In my last post RIGHT HERE, I talked about how a kettlebell was an awesome piece of equipment to start off a home gym with. They’re incredibly versatile, can be a part of an excellent workout, are portable, and don’t take up that much space either.
Today though, I’m going to show you a little bit more about kettlebells, and what you are going to want to look at when you’re deciding if a bell is right for you or not.
Here’s what you need to look for.
1. Handle width and shape
Check out the width of the handle first. Can both of your hands grab onto the bell comfortably with plenty of room? If not, keep on looking.
If your hands end up squished all on top of each other inside the handle, using the bell is going to be extremely uncomfortable, and you’re not going to use it. On top of that, it’s not as safe as well. If you can only fit 3 fingers onto the handle from each hand, you better not be doing swings facing drywall, windows, TVs, people, or anything else for that matter.
You’ll end up with the kettlebell version of the sword in the stone otherwise.
You want to be aware of the shape of the handle as well. Is it more rounded off on the inside, or is the handle triangular? People have different preferences here, but I like a rounded handle better. It fits in my hand better, and it doesn’t rub against my pinky fingers while doing swings.
2. Where does the bell rest on your forearm?
This is another big one. A lot of kettlebell exercises such as Turkish get-ups, snatches, waiter walks, and the like, require that the bell be resting on your forearm.
What you want here is to make sure that the forearms is actually where the bell is resting. We DON’T want it resting on your wrist (right where the carpal bones are). If it does, it’s going to be incredibly uncomfortable, and you’re not going to use it.
This typically is only a problem with smaller kettlebells (<15 lbs). However, if you do find a heavier bell that still rests there, stay away. Find something else.
Bells vary pretty wildly with price, and you want to get what you can afford.
I did a little math with 4 of the biggest fitness suppliers out there (Gopher, Perform Better, Power Systems, and Spri) to figure out a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay for a 30 lb kettlebell based on whether you want a steel, rubber, or competition bell, respectively.
Gopher = 59.95/69.95/no comp. bell
PB = 59.95/59.95/69.95
PS = 53.95/59.95/69.95
Spri = no 30#/64.97/no comp. bell
So, for a steel bell, that averages out at around $1.93/lb.
However, CAP bells are a tad bit cheaper. For a 30# steel bell from CAP, you’ll end up paying closer to $40. I personally think that they’re an excellent brand (I have 2 of ‘em), and that they work fine as well.
4. What weight?
This should probably be the first thing that you look at, but be sure that you get a weight that is going to be challenging, but well within your means.
I typically say girls should start with 20+ lbs, and guys should start with a 30 lb bell. If you’re a bigger guy, or have been lifting for a while, you could probably start heavier, but search around a bit and find what you’re comfortable with.
So there you have it! You’re not set with the knowledge you need to make your first kettlebell purchase. Kettlebells are an awesome addition to anybody’s home gym, and now you’ll know what to look for.
Don’t forget to subscribe, and to follow us on Twitter (@renewedhnf)!