If you are new to using kettlebells as part of your exercise routine, you are not alone. Every year, there are new and improved ways to stay healthy and get active. You may not know this, but this exercise equipment has been around since the 1700’s.
Even though it became a sport back in 1948, kettlebells still weren’t mainstream in America until around 2001. These days, you are sure to see kettlebells in any gym you go to, fitness classes that specialize in these tools, and are available for individual purchase.
For someone who is just starting with a kettlebell routine, questions of weight are essential and valid. Many attributes make these items stand out against their dumbbell alternatives.
The Benefits of Kettlebells
There are several advantages to using kettlebells in an exercise routine. If you are exploring an exercise class or want to start using them regularly, you are sure to see results quickly.
Kettlebells “Feel” Heavier
With kettlebells, the weight is condensed into a ball rather than spread evenly like a dumbbell. This arrangement can make it feel heavier since the weight is displaced.
Kettlebells Are Easier to Maneuver
The variety of exercises you can use with dumbbells and kettlebells are endless. Incorporating free weights is a terrific method of using all of your stabilizer muscles during strength training. While you can grip dumbbells, using a kettlebell is a better alternative for many maneuvers.
It can be a lot easier and safer to use an 80-pound kettlebell rather than attempting to perform an exercise with two 40-pound dumbbells. Kettlebells can be used with one or both hands, depending on the movement you are performing.
Kettlebells Have Thicker Handles
Because the handle is thicker than dumbbells or barbells, you will build up your grip strength and forearm strength faster and more efficiently. This thickness helps make your grip quicker, giving you an effective way to build strength in your hands and forearms.
Kettlebells Are Better for Complex Exercises
Since kettlebells are compact and easier to maneuver, they are better for complex exercise movements. These types of exercises help build functional movements that you use in everyday life. They do not isolate a single muscle group, but rather utilize many stabilizing muscles when you use them.
How to Determine What Kettlebell Weight You Need
Just like any other exercise equipment, you will need to build up your strength to larger amounts. If you start with a kettlebell that is too heavy for you, you risk injuring yourself.
There are several ways to determine the weight you need. Finding the correct amount of weight for your exercise will help maximize the benefits while avoiding injury.
Kettlebell Weight Depends on the Exercises You Are Performing
The exercises that you will be performing also have an impact on the weight that you will require. There are two types of kettlebell movements you will find at the gym or in exercise classes. These include:
- Explosive actions that include swings, snatches, cleans, juggling, and tossing
- Grind exercises, including overhead and bent presses, windmills, and Turkish get-ups
As a general guideline, you will use heavier kettlebells for explosive movements and lighter ones when performing grinding exercises. Explosive exercises are shorter, quicker movements, while grind exercises help with stabilizing control throughout the action.
Kettlebell Weight for Your Current Fitness Level
Naturally, someone who is active will require a heavier weight than an individual new to a workout routine. You must be honest with yourself and how fit you are when choosing a kettlebell weight.
Kettlebell Weight for Upper or Lower Body Exercises
The difference in kettlebell weight can be significant when you compare upper and lower body exercises. Naturally, the lower body will have more power and strength than your arms, shoulders, and upper back.
You may have already noticed that you can do a few exercises with a significant amount of weight for the lower body but cannot raise a dumbbell that weighs more than 5 kilograms. As our lives become more sedentary, our bodies become weaker. Kettlebells can help regain the strength we are missing from everyday movement.
How to Decide the Best Kettlebell Weight
Once you examine these factors, you will have a better idea of what weight you should start with when choosing a kettlebell. There are several types and styles of kettlebells out there in the market. If you stick with a popular brand model, you should be just fine.
Kettlebell Weight for Beginners
For an average male, kettlebell weight should start around 10 or 12 kg for upper body exercises and 16 kg for lower body movements. For an average female, kettlebell weight should begin around 6 or 8 kg for the upper body movements and 12 kg for any lower body exercises.
Kettlebell Weight for Experienced Weight Lifters
An active male who has experience with free weight workouts and strength training should start around a 16 kg weight for upper body exercises and around 20 kg for lower body movements. For active women with a background in consistent weight training, a 12 kg kettlebell for the upper body is sufficient, while a 16 kg one will work for lower body exercises.
Cannon’s Conclusion on What Kettlebell Weight You Should Buy
Kettlebells are not a new phenomenon. These tools have been around for hundreds of years, proving their ability to help strengthen your muscles and provide adaptive movement. Many fitness classes make use of this technology as part of strength training and have positive results.
Keep in mind the basic principles of strength training while using kettlebells. It is better to use a lighter weight and have proper movement and posture than a heavier weight and not perform the exercise correctly. Kettlebells that are too heavy can increase your risk of injury and set your training back.
If you are looking for a terrific total body workout that will help increase your cardiovascular health, improve your movements, and aid in increasing your strength, kettlebells could be the answer. From balance and coordination to maximizing your training time, these small but powerful items can provide the results you are looking for in an exercise routine that doesn’t need a lot of space.