Adjustable, coated or a set: Find out which kettlebell is right for you.
Updated June 30, 2022 7:30 a.m. PT
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Mercey LivingstonCNET Contributor
Mercey Livingston is a health and wellness writer and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She's written about fitness and wellness for Well+Good, Women's Health, Business Insider, and Prevention.com among others. When not writing, she enjoys reading and trying out workout classes all over New York City.
A kettlebell is a type of dumbbell. If you can only have one piece of workout equipment in your home gym, a kettlebell should be the first item you consider. It has a bell-like form with a handle on top and comes in a variety of weights and sizes. Though it may seem like any other weight used in strength training, a kettlebell has surprising versatility and is often used in fitness and conditioning programs like CrossFit.
"The kettlebell is probably the most underrated piece of equipment in the gym," Lauren Kanski, a certified personal trainer and founder of the K Method, previously told CNET. "The way the bell is shaped allows you to train power, endurance and strength all in one little piece of iron."
Kettlebells can add variety and challenge to your workout routine -- whether you're looking to build strength in your core muscles and glutes, get in some cardio or a combination of both. Kettlebells are not the same as your average set of dumbbells, so before you buy one, consider what weight you need for your kettlebell exercise and check out the list below for our picks on the best kettlebell options for 2022.
The Ziva premium kettlebell comes in a wide variety of weight increments (from 5 to 50 pounds) making it a great quality kettlebell for beginners or more advanced exercisers. Working out at home and worried about damaging your floors? This kettlebell has a rubber coating so you don't have to worry about slamming it down too hard between sets during your kettlebell workout.
Best Choice Products Three-Piece Kettlebell Weight Set
This kettlebell set is great for beginners since it comes with three lighter kettlebell choices (weighing 5, 10 and 15 pounds). If you're new to working out, you probably aren't sure exactly how much weight you can handle yet, so you need kettlebell size options. With this kettlebell set, you'll have multiple weights to experiment with when you exercise. Plus you get a weight rack to store them on.
This adjustable cast iron kettlebell is a great pick for advanced exercisers or those who already lift weights and want to be able to progress with their kettlebell weight quickly. The kettlebell handle on its own is 15 pounds and it comes with different weight options that let you adjust it up to 50 pounds. It doesn't look like your classic, round kettlebell, and this cast-iron kettlebell is not coated in vinyl or rubber -- but it will satisfy the needs of someone looking for an advanced kettlebell with no frills when doing a kettlebell squat, kettlebell lifting, kettlebell deadlift or other kettlebell training moves.
Most standard kettlebell styles are cast iron kettlebell models, so if you don't love the idea of iron kettlebells or that metal feel on your hands and want more grip, try a coated kettlebell for your kettlebell workout. This kettlebell from Powert has a coated handle and the base is covered in vinyl, making it less susceptible to rust or corrosion in addition to a different grip feel.
If you're OK with dropping considerable cash on a kettlebell, consider the JaxJox Smart Kettlebell. The weight can be adjusted from 12 to 42 pounds for a heavier kettlebell in seconds -- you place it on the digital console and enter the weight you want and it automatically adjusts for you. There's also a compatible app that can give you tips, workout advice and it can keep track of your workouts and reps.
Screenshot by Mercey Livingston/CNET
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What kettlebell weight should you buy?
Kettlebell workouts include a lot of different movements besides just lifting them -- just because you can lift 15 to 20 pounds doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to easily swing that around in a workout. In general, when you're weight training, you'll use a lighter weight for lifting the bell above your head and a heavier weight for other exercise moves.
8 to 10 kilograms (about 17 to 22 pounds) for workouts that involve any overhead movements.
10 to 14 kilograms (22 to 30 pounds) if you want to learn how to do a kettlebell swing.
Intermediate and advanced
You're considered more advanced If you have experience with lifting weights or are currently strength training.
12 to 24 kilograms (26 to 52 pounds) for any workout that involves lifting it overhead.
24 to 32 kilograms (52 to 70 pounds) for kettlebell swings.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.