Types of Kettlebells

The kettlebells you see today have come a long way. The concept of such weights is as old as the 15th century where the ancient Greeks developed a weighted tool, the haltere, which resembled the present-day kettlebell in regards to the way it was used. It wasn’t anything near to what kettlebells look like today, but it was a swingable weight, much like kettlebells.

Most of the history that we’ve in hand today about the kettlebell goes back to Russia. A kettlebell is known as a giro in the Russian language. A giro was first used by Russian farmers as a counterweight for measuring grain. Later in the 1900s, the giro found its application in fitness training, a proof of which is found in numerous photographs featuring strong men and women using an object similar to a kettlebell in different exercises. 

The late 19th century was an era of globalization where international travel was boosted, and this is when the kettlebell made its way to the rest of the world. After series of improvements and modifications, the kettlebell took the shape that we see today.

How to Choose a Kettlebell

A kettlebell is a versatile fitness tool. You’ll find different types and varieties of kettlebells in the market today, in terms of weight, size, material, etc. Choosing a kettlebell that suits your requirements can be quite difficult since different kettlebells are suitable for individuals of a particular fitness level. 

If you’re planning to purchase a kettlebell, you may want to know the various factors that should be taken into consideration beforehand. 


There are two basic types of kettlebells; Cast Iron kettlebells and Competition kettlebells. Although there are many different types in terms of design, shape, and aesthetics, all kettlebells are either of the two basic types. Cast iron kettlebells are the most cost-efficient types of kettlebells and also the most common. Cast Iron kettlebells are suitable for new lifters and lifters who use kettlebells casually in their training.

Competition kettlebells are for more seasoned lifters. They’re quite different from Cast Iron kettlebells in terms of design and dimension. These kettlebells are suitable for professional athletes and lifters who plan to compete in kettlebell lifting competitions – hence the name. Competition kettlebells are an ideal type for athletes who’re working to develop one-armed movements and those who’ve got smaller hands, as these kettlebells have smaller handles.  

If you’re new to kettlebells, you should invest in a Cast Iron kettlebell. However, a Competition kettlebell would be best for you if you’re a seasoned professional lifter. 


Kettlebells vary greatly in size. They range from 18 pounds (8kg) to 106 pounds (48kg). It’s critical for you to choose the right size of the kettlebell. The kettlebell you decide to buy should be heavy enough to put sufficient load on your arm muscles but shouldn’t be so heavy that lifting it becomes a challenge for you. Men should start with a 16kg and women with a 12kg kettlebell.

You can consider investing in adjustable kettlebells. You can find both adjustable Cast Iron and Competition kettlebells. These kettlebells allow you to adjust the weight of the kettlebell. Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Kettlebells are one of the finest in the category that allows users to adjust the weight of the kettlebell to suit their workout intensity.


Kettlebells can be made of steel, aluminum, or cast iron. Not all kettlebells are the same, even if they’re made from the same material. The quality grade of the material used has an effect on how durable a kettlebell is. Some kettlebells may even have a rubber coating. Rubber kettlebells are ideal for home use. Your choice of kettlebell material will depend on whether you’re a beginner (Cast Iron kettlebell will be best in this case) or a professional weightlifter and whether you’re planning to train at home or in a commercial gym.

Weightlifting Experience

You should consider your weightlifting experience before buying a kettlebell. If you’re just starting weightlifting with kettlebells, a 16kg kettlebell would be best for males, and an 8kg kettlebell size would suit female beginner-level weightlifters. If you fall under the intermediate category, male weightlifters should opt for a 20kg kettlebell, and for intermediate-level female weightlifters, 12kg kettlebell would serve the purpose best. If you’re a seasoned weightlifter, heavier kettlebells are what you should consider buying. In this case, 24kg kettlebell for males and 16kg kettlebell for women would be best. 

Age and Fitness Level

Your age and fitness level are important considerations. Heavier kettlebells are most suitable for young, active, and physically fit individuals. However, as you age, your fitness level and agility decrease, making heavier kettlebells unsuitable for you.

Quality and Comfort

Invest in good-quality kettlebells. Consider the finishing and smoothness of the surface, the diameter of the handle, and the size of the kettlebell window. All of these factors would affect how comfortable you’re while you’re working out using your kettlebells.

Types of Kettlebells

As we’ve already mentioned above, there are two basic types of kettlebells; Cast Iron kettlebells and Competition kettlebells. Both these types of kettlebells are contrastingly different.

Cast Iron Kettlebells

Types of Kettlebells: Cast Iron Kettlebells

Cast Iron Kettlebells are the standard kettlebells that you’ll see in most commercial and home gyms. They’ve got a characteristic handle that’s wider than its base bell. While the quality and grade of cast iron used to make Cast Iron kettlebells may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the handle will always be wider than the base. 

Cast Iron kettlebells like the Onnit Kettlebell are most suited to recreational lifters who only use kettlebells occasionally. It’s also a good fitness tool for individuals who are involved in exercises that involved two-hand movements like goblet squats and swings. If you’re a beginner who doesn’t have much experience lifting weight, you should start with Cast Iron kettlebells because they feature a wider handle that makes handling and lifting it easier.

Competition Kettlebells

Types of Kettlebells: Competition kettlebell

As you can tell by the name, Competition kettlebells are suitable for professional weightlifters who participate in weightlifting competitions. You can quite easily tell Competition kettlebells apart due to distinct differences in their construction. Unlike Cast Iron kettlebells, the handle of the Competition kettlebell is aligned with its base. The handles aren’t wide but slim and skinny to make lifting these kettlebells easier using one arm during weightlifting competitions. The handle diameter of these kettlebells is 35mm –a standard for competitions held under American Kettlebell Alliance. Another notable feature of Competition kettlebells is that these are consistent for male and female athletes.

Competition kettlebells are best suited to professional kettlebell weightlifters and for individuals who’re working to improve one-armed movements. Individuals who’ve got smaller hands can also make use of these kettlebells due to their smaller handles.

Most Expensive Kettlebell

Black Iron Strength Kettlebells

types of Kettlebells: Black Iron Strength Kettlebells

The most expensive kettlebells in the market today are the Black Iron Strength Kettlebell. They’re available in aluminum and steel, and their weight range starts from 10 pounds and goes up to 75 pounds. While these kettlebells are way more expensive than other kettlebells, there are numerous features that justify their price.

Why is it So Expensive?

The numerous features that account for the hefty price tag include:

  • Rotating handle
  • Premium IGUS bearings
  • Handle featuring premium knurling
  • Solid steel
  • Military hard chrome finish
  • Flat edges offer more stability
  • Antimicrobial copper handles


Starting from $330

Kettlebell Accessories

Hand Guard

Investing in a handguard is a wise thing to do, especially if you’re just beginning to learn to lift a kettlebell. The chances that a beginner might mishandle the kettlebell and end up hurting their hand or wrist are quite high. A handguard is a padded hand/ wrist cover that protects your hand from any sort of injury during the kettlebell workout.

Kettlebell Rack

If you’ve got numerous kettlebells, a kettlebell rack is necessary to keep them organized.

Adjustable Kettlebell Bar

An adjustable kettlebell bar is a great accessory that you should consider investing in. It’ll allow you to adjust the weight of your kettlebell as you modify your workout intensity. You can even use the adjustable kettlebell bar to test your limits before you actually decide the weight of the kettlebell you want to start with.

Kettlebell Maintenance

Although kettlebells are extremely tough fitness equipment, you should look after their maintenance to keep them in good shape. If you don’t maintain your kettlebells well, they will rust sooner than later.

  • The sweat from your hands causes the handles to rust. Use scrub pads to scrub the handles of your kettlebell regularly as they’re most prone to rust.
  • If you’ve scrubbed off the tarnish layer from your kettlebell handles to improve the grip, chalk the handles often. This will prevent the kettlebells from slipping from your hand or causing calluses on your palms. 
  • Keep sandpaper handy. Your kettlebell may get rusty if you leave them in storage for too long. A quick scrub with sandpaper can give your kettlebells an instant fresh look. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Kettlebells

What do kettlebells do to your body?

Kettlebells improve the core power, flexibility, balance, coordination, and overall strength of the body. Working out with kettlebells also helps you burn fat and build lean muscle mass.

What weight kettlebell should I get initially? 

If you’re a male beginner, you should start with a kettlebell of 12kg. If you’re a female, a kettlebell weighing 6 to 8kg would be best for you.

Are kettlebells bad for health?

Kettlebells don’t have any adverse impact on the body; however, they’re not suitable for high reps.

How soon can you see results from the kettlebell workout?

If you combine a kettlebell workout with a proper diet, you will start to see a difference in your overall fitness in 30 days. 

Conclusion on Types of Kettlebells

Kettlebells are essential equipment for home and commercial gyms. They’re associated with a wide array of benefits, making them a staple in every gym. Now that you know the different types of kettlebells and who they’re suitable for, it’ll be easier for you to choose the type of kettlebell that’s best for you.