A Kettlebell is a type of cast iron weight that looks something like a cannonball with a handle; they’re used to perform ballistic exercises to combine the different types of workout – such as cardiovascular, strength and flexibility.
Sizes range from 4 lbs (1.8kg) to 175 lbs (79kg), rather than pounds or kilograms, the weight of a kettlebell is often referred to as a ‘pood’ which is roughly 35 lbs (16kg). In contrast to the dumbbell, it’s not usually necessary to buy a set or lots of different weights, one ideal kettlebell can last for years and work well as part of a fitness regime.
The centre of a kettlebell mass extends beyond the hand and this makes swinging movements much easier than with other types of weights, this is meant to build both strength and endurance – particularly around the shoulders, lower back and legs. Basic exercises such as the swing, the snatch, and the clean and jerk are great for making the whole body work as one, not just isolating certain muscle groups.
Spending ten minutes with a kettlebell can increase muscle development, fat loss and athletic ability, and can burn more calories than forty-five minutes exercising on a treadmill. If you aren’t sure of your core strength, it’s best to begin your workout with a smaller kettlebell and some simple exercises, to avoid injuring your back and shoulders.
Which kettlebells to buy
There are hundreds of retailers competing for your business in the fitness sector; if you know exactly what you’re looking for it will help the shopping process immeasurably. An average female, as a newcomer to the fitness world, should start with the smaller kettlebells, at around 10kg – unless some physical issues dictate a lighter weight.
Men could begin with at least a 16kg bell – again, providing there are no health problems. Once you are comfortable with certain exercises and you have mastered the basic moves, you might want to consider buying the next size up or another one of the same weight to build on the work you’ve already done.
Cost to buy kettle bells
Don’t be surprised if at first glance kettlebells are slightly more expensive than dumbbells or other kinds of weights, they aren’t just used to build muscle, they useful for improving balance, core strength and grip.
The smallest designs are available for around £4-£5 and the larger ones can be purchased for hundreds, depending on the quality and the weight. If you’re looking for something in the heavier end, or a more specific design – such as a selectorised kettlebell – it could cost you around £150 or more, but remember you’re paying for the quality and it should last you a long time even with prolonged use.
If money is an issue, there are plenty of places online and on the high street who offer great deals on kettlebells, and there’s bound to be some quality used ones made from iron or steel with sand inside.