What Weight Kettlebell Should a Woman Use?

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Ladies, has your curiosity ever been sparked after seeing your favorite fitness influencer using kettlebells as part of their regular workout routine?

Or maybe you had seen kettlebells at your gym before but didn’t know how to get started using them. Kettlebells are easy to incorporate into your fitness training and are a great way to add variety to your workouts.

What Kettlebell Weight Is Right for Women?

When buying a kettlebell set, selecting the weight is the most important decision you will make. A kettlebell is just a heavy ball fused to a handle, after all, and is intended mostly for strength training.

At the gym, the heaviest kettlebells may exceed 100 pounds. However, you can easily find kettlebells for sale online in the 5-50 pound range. They typically go up in 5-pound increments.

You may be wondering what weight kettlebell a woman should use. There is no one right kettlebell weight for women specifically. The factors that determine which weight kettlebells a woman should use are the same factors that determine which weight kettlebells a man should use. Yes, generally, a man may need heavier kettlebells, but not always!

The factors that women (and men) should consider when selecting the right weight include:

  • Your fitness level
  • The type of workout you plan to do with your kettlebells
  • The number of kettlebells you plan to buy

Fitness Level

Your fitness level plays a huge part in the amount of weight you can and should be using. However, women of all fitness levels can use kettlebells as part of their workout routine.

If you are just starting to work out or haven’t worked out much recently, you should opt for lighter kettlebells. You should be able to do about 10-12 repetitions with good form with the kettlebells you choose. These should feel challenging but not impossible.

Several things can happen if your kettlebells are too heavy from the start:

  • You will do the exercises with an improper form to compensate for the weight, which will lessen the exercise’s effectiveness.
  • You may injure yourself.
  • You may lose motivation or give up entirely if the weight makes the workout feel impossible.

As you become more fit, gain strength, and become more familiar with kettlebell exercises, you can increase your kettlebells’ weight safely and without risking injuries.

Type of Kettlebell Workout

The type of workouts you plan to do will also determine the kettlebell weight you use. If you plan to do swing exercises that involve holding the kettlebell with both hands, you can opt for a heavier weight. For overhead lifting exercises with one hand, the kettlebell should be lighter.

For exercises involving swings, a good starting point is anywhere from 10-20 pounds for a woman who is just starting at the gym and has not done much strength training. A woman who exercises regularly and is of average strength should aim for the 15-25 pounds range, and a woman who is very fit can start with 25-35 pound kettlebells for swings.

For exercises involving lifts, including overhead lifts, women who are just beginning and those who are returning to the gym after a long absence can try the 5-15 pounds range. Women who exercise regularly and are of average strength can start using kettlebells that weigh up to about 20 pounds. And those who are exercise junkies can go up even higher, up to 25 pounds to start. 

Number of Kettlebells You Plan to Buy

The number of kettlebells you plan to buy will also determine the weight you choose. If you have the option to buy a set, you should buy kettlebells that fall on the lower, middle, and higher end of the range recommended for you. However, if you can only buy one or two kettlebells, aim in the middle of the range recommended for you for each exercise type.

Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to what weight kettlebell they should use, many women have other questions before using kettlebells. Below are answers to some common questions from women regarding kettlebells.

Is There a Difference Between Using Kettlebells Versus Dumbbells? 

If you own or use dumbbells and assumed you could just use the same weight kettlebell, think again. Because the weight of a kettlebell is not evenly distributed the way it is in a dumbbell, a kettlebell will inherently feel heavier when you lift it. As a result, you may be increasing the risk of injury if you default your kettlebell weight to your dumbbell weight.

There are some distinct differences between kettlebells and dumbbells. Each has its role in the gym and particular benefits depending on your fitness goals. Some key differences between kettlebells and dumbbells are:

  • Kettlebells utilize multiple muscles, while dumbbells usually target one muscle at a time
  • Kettlebells usually require more motion to lift than dumbbells, helping you break a sweat and get some cardio in while you build strength
  • Kettlebells improve your strength while toning, while dumbbells are more likely to be used to build bulkier muscles 

What Should I Look for Besides Weight When Buying Kettlebells? 

The kettlebell has a very simple design, so there is not much else to consider besides the weight. Some additional factors that may improve the quality of your workout include:

  • Wider handle design at the top to make it easier to grip with both hands without crowding your fingers.
  • Smooth surface to reduce friction on your skin. Avoid kettlebells with porous surfaces or any ridges in the design

Give Kettlebells a Try to Spice Up Your Next Workout

If you have never used kettlebells before, don’t let this intimidate you. Yes, kettlebells are different from dumbbells, and the exercises might take some getting used to. However, kettlebells are a great addition to your fitness plan, especially if you are looking to tone your muscles and increase your cardio.

As long as you use the appropriate kettlebell weight for your fitness level and the type of exercises you are doing, kettlebells will help boost your fitness safely and effectively.