Kettlebells are great weight training equipment. They have been used for decades but have only really become a popular feature in mainstream gyms and sports shops in the last twenty years or so. One of the reasons why more and more people are discovering kettlebells is that they can be used in many ways. With a kettle bell you make smooth dynamic movements. This allows you to perform a cardio workout that burns fat and calories. Even better it’s done at a higher rate than normal weight training with dumbbells or resistance machines. If you are interested in starting to use kettlebells, whether you have seen them at the gym or would like to buy some and work out with them at home, then one of the most important questions is, what’s the best weight?
Choosing the right weight for your current strength will enable you to avoid injury and perform the movements with the correct form. As a result any routine ensures that you are getting the best strength training benefits from your workout. A kettlebell that is too light will make for an ineffective workout. One that is too heavy will cause you to perform the exercises incorrectly and risk straining muscles. An overly heavy kettlebell will mean that you won’t be able to do enough reps to get the full benefit. Even worse your workout stops because your strength fails.
Kettlebells: what’s the best weight
Wherever you buy your kettlebells, most manufacturers produce them in weights measured in kilos. Typically, the lightest kettlebells are 4kg, and then the sizes increase in 4kg increments. While you may see enormous kettlebells in bodybuilding gyms or in stores, the majority of people use kettlebells within the 4kg-24kg ranges.
New to fitness
Be careful, if you are starting out on an entirely new fitness program and haven’t been doing any strength training recently. It is likely that you will need to start with an 8kg bell if you are a woman, and a 12kg bell if you are a man. You may wonder why the 4kg kettlebells even exist if most beginners can work comfortably with an 8kg kettlebell!, Well the smaller bells can be useful if you want to do more of an aerobic exercise routine. Using a light kettle bell adds weight and intensity. A 4kg kettlebell may also be the place to start if you are recovering from an injury.
Just changing your routine
If you already have some fitness training under your belt or are a naturally strong person then this is for you,! It is a good idea to try out and compare these weights with the kettlebells one level heavier. So compared to above that means the 12kg kettlebells for women and the 16kg bells for men. Try out some basic kettlebell swings using the correct form to test out how it feels. There are many tutorial videos online to help you learn this movement. Alternatively ask a trainer if you are trying out kettlebells for the first time at the gym. If you can move smoothly and perform around 8-10 reps before your muscles are too fatigued, great. Consider moving to the heavier weight.
One thing that you may find is that the muscle groups involved in some kettlebell exercises are stronger than others. If you are performing exercises that engage the core a lot, such as kettlebell squats, you may need a heavier weight. An exercise like a kettlebell bicep curls which only really focus on the arms will need a lighter weight. This can especially be the case for women, who tend to be a lot weaker than men in the arms, shoulders, and chest, but have similar strength proportional to their weight in the lower body and some parts of the core.Using lighter weights weights to do a more cardio focused kettlebell routine some days works o that you can keep going for longer without rest periods or through interval training programs.
As you might imagine, this means you will probably want to purchase kettlebells in different weights to the one you choose for basic kettlebell exercises. This isn’t essential but will allow you to do more varied training and switch up your routine. It will also mean that as your strength increases during your training, you will already have the next weight up ready for you to start using as your ‘main’ kettlebell.
An option for this is to buy adjustable kettlebells. As the name suggests you can add an extra weight onto the bottom to increase the weight without altering the shape and balance of the kettlebell. This can be a good option at home if you want to save space. The downside is some fiddling about every time you want to change weights during a workout. Most people who use different weight for different exercises just have kettlebells in different sizes.
The shape of kettlebells is a big part of why they are so effective for training. this is because they add some momentum to your movements that your muscles have to control. As a result you are engaging muscles in a different way to more stable dumbbells. what this means is that your grip on the handle of the kettlebell is very important. Different manufacturers have different handles!, So it is a good idea to try out some different kettlebells if you are buying your own, especially if you have small hands or a weak grip. Your grip strength will improve automatically as you train with the kettlebell. That said sure you choose one that is comfortable enough for you to complete the exercises you want to do from the start.
You may also find that using some gym chalk on the handle can give you a better grip. Remember that Kettlebell training is intense, and you will sweat if you are doing it right! Stopping the handle feeling too slippery can be a good idea to avoid a kettlebell taking off in your spare room!. Some manufacturers put a textured coating on the handle to help with this, too.
Kettlebell workouts can be a great addition to just about anybody’s fitness program. By now you’re better able to answer this question: Kettlebells:what’s the best weight. Good luck