If you’re a fan of versatile workouts, you probably know the pain of storing your gym equipment in your home gym and pulling off those workouts. Not only can this hinder your progress, but it can also be a major deterrent if you’re just starting out — who has the money or space to fully equip a home gym anyway?
This is why multi-functional workout equipment, like adjustable kettlebells, can be an excellent addition to your setup. Their adjustable nature lets you control the exact weight that you’re lifting and eliminates the need for numerous weights of varying sizes in your home gym. But how do you know which adjustable kettlebell is worth your hard-earned money?
- 1 In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks
- 2 Why You Should Trust Us
- 3 Who Is This Guide For?
- 4 How We Picked the Best Products
- 5 How We Graded Each Product
- 6 The Products
- 7 The Buying Guide
- 8 FAQ
In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks
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Why You Should Trust Us
If there’s one thing the BoxLife team takes pride in, it’s our knowledge and dedication to all things fitness. We’re an experienced and diverse group of individuals that have a passion for exercise, with most of us having spent years dedicated to achieving our personal fitness goals. Throughout the years, we’ve had our fair share of run-ins with workout equipment, both in commercial and home setups.
We know the trials and tribulations that come with trying to use a piece of equipment and understanding what makes it good or bad. Some machines don’t actually live up to their claims, while others provide a great deal of utility — it’s all about the details. We’re also fiercely dedicated to user experience and safety, and we make sure to only recommend products that have been thoroughly tested and vetted by our team.
Who Is This Guide For?
We want to help out anyone who wants to get the most out of their kettlebell workouts and save on space. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a more affordable way to get into weight lifting and strength training or an experienced lifter who’s short on space and needs to adjust their weights on the fly, you could certainly make use of the information we’re about to provide.
How We Picked the Best Products
We approached this matter through a rather objective point of view – we combined our own experiences with different kettlebells with what others on the internet had to say about each product. We made sure to look closely at discussion threads and replies across Reddit and Quora, where there’s an abundance of unfiltered information about each item that users have provided.
We also kept our eyes open for any reports and customer reviews across Amazon, Titan and Rogue Fitness, as part of our effort to get the full picture. We looked at potential design flaws and features that could affect balance, functionality and portability, as well as some positive remarks about each product.
How We Graded Each Product
Once we’d done the legwork and completed our research, we proceeded to grade each product based on a set of meticulously selected criteria. Some products put greater emphasis on safety, while others focused more on convenience and usability. We brainstormed a list of categories that could affect how well each product performs in the real world and ended up with the following:
- Build Quality and Weight Distribution – Regardless of the specific weightlifting technique you’re doing or the kind of workout you’re trying to achieve, having a well-built and balanced kettlebell can impact how well you perform. If it doesn’t match your body’s motion, the results of any given exercise can be compromised. Any discrepancies in weight out of the box can significantly affect the experience.
- Weight Options – The whole point of adjustable kettlebells is that you’re able to modify the weight accordingly, so we wanted to make sure that each product had an ample variety in terms of weight ranges. Lighter weights offer a solid starting point for beginners, while heavier ones are necessary for strength progression and workout variety.
- Size and Portability – Although the majority of adjustable kettlebells are rather compact, there can still be some size-related differences that might affect the portability of any given model. This normally goes hand-in-hand with the weight range – usually, the higher the weight capacity, the bulkier it’ll be. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for bulky products that could’ve been designed in a more space-friendly manner.
- Ergonomic Handle – Definitely an underrated aspect, the handles are what we use to grip the kettlebell and make it move. So it’s vital that they be designed in a way that offers a comfortable and secure grip, no matter how hard we’re lifting or what exercises we’re doing. Sometimes this translates into slippery and abrasive surfaces, which can be quite an inconvenience.
- Price Point – Financial limitations are almost always going to play a role in any buying decision, so we thought it best to look at the price of each product and see if they offered their features at a reasonable cost. Sometimes manufacturers go overboard and ask too much for what it’s worth, while others manage to hit the sweet spot.
REP Fitness Adjustable Kettlebell – Best Overall
If you're not strictly following a strict kettlebell training program or you're still looking for inspiration and guidance for your workouts, the REP Fitness adjustable kettlebell might be a suitable option.
- Sturdy handle with a non-slip grip
- Rubber bottom layer to protect your flooring
- The plastic locking mechanism isn't as durable as the rest of the product
Few products manage to combine quality and functionality quite like the REP Fitness adjustable kettlebell. Featuring a space-saving design, this product caters to both beginners and seasoned weightlifters alike with its user-friendly construction and wide weight range. It looks and feels like a traditional Olympic kettlebell, but its cleverly designed and can easily switch between weights without having to remove any extra parts.
|Weight Ranges||17 – 40 lbs|
|Materials||Iron, Nylon, Rubber, Powder Coating|
|Type of Adjustment System||Adjustment Dial Fastener|
Why It’s Great
Right off the bat, the cast iron exterior gives this product a solid and reliable feel, with the matte powder coating as the finishing touch. Not only does this give it a certain aesthetic appeal, but it also serves to protect your hands and floors from accidental scrapes and scratches. The only plastic part is the weight dial, which is located at the center of the handle.
This allows for an easy and secure weight adjustment with a simple twist, with no unnecessary pieces that could get in the way of your workout. Furthermore, its weight distribution is immaculate, making it feel just as balanced regardless of the weight setting. The internal nylon thermoplastic fastener keeps all of the adjustable plates securely locked into place once they’re inserted and the locking mechanism is engaged.
Another nifty feature is the clear markings of the weight increments, which are shown on both sides of the handle. This way, you can quickly and accurately switch between weights with a solid 5 lbs gap between each setting. They feel extremely stable and secure, so no matter how hard you’re lifting there’s virtually no risk of them slipping out.
Who It’s Best For
If you’re not strictly following a strict kettlebell training program or you’re still looking for inspiration and guidance for your workouts, the REP Fitness adjustable kettlebell might be a suitable option. It has enough versatile features and handy functions to satisfy even the most demanding athletes, all while catering to the needs of beginner weightlifters with its impressive weight range, balanced feel, and clear markings.
Apex Adjustable Kettlebell – Most Affordable Price
The solid cast iron design of the Apex adjustable kettlebell is nothing short of impressive, as it offers a stable and durable foundation for all of the weighted plates you want to add. The handle is coated with a special metallic finish that not only aids in gripping but also helps to keep sweat and moisture out of the equation. Despite its lower price tag, it delivers a decent level of quality that’s on par with many of its pricier competitors.
|Weight Ranges||20 – 50 lbs|
|Type of Adjustment System||Twisted Pin Lock|
Why It’s Great
This incredibly dynamic and efficient kettlebell offers superior value for money, as it brings many of the features usually associated with expensive models to the table. The handle feels comfortable and secure in your hands, while its special metallic coating keeps the sweat away and prevents any slipping.
The weight plates are slightly larger than usual, with a 1-inch gap between each one to help minimize clunking and rattling. This way you can focus on your exercises without being constantly disrupted by the sound of weight plates shifting around. Plus, the spacers facilitate a more even weight distribution and make the overall kettlebell feel more balanced.
Moreover, the thing that sets these kettlebells apart from the rest is their unique locking mechanism, which features a 2-piece steel pin that keeps the wheels securely attached to the handle. Basically, you twist the pin towards the bottom of the handle to lock the weights in place, and then twist it again towards the top to release them.
Who It’s Best For
Anyone who wants to perform kettlebell exercises on a budget will be more than happy with the Apex model. It has enough weight range to challenge intermediate lifters, and it can easily go even heavier in case you need it. Plus, the convenient features and innovative design offer a pleasant and enjoyable experience, with minimal noise during your sets.
Kettlebell Kings Competition-Style Kettlebell – Best for Heavy Strength Training
When it comes to heavy strength training, there's no better choice than the Kettlebell King Competition-Style model.
- Looks and feels like it consists of Olympic-weight plates
- Lifetime warranty on the entire construction
- Needs a special tool to adjust the resistance
A leading name in the kettlebell training industry, Kettlebell King offers a wide range of options to cater to all kinds of lifters. Their Competition-Style model is designed to provide users with the ultimate lifting experience, offering a firm and resilient handle with quite a heavyweight limit. It poses a fantastic challenge to even the most experienced lifters and can definitely come in handy for intense workouts.
|Weight Ranges||26 – 70 lbs|
|Materials||Steel and Cast Iron|
|Type of Adjustment System||Internal Iron Plates with Screw-Based Fastener|
Why It’s Great
The heaviest contender on our list, this kettlebell is built to handle the toughest of workouts. The handle is made from a combination of stainless steel and cast iron, with a slightly wider design to accommodate single and double-handed exercises. This gives you more control and stability during your sets, as the wider handle also helps to prevent wrist strain.
Inserting the weight plates involves a pull-and-slide system, which requires a special tool for adjustment. Although it requires a special tool and a bit of time, the main frame supports up to 7 additional plates with 5-pound increments, going up to a whopping 70 pounds in total. This paves the way for more advanced workouts, allowing you to perform heavy exercises which would otherwise be impossible with regular kettlebells.
The only downside is that the paint job isn’t exactly the best, and it may chip off over time. But at least you can customize the exact hues based on your preferences and have the confidence of a lifetime warranty on the entire construction. Given the product’s heavy weight range, it makes up for its slightly lackluster aesthetic by offering more intense workouts.
Who It’s Best For
When it comes to heavy strength training, there’s no better choice than the Kettlebell King Competition-Style model. It’s built for lifters who want to push their limits and perform the most demanding exercises that their body can handle. Although it needs a special tool to adjust the weight, the sturdy materials and lifetime warranty give it a slight edge over the competition.
Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell – Most User-Friendly Option
Acting like a competition-style adjustable kettlebell, the Bowflex SelectTech 840 has a fairly simple and straightforward dial that lets you go from 8 pounds to 40 pounds with a single turn. It features a unique design that’s slightly wider than regular kettlebells and offers cushioning on the handle and bottom for added comfort during your sets.
|Weight Ranges||8 – 40 lbs|
|Materials||Steel, ABS, Thermoplastic Rubber, Polypropylene|
|Type of Adjustment System||Dial Button|
Why It’s Great
One thing that separates this particular model from the rest is that it offers access to a wide range of workouts with a personal trainer through the JNRY app with an added discount. This provides users with a dedicated source of motivation and guidance to help them make the most out of their workout routine. Plus, you’ll get instant feedback during your sets so that you can make sure you’re doing them right.
The plastic shell feels slightly less sturdy compared to the competition, but the handle is quite comfortable with an oblong shape and cushioning on both the bottom and the handle. While it’s not as curved as a traditional kettlebell, the handle is wide enough for both single and dual-grip exercises. Even though it has a powder-coated finish, it does get a bit slippery with continuous use.
But the area where it excels is the ease with which users can switch from one weight to another. The large dial is located at the very center of the handle and only requires a single turn for adjustments from 8 to 40 pounds. You don’t need to slide and pull any weight plates or twist pin locks, all you need to do is turn the dial to get your desired weight.
Who It’s Best For
The Bowflex SelectTech 840 kettlebell is best suited for beginners who don’t yet need the full range of heavyweights, as well as anyone who doesn’t want to fiddle with multiple plates. Its simple dial makes it very user-friendly and the access to trainer-led exercises is an added benefit. Plus, with two years of warranty, you don’t have to worry about any manufacturing defects.
The Buying Guide
When you’re trying to decide on the best adjustable kettlebell for your needs, the specific make and model are just the mere tip of the iceberg. The results you get and the experience you have depends heavily on the inherent features of each option, with some designs being more user-friendly than others.
This refers to the way the additional plates are attached to the mainframe and how easy it is to adjust the weight. Some models – like the Kettlebell Kings version – require a tool or slide-and-lock mechanism for customization, while others use a simple twist-and-lock system.
That doesn’t mean that one’s necessarily better than the other. It really depends on how often you switch up your routine and the specific exercises you plan to perform. Even so, you can still read through the instruction manual that comes with the product to get a better idea of the adjustment process.
Variety of Exercises
The intensity of your training sessions often depends on the range of exercises that each product supports. Some models are designed for specific purposes, such as goblet squats or kettlebell swings, while others have more versatile handles that can be used to perform a wider range of motion.
For instance, high-intensity interval training may require you to move quickly from one exercise to the next. In this case, a two-hand grip design with a quick-lock mechanism may be more suitable since it allows for smoother transitions between sets. On the other hand, if you’re mainly focusing on strength training using a single-handed cardio exercise regimen, a wider grip could be more beneficial.
As a versatile piece of gym equipment, there’s a wide range of sizes that kettlebells can come in. It’s important to consider the size of the actual kettlebell, as a more compact design may not be suitable for certain exercises that require more range of motion or stability. Of course, a more compact shape inherently limits the maximum weights a certain model can support, which could potentially affect your training.
The handle size is another key factor to consider since it directly affects the amount of grip you get and how easy it is to hold the kettlebell. If the handle is too wide or too narrow, it can cause discomfort and even lead to injury.
Finally, your preferred form of storage could help narrow down your options, as most models come with an easy-on-the-eye storage solution. Some have built-in stands, while others come with a separate rack. Even if there’s no provided storage solution, you’d still have to find something to store the weights safely and conveniently.
What does kettlebell do to your body?
Many people consider standard kettlebells to be full-body workouts as they engage over 600 muscles and provide great cardiovascular exercise. Most of the exercises involve using multiple body parts for stabilizing, swinging, lifting, or any other motion required to complete the exercise. Even on intense training days, the same exercise can be done on multiple rounds to increase muscle activation and burn more calories.
Is it OK to use kettlebells every day?
Doing exercises every day may seem like effective training but it mostly depends on the intensity and type of kettlebell workout. If you’re doing adjustable kettlebell sets with high weights, you should give yourself a break after using them to allow your muscles and joints time to recover. If you’re doing light exercises like kettlebell pulls or swings, then you can do them every day at a leisurely pace.
Are kettlebells better than cardio?
Generally speaking, the kettlebell sport can be more effective when it comes to burning calories and toning muscles than regular cardio. It offers more intensity due to its moveable weight, allowing you to increase or decrease resistance as needed. With proper form and increased repetition, you can also achieve a larger range of motion that helps strengthen the core muscles while improving your overall fitness.