmen and competition strength athletes, they make a great addition to your home workout equipment.
Kettlebells have the ability to build strength and endurance at the same time due to their use of basic movements such as the kettlebell swing and snatch. Training with kettlebells is a much different experience than traditional weights in the gym. You can literally build your entire body with one kettlebell. Perfect for home gyms due to their ability to replicate numerous other pieces of workout equipment. -SHOP NOW ON AMAZON
Kettlebell movements such as the swing, clean and jerk and snatch build the entire body at the same time. Not only can you build muscle and endurance with kettlebells, but they are also great for fast weight loss. One round of kettlebell swings and you will see just how effective they are at raising your heartrate, while blasting your muscles at the same time. It takes practice to properly wield a kettlebell, but you will quickly see how they can replace nearly the entire gym.
What Exercises Can You Do with a Kettlebell?
There is a kettlebell exercise that can target every single muscle in the human body. However, kettlebells earn their place in your home gym by being able to work multiple muscles at the same time with “movements.” Kettlebell workouts train multiple muscles simultaneously and each movement can be repeated continuously until you burn out. You can get a full body workout in a matter of minutes due to the taxing nature of swinging kettlebells. A good kettlebell workout program will incorporate high-intensity interval training or HIIT to burn calories much faster than regular weight lifting.
Kettlebell HIIT is Equivalent to Running
Maybe you enjoy running, maybe not, but there is a clear benefit to being able to burn a ton of calories fast. Kettlebell high-intensity interval training or HIIT can compete with actual running, but with the muscle building benefits. Studies have been done to compare the 20-minute snatch kettlebell workout versus competitive running. They discovered that completing a 20-minute snatch routine with a kettlebell was roughly the same as running a 6-minute mile pace as far as calories burned. This is huge because it shows just how effective kettlebell training is at not only building muscle and getting you ripped, but also the aerobic benefits that come with kettlebell training. We don’t know about you, but swinging kettlebells for 20 minutes sounds better than running a 6-minute mile.
Great for Building Your Core
Kettlebell programs are designed to build your entire body from square one. Each movement works multiple muscle groups to strengthen your entire body. A few kettlebell swings and you will see just how important it is to be strong all over and not just the “weightlifting muscles.” This includes your core. Kettlebell routines focus on total body athleticism and you must have a strong core to properly move the kettlebell. While kettlebells rarely directly target your core, each movement builds core muscle and trims body fat quickly.
Forces Your Body to Adapt
Kettlebell workout routines force your body to adapt and improve through progressive moves. Once you feel you’ve mastered one version of a lift, there is always a harder way to do it. You can make your kettlebell workouts harder by going up in weight or shortening your rest period. For example, you can do multiple rounds of a workout and lessen the rest period by a few seconds each time. There are countless ways to work your kettlebell program which is why the kettlebell is one of the most versatile pieces of workout equipment you can buy. Adaptation is the body’s way of improving during a tough workout and kettlebells force your body to adapt quickly and efficiently.
Can You Train Kettlebells Every Day?
Kettlebell workouts differ from standard weight training. They train multiple muscle systems without fully taxing them to the point of exhaustion. This allows you to train with kettlebells daily. You won’t overtrain as long as you do something different every day. There are plenty of kettlebell workout plans that you can use depending on your goals. The cool thing about kettlebell training is that you can change your program as you go. You can add a few extra swings or drop a few lunges to build your legs. You can also just pick up a kettlebell and start walking. Kettlebell farmer’s walks are basically you just grabbing a kettlebell and walking. This builds your grip, biceps, shoulders, back, neck and more. Kettlebells can be used every single day as long as you vary your workouts. How often you train with kettlebells depends on your level of fitness, how much time you have for training and the type of workouts you complete.
Total Body Fitness with Kettlebells
You don’t have to have access to an entire gym to get into the best shape of your life. It may take a little perseverance and hard work, but you can get into amazing shape working out at home. Kettlebells are probably the best addition you can make to your home gym. Here are a few reasons you should add kettlebells to your home gym equipment:
- Kettlebells don’t take up much space
- You can train your entire body quickly with kettlebells
- They build muscle and endurance at the same time
- Kettlebells are relatively inexpensive compared to other pieces of equipment
- You can train with a single kettlebell
- Kettlebells are great for total body fitness
Do You Need 2 Kettlebells to Get Started?
You may be wondering if you need a kettlebell for each hand to get started training. You can get into the best shape of your life with just a single kettlebell. Sure, there are tons of exercises that are made more difficult with two kettlebells, but you can do everything you need with a single kettlebell. In fact, most people don’t have two kettlebells that are the same weight, but instead have multiple kettlebells at different weights. Here is a quick list of exercises you can do with a single kettlebell:
- Kettlebell swing
- Turkish get-up
- Arm bar
- Figure-8 swing
- Deck squat
- Goblet squat
- Front leg press
- Circular clean
- Circular swing
- Overhead press
- Bent press
- Russian twist
- Arm bar floor press
- Isometric holds all over the body
- Farmer’s Carry
This is just a quick snapshot of a few exercises that only require 1 kettlebell. Many people simple do 2-3 movements per training period and just repeat them over and over until fatigue sets in or they reach their target heart rate.
Training with 2 kettlebells can increase your load and allow you to build more muscle faster. The kettlebells don’t necessarily have to be the same weight as you can still train with 2 kettlebells that are different weights. You will just have to make sure you hit both sides equally. Here are a few 2 kettlebell movements that will help build muscle, get you shredded and build endurance:
- Farmer’s carry
- Renegade row
- Alternating clean
- Swing clean
- Dead clean
- Kettlebell swing
- High pull
- Strict press
- Push press
- Lateral lunge
Keep in mind that you can use either 1 or 2 kettlebells for most of these exercises.
What is the Best Kettlebell Weight to Start With?
This is a hotly contested debate which completely depends on your starting fitness level and how much weight you can easily carry. You have to remember kettlebells are much more difficult to maneuver than traditional weights. Choosing the right size kettlebells is not the time to over compensate by picking the heaviest one. You must be able to move the kettlebell without injuring yourself. Remember, kettlebell workouts are designed to use your entire body and are much different from standard weight training. You will use multiple muscle groups to move the kettlebell so you have to choose a weight that you can handle. Also, you may need different size kettlebells for various lifts such as heavier kettlebells for ballistic lifts and lighter kettlebells for grinds. Most professionals suggest purchasing two kettlebells for this reason. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose a good kettlebell starting weight:
Active Men – (Some training) 16 kg – 20 kg (35 lbs. – 44 lbs.)
Athletic Men – 16 kg – 24 kg (35 lbs. – 53 lbs.)
Active Women – (Some training) 8 kg – 12 kg (18 lbs. – 26 lbs.)
Athletic Women – 12 kg – 16 kg (26 lbs. – 35 lbs.)
While this number is not set in stone, it gives you a good guide to start from.
Perfect for Home Gyms with Limited Space
One of the best things about training with kettlebells is they barely take up space. You can own a few of them and still have plenty of room for other equipment. Line a few kettlebells against the wall of your home gym and you’re ready to get into the best shape of your life. You can train anywhere with them and they’re perfect for outside training. Just bring your kettlebell outside and knock out a workout in around 20-minutes. A set of kettlebells is really all you need for a basic home gym. We all learned the importance of home gyms during the pandemic and kettlebell sales went through the roof. We suggest stocking up on kettlebells as much as you can just in case we go through another quarantine.
Will Kettlebell Training Make You Bulky?
Kettlebells movements are designed to train multiple muscle groups at the same time. They build muscle and endurance while burning fat at the same time. While you can build a substantial amount of muscle with kettlebells, they won’t add a ton of bulk alone. You will build a lean and shredded body through the use of kettlebells. Women can train with kettlebells as well.
How Much do Kettlebells Cost?
Kettlebell prices range from cheap to expensive depending on the size and brand that you purchase. Obviously, larger kettlebells will cost more due to the materials used, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great kettlebell. Also, keep in mind a good kettlebell can replace many pieces of equipment and are more efficient at most exercises than standard weights. Your best bet is to shop for the best kettlebells and check the prices as they change often depending on the economic conditions. The 2020 pandemic caused many kettlebell prices to increase drastically, but they have since leveled out.
How Many Kettlebells Do I Need?
You only need 1 kettlebell to do most exercises, but you may be wondering if you should purchase more than one size kettlebell. Unless you know exactly what weight works best for the majority of your workouts, you may need to purchase more than 1 kettlebell to have a few choices. Many trainers buy a lighter kettlebell for grinding movements and a heavier bell for fast movements. However, you can get years of great training from 1 single kettlebell.
Can You Order Kettlebells Online?
Absolutely! In fact, most people order kettlebells online to avoid going inside stores. Plus, it’s often difficult to find the right size in stores because they only carry smaller kettlebells. You will have to order kettlebells online if you want larger and heavier kettlebells. Amazon is a great place to begin your kettlebell search because they have tons of various sizes, brands and types of kettlebells. You can find them here.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.