Fitness training with kettlebells

While the popularity of the kettlebell may have just recently hit a high, the efficiency of the workout will ensure it doesn’t become a piece exercise equipment that will be phased out over time. If you haven’t explored the differences your body can experience with a kettlebell exercise (sometimes referred to as “Kettlercise”) there’s a wide variety to the workouts and the target areas. All seem to have one greater efficiency than most other workouts: They will make your life easier. That is to say, a stationary bike won’t be improving the muscles you’ll use in your day to day, but a kettlebell very likely will. Kettlebell exercises are practical. They’ll teach your body control and strengthen the muscles you actually use.

If you’re interested in different types of workouts you can do utilizing kettlebells, there’s a great list here. But each type generally fits into two categories: Ballistic or controlled. Ballistic exercises are explosive bursts of activity; like a swing or jerk. Controlled exercises (or grinds) refer to slower, steady movements; like a squat or dead lift. Ballistic will require exertion for not just the muscles being used but also from your lungs and heart, helping your overall health. Grinds lead to an exertion of primarily the muscles used for the task, but for your body to hold control of the weight, your entire body will tense, giving you an all over workout and creating a strength that will follow you into your daily life.

Note: We recommend talking to a doctor before adding a big change into your workout regiment. Adding too much stress too soon can damage your body and the impact this workout equipment can have on your heart is one you will probably want to make sure your body can handle. If nothing else, start slow and understand your limitations before you genuinely push yourself.

10 Best Adjustable Kettlebells (chart)

Editor's PicksBrandRatingPrice
Best OverallKettle Gryp Kettlebell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip Travel Workout Equipment Gear for Gym Bag 4.5 stars$34.95
Runner UpTitan Fitness 10-40 lb Adjustable Kettlebell Weight Lifting Swing Workout 4.4 stars$109.00
Best Budget BuyEmpower Kettlebell Weight Set for Women 4.0 stars
$31.49
*costs are estimated
*ratings are based on Amazon user ratings

Buying Information

You may have enough experience with Kettlebells to know exactly what weights you need and for which activity. In reality, there’s no right or wrong answer across the board. Your weights and your workouts need to be personalized to your capabilities. And as you progress and strengthen over time, your weight range will change as well. You’ll need to feel your weights to know what is best for you to start with and where your goals will settle.

Picking an adjustable kettle bell will allow you a bit more wiggle room than standard kettlebells, so you don’t necessarily need to have your exact numbers before you purchase. (Although going in blind is really not recommended, either.) If you want a handy guide to what size kettle bell you should start with, you can check one out here. As a general rule though, for ballistic training, an average, active man can usually start around 35 to 44 pounds while an average, active woman can do around 18 to 24 pounds. For the more controlled movements, the average, active man typical can range between 18 to 26 pounds and the average, active woman will range between 13 to 18 pounds.

Beyond the weight, you’ll also need to keep in mind the handle size and diameter. There are two primary types of Kettlebells; Competition (or Pro-Grade), and Cast Iron. If you’re looking to compete, obviously lean towards a pro-grade kettlebell. They will all have the same diameter so that no matter what weight you’re using they’ll fit on the exact same spot on your arm. Cast Iron kettlebells change as they increase in weight and the placement and your grip will need to adjust slightly as well. Luckily, for adjustable kettlebells, the handles will all be the same so unless you also plan on using standard, this won’t be too much of a concern.

To find what size handle you prefer, you may want to check with your local gym. Although this is beginning to change, finding a physical store to purchase kettlebells can still prove difficult. Because of this, you’ll probably be buying your selections online, and even if the return policies are spectacular, you’ll still want to avoid pricey shipping and wasted time if at all possible.

One more thing to keep in mind when researching your kettlebells: weight is sometimes referred to using the Russian measurement; the term “Pood.” It’s a different measurement system entirely so if the kilograms – pounds conversion wasn’t confusing enough, here’s a quick cheat conversion: 1 Pood = 16 kg = 35 lbs.

Reviews of the Top-Rated Adjustable Kettlebells

1. Brute Force Kettlebells: Adjustable Kettlebell

Brute Force Kettlebells: Adjustable Kettlebell, The Perfect Workout Equipment for HomeThis kettlebell isn’t a traditional kettlebell but it will require absolutely no research on your weight abilities before your purchase. The listed weight range is from 0 to 45 pounds, but that’s completely dependent on you and what you fill it with. Essentially, this is an empty sandbag that is shaped and designed as a kettlebell. You can fill it with sand, as the listing calls for, or you can choose to fill it with pretty much anything and filling it with different material will change the weight it can hold. For example, it can hold 45 pounds of dry sand, but wet sand will be heavier. You can also use a separate bladder and fill it full of water. Gravel, stones, dirt, mud; honestly you can use just about anything you have lying around with this.

The bag itself is made with a double wall and separate liner which will give it an incredible capacity. It’s made with ballistic nylon and is webbing reinforced to 1800 pounds. The rubber handle is contoured and simulates a standard kettlebell while the handle straps are triple reinforced with a box X stitching and the straps that surround the bag are quadruple reinforced with an inner seam stitch. The top seals with a spill proof HDPE stiffener so you won’t need to worry about making a sand mess as you throw your weight around.

The manufacturer has made its name for its sandbags and when they brought the design over to a kettlebell, they pulled from a lot of quality experience and knowledge in its construction. The one thing you may find a need to address if you’re going to primarily do ballistic exercises, though: the handle may be a bit rough on your hands. If this is the case, it’s likely it would be the case on any kettlebell, but we wanted to warn you that you may want to have a pair of gloves handy just in case.

2. CFF Adjustable Russian Kettlebell Weights

CFF Adjustable Russian Kettlebell Weights Includes DVD 40-PoundThis kettlebell ranges from 10 to 40 pounds due to its 10 pound handle and base. It includes six 5 pound plates so you can progress at a natural and gradual pace. There is a locking device that is easily operated, simply pull back and twist to add and remove weights allowing you to change between workout types quickly. And minimizing downtime in your workout will keep your heart rate and motivation flowing. And should you wonder where to begin, an instructional DVD is also included.

The handle’s dimensions are 28.5 mm in diameter and 6.75 inches wide inside the handle. It has a classic design that features a traditional triangle type handle and is made of metal. With its weight adjustments you’ll be effectively replacing 7 different kettlebells with one, which will save you a lot of space and money. And because the handle is exactly the same for each weight you adjust it to, you’ll never have to adjust your grip or hold as you increase weight.

One minor complaint in the reviews for this product is the fact that, after prolonged use for ballistic exercises, screws do begin to loosen. Fortunately they are easily tightened and as long as you remain diligent in your attention to upkeep, this shouldn’t ever present a problem.

3. Empower Kettlebell Weight Set for Women, Adjustable Kettlebells

Empower Kettlebell Weight Set for Women Adjustable Kettlebells 5 lbs 8 lbs 12 lbs 3-In-1 Kettlebell Set This kettlebell is designed with women in mind – that is, it has a lower weight that will cater a bit more to those with a bit less upper body strength. The handle itself is 5 pounds and has two additional plates that will increase to 8 and 12 pounds total. When switching between weights, all you need do is click and twist to put on, push down on a latch button to unfasten it and twist back off. Switching between weights (and therefore switching between workouts) couldn’t be any easier.

This is a sand filled kettle bell with a soft touch plastic shell so your hands won’t feel the pain of your workout nearly as much as with other weights. The grip itself is a classic triangle and if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing, it also comes with an instructional DVD and workout guide.

This is an ideal set for any woman just starting out, that’s true but we especially like the possibilities with aging females. As you age, you may find that your muscles deteriorate and your joint strength isn’t what it used to be. The benefit of a kettlebell workout is that it will strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints and may contribute greatly to a healthier, happier you. And if you can find a way to wake up with less soreness, we say jump on it!

4. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Kettlebell 57.5 lb Combo

Ironmaster Quick-Lock Kettlebell 575 lb ComboThis is a relatively obvious design for an adjustable kettlebell. You simply take the base, or handle, and screw square plates onto it’s bottom. You will need to take a bit of time in between changes, but the change itself is utterly straight forward.

The handle and base weigh 22.5 pounds, so this isn’t designed for beginner women or really even men who aren’t already pretty active in the weight room.  The handle and base are cast together to ensure its strength. Along with the base, you’ll get steel plates weighing 2.5 pounds each and with these additions you’ll be able to get your kettlebell all the way to 57.5 pounds. So this should have you covered as you add weight on, very likely for your entire progression to your goals. The handle is 1.375 inches in diameter, the locking pin has machined steel threads and the entire design has been through research and development so thoroughly, the manufacturer makes a point to advertise its ergonomic comfort.

If you have other Ironmaster equipment you may already have plates and if you don’t after buying this kettlebell, you may find you’ll want to expand your weight workout with some more. The plates themselves are interchangeable, so whether you want to use them on this kettlebell or purchase dumbbells, the plates will work.

5. KETTLE GRYP – Kettlebell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip 

KETTLE GRYP - Kettlebell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip Travel Workout Equipment Gear for Gym Bag Crossfit WOD Weightlifting BodybuildingThis isn’t your standard kettlebell – it’s an adjustment you make to your dumbbells to create a kettlebell. You open the handle and place the dumbbell’s handle in the cradle, then close it, lock it and it will be secure enough for you to do all your kettlebell exercises. The cradle where your dumbbells rest is filled with a high quality urethane foam that will prevent the weight from slipping. The Kettle Gryp will fit around any dumbbell handle 1.5 inches in diameter or less (and that is most). And it’s rated for any weight up to 55 pounds.

It is just under one pound so the addition it adds to your weights is almost negligible, but you will want to take it into consideration if you’re just starting out and every pound matters. The grip itself is made of a high impact ABS plastic and the pin that hinges the grip is made of stainless steel. And should anything happen, the Kettle Gryp is backed with a lifetime warranty.

If you already have a set of dumbbells and are just curious as to whether adding kettlebells into your routine may get the kind of results you’re looking for, this is an inexpensive way to find out. This is a perfect little addition to your already established weight room and it will expand your fitness purview and relieve any boredom you may be suffering in your workout. And not having to add all new equipment to your home gym will really help you save space. In fact, because of how portable it is, you can even pack it up  and use it while you’re travelling; most gyms have dumbbells, but fewer have kettlebells.

6. Kettlebell Kings | Black Adjustable Kettlebell Weights & Kettlebell Set

Kettlebell Kings Black Adjustable Kettlebell Weights & Kettlebell Set Kettlebells For Women & Men 10 - 40 Pounds Made For Home Use Swings Squats PressThis kettlebell is one that will give the general appearance and feel of a standard design, but allows you much more flexibility in your workouts. You’ll be able to transition from a ballistic movement and heavier weight to a grind workout with lighter weight without taking the time to let your heart rate settle. And the more consistent you can keep your heart rate, the more effective your workout will be on your overall health. To lock and unlock the plates onto the base and handle, you just press down and twist on the top.

The traditionally rounded triangle handle is attached with screws and it, along with the base are made of a durable black plastic that will easily hold the 40 pound max capacity. The plates themselves are a metal composition that will easily take any abuse that comes with even your most aggressive workouts. Without any plates, it’s 10 pounds and you can gradually progress adding the 5 pound plates up to the max 40 pounds. That makes 7 different weight sizes, which means this kettlebell will save you space and money.

The manufacturer is so committed to providing you with the tools you’ll need to operate their equipment that they’ve published free workouts and how tos, so even without the use of a personal trainer, you won’t be lost when you start your kettlebell workouts.

7. Apex Kettle Bell Exercise Weight Set

Apex Kettle Bell Exercise Weight SetThis adjustable kettlebell has a slightly different but also incredibly sensible design. The handle is 15 pounds and bottom plate is 5 pounds; and there are 4 removable spacer disks in between. The removable disks allow you to increase your weight in increments of 20 pounds up to 50 pounds.

The handle grip is extra wide which will allow anyone to use it with comfort. And for the smaller handed user, you may even be able to use it safely with both hands. The plates and handles are all made of a highly durable metal construction and the locking mechanisms on the bottom are very similar to a nut and bolt so you won’t struggle with the transitions.

This kettlebell a great for muscle building and toning exercise. Even if you’re well versed in kettlebell exercises and workouts, you could still benefit from opting for this versatile option that will save you both money and space. In fact, this kettlebell takes up so little real estate, you can take it with you practically everywhere you go. (But maybe not if you’re paying by the pound for your bags.)

8. PowerBlock Adjustable Kettlebell, Black, 35 lb

PowerBlock Adjustable Kettlebell Black 35 lb

Unlike a lot of other adjustable kettlebells, this has a smooth appearance due to the weights being stored inside. The outer shell surrounds the weight you choose to use and the pin secures it in place for your workout, leaving the other weights aside. When you transition weights, you simply place the handle and shell on top of the weight stack and pull the pin, adding or subtracting weights as you see fit. This is a similar design to most weight machines and that will give it a familiar feel that will keep you in your comfort zone even as you try new things. The pin will lock in place via an incredibly strong magnet that will allow you to abuse during your workout without worry.

The weights, shell and handle are all solid steel and while the weights themselves resemble plates, they’re a proprietary design exclusive to the PowerBlock brand. The handle has a 1.29″ diameter which means it’s a good design for even those with smaller hands. The max capacity of this kettle bell is 35 pounds and the handle and shell alone are 18 pounds. Adding weight blocks will also give you 22, 26 and 35 pound kettlebells so this one piece of equipment will replace 4 others.

The kettlebell measures 10 inches high and 5.75 inches long and with its ergonomic design, you’ll find this one relatively small kettlebell perfect for even your biggest workouts.

9. Stamina X Adjustable Kettle Versa-Bell – 36 lbs.

Stamina X Adjustable Kettle Versa-Bell - 36 lbs

This is a kettlebell that has its weights enclosed securely in it’s shell that will give the smooth appearance of a standard kettlebell, even as you adjust it to your weight specifications. (So if you have any insecurities on revealing your weight max – though you shouldn’t – this should have you, and your weights discretely covered.)

The handle and shell are 16 pounds and with the addition of its five weight plates, the max capacity of this kettlebell is 36 pounds, which makes it a great option for those just starting out with ballistics or controlled workouts for even the more experienced athletes. You can gradually increase your weights in 4 pound increments, making the bell 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 and 36 pounds, effectively replacing 6 kettlebells with just this one.

The handle is made of a cast iron construction and the plates are each solid steel so the durability of this is certainly not in question. The locking mechanism is located at the side of the bell and is covered by a side plate. The pin itself is secured with magnets and the cover then snaps it into place, giving a double safety net to keep the weights in place. This bell also comes with a rubber mat that will allow you to place it on the floor for push-ups without worrying about damaging your floor.

10. Titan Fitness 10 – 40 lb Adjustable Kettlebell Weight Lifting Swing Workout

Titan Fitness 10 - 40 lb Adjustable Kettlebell Weight Lifting Swing Workout

This kettlebell is one that has a core and handle as a base and you will secure plates to as you progress. The locking mechanism is a simple press, slide and pop on system that will minimize the down time between workouts while you transition weights. And it’s so well constructed, the manufacturer is completely comfortable providing a 1 year warranty.

The handle and base alone weigh 10 pounds and each of its 6 plates weigh 5 pounds, allowing you to gradually progress from the base 10 pounds to the max capacity of 40 pounds. This will satisfy most workouts for most people, making it a versatile solution for your kettlebell needs.

It’s made of a durable cast iron – even the plates. They’re powder coated to prevent rust and add a layer of comfort for your use. Its locking mechanism is a heavy duty plastic and it will secure the plates safely so you won’t need to worry about them moving during your workout. The handle is 1.5 inches in diameter so a good fit for most hands, and the width of the handle is such that you may even be able to comfortably use with both hands.

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