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Dumbbells may be the more popular piece of home gym equipment, but kettlebells have them beat on versatility. Whether you're looking to increase strength, improve your conditioning or get in some quick cardio work, it can all be done with a simple kettlebell. That is, if you can find the right one for your fitness needs.
Since not all kettlebells are created equally, the ACTIVE Reviews Team decided to try out some of the best to let you know which ones you should take for a swing. Our top picks are good for those who are picking one up for the first time, as well as those who are veterans at kettlebell workouts (yes, it's an actual thing).
Best Kettlebells - Our Top Picks● Best Overall Kettlebell - REP Fitness Kettlebell
● Best Kettlebells for Beginners - Onnit Kettlebells
● Best Adjustable Kettlebell - Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell
● Best Rubber Coated Kettlebell - Rogue Rubber Coated Kettlebell
● Most Affordable Kettlebell - Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebell
● Best Adjustable Competition Kettlebell - Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell
● Best Portable Kettlebell - Kettle Gryp
● Best Budget Adjustable Kettlebell - Peakform Adjustable Kettlebell Set
Best Overall Kettlebell - REP Fitness Kettlebell
Sometimes simple is best, and that's exactly why the REP Fitness Kettlebell is the best piece of fitness equipment on this list. Whether you go for the 9-pound option or the 106-pound behemoth, or anything in between, you'll instantly feel the quality built into each kettlebell.
The REP Fitness Kettlebell is built through gravity die casting to provide a smoother finish compared to other manufacturing processes, and the textured matte coating ensures you'll have a good grip on the kettlebell handle for easy snatches, kettlebell swings or any other exercise you do to increase your grip strength. Go for the V3 if you want a shinier kettlebell, but the matte V2 is a great free weight as well.
- Key Feature: Great grip texture
- Weight Range: 9 to 106 lbs.
Best Kettlebells for Beginners - Onnit Kettlebells
If you've gone your entire life only working out with dumbbells and barbells, the Onnit Kettlebells are the best kettlebells for beginners looking to diversify their weight training regimen. The chip-resistant powder coating is a little more forgiving for those whose hands may slip when trying out kettlebell exercises for the first time, but the grip on these is so good we doubt that will ever happen anyway.
The Onnit Kettlebells don't offer much in the way of heavy weights, but it's good to get an idea of how to properly use them before trying to lift the big boys. Plus, the online Onnit Academy offers tips and tricks for different kettlebell training techniques to help you perfect moves from the goblet squat to the Turkish get-up.
- Key Feature: Chip-resistant powder coating
Material: Powder-coated cast-iron
- Weight Range: 13 to 70 lbs.
Best Adjustable Kettlebell - Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell
Adjustable weights have become more and more popular, especially among those who have a small home workout space. Enter the Bowflex SelectTech 840, capable of replacing six kettlebells with just one product. This piece of equipment can easily change your home fitness game by giving you a full-body workout without the need to walk back and forth to the weight rack.
The Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell ranges from 8 to 40 pounds, hence the name, so it's perfect if you need to get in some cardiovascular training or practice CrossFit moves. And at $149, it's cheaper than buying all those weights piece by piece. The plastic coating does mean its grip isn't as reliable as steel or iron kettlebells, though.
- Key Feature: Easily adjustable weight dial
- Weight Range: 8 to 40 lbs.
Best Rubber Coated Kettlebell - Rogue Rubber Coated Kettlebell
Your personal safety always comes first, but you also want to care for your home gym at all times. While we have confidence you'll never lose hold of your kettlebell handles, the Rogue Rubber Coated Kettlebell is a great product to give you peace of mind that your floors and walls will be cared for at all times.
It's a single cast process, meaning it's just one solid piece rather than a welded-on handle. This bell wins our pick for the best rubber coated kettlebell because of its powder coat finish, so you can work on your grip strength without fear of hand sweat causing gym equipment to fly around.
- Key Feature: Single cast process and smooth rubber coating
Material: Rubber-coated cast-iron
- Weight Range: 26 to 70 lbs.
Most Affordable Kettlebell - Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebell
Kettlebells will increase in price the heavier you go, and some top-tier brands can start charging around $100 once you reach the 50-pound mark. The Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebell is the perfect marriage of affordability and functionality, with its heaviest option (60 pounds) only costing $86.99.
Just because this is the most affordable kettlebell doesn't mean the Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebell isn't a high-quality free weight. You can do kettlebell deadlifts, snatches and more and still get great results. Its enamel coating does mean you have to make sure you have a tight grip during some exercises, though, and the handles lack color-coding, so you'll have to look to make sure you're grabbing the right weight.
- Key Feature: Affordable
Material: Enamel-coated cast-iron
- Weight Range: 10 to 60 lbs.
Best Adjustable Competition Kettlebell - Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell
Fitness equipment used in home gyms, or even in commercial ones for that matter, sometimes differ greatly from those used in CrossFit, powerlifting or other sporting competitions. So if you're training for an event that features kettlebells, our choice is the Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell. For those not in the know, a competition kettlebell has to meet very specific requirements, including handle width, which is always 35 mm in diameter.
Not only does the Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell meet competition standards, but as its name suggests, it can be adjusted from 12 kilograms (26.5 pounds) to 32 kilograms (70.5) by adding or removing the included cast-iron plates inside the steel shell so you can find your ideal kettlebell weight.
- Key Feature: Competition style, adjustable
Material: Steel shell casing, cast-iron plates
- Weight Range: 26.5 to 70.5 lbs.
Best Portable Kettlebell - Kettle Gryp
If you're someone who needs to take their kettlebell workout on-the-go, opt for the Kettle Gryp. While this isn't a kettlebell per se, this product allows you to do a kettlebell workout from any hotel gym by inserting a dumbbell into a plastic grip so it can be swung around like a kettlebell.
The Kettle Gryp allows users to be more creative with limited equipment, which is great since you can shake up your workout with an easy and affordable piece of equipment. That said, it's not recommended for weights over 55 pounds, but that's still good enough to get some kettlebell swings in when there aren't actually any kettlebells around.
- Key Feature: Affordable, portable
- Weight Range: Recommended for dumbbells up to 55 lbs.
Best Budget Adjustable Kettlebell - Peakform Adjustable Kettlebell Set
At first glance the Peakform Adjustable Kettlebell Set may not seem that much more budget-friendly compared to its competitors, but you're actually getting seven kettlebells in one, which is more weight increments compared to other similar models. That means you'll be able to find a weight that works better for you depending on the type of workout you're doing. Kettlebells can sometimes jump too much in weight increments, but this adjustable set takes care of that problem.
The Peakform Adjustable Kettlebell Set also comes with a rubber base, so you don't have to worry about causing nicks or scratches to your home gym floor—or yourself for that matter. The locking mechanism also ensures your weights will stay in place as you swing the kettlebell around. And, the matte finish gives you a firm grip on the handle, no matter what weight you're using.
- Key Feature: Adjustable, several weight increments
Material: Rubber-coated iron
- Weight Range: 10 to 40 lbs.
What to Look for in a Kettlebell
Since kettlebells aren't as readily available in most gyms as dumbbells and weight plates, it's OK if you're not familiar with them. After all, that's why you have us! Just be aware there are a few things you should look out for when deciding which kttlebell to get, and that you can get a different training experience depending on the one you land on. Here's what to look for in a kettlebell for your home gym.
Competition vs. Commercial Kettlebells
As we mentioned, there are standard kettlebells and there are competition kettlebells. There's no difference in shape (both are shaped like bells), so the main difference is in the size. With standard kettlebells, or the ones most will use in their home gyms or find in a commercial gym setting, the size will increase with the weight. So a 9-pound kettlebell will be smaller than its 70-pound cousin.
A competition kettlebell, though, will remain the same size regardless of its weight. So regardless of how heavy a competition kettlebell might be, it will always have a 5.5-inch base diameter, 11.1-inch height and a handle that's 35 mm wide. That handle is a little bigger than regular kettlebells, which are typically 33 mm wide. This makes competition style the better pick for people with bigger hands.
Since you'll be grabbing a kettlebell by the handle, it's important to get a grip on what material works better for you so you don't fling it all over the place. Most kettlebells are made with iron or steel and sometimes come with a coated finish. For those that don't, you should try to see which material works better for you. Keep in mind you'll be holding onto these while sweating from your hands, which may cause some slippage. That can easily be solved with a little bit of chalk, though.
Certain coats, such as vinyl-coated or rubber-coated kettlebells, can also drive up the price because it takes more material to make the product. The positives are they sometimes provide a better grip and protection, but coating could also cover any manufacturing defects. Material such as enamel coating can also make a kettlebell more prone to slips.
Unless you go for an adjustable kettlebell, you'll either want to get a kettlebell weight set with a range that can work with a range of exercises or pick just one that feels good for multi-function purposes. Just as you wouldn't use a 70-pound dumbbell to do a lateral raise, lighter kettlebells are better suited for some exercises than heavier ones.
This means you'll have to honestly assess your fitness level before making a decision. If you can barely get a 50-pound kettlebell off the ground, you're going to have a hard time doing snatches or lunges with it, but if you've been weightlifting and strength training for 20-plus years, a 13-pound weight is hardly going to help you build more muscle. This is why an adjustable kettlebell is sometimes the better option, since you can work your way up to the heavier weights over time without having to spend more money. The individual ones, though, are nice if you're doing HIIT workouts since you don't have to take time to adjust the weights in between sets.
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