- Kettlebells: The Cornerstone of Whole-Body Fitness
- In Depth Best Kettlebell Reviews
- ListofFit Best Pick: CAP Cast Iron Kettlebell
- Considerations When Buying Kettlebells
Kettlebells: The Cornerstone of Whole-Body Fitness
Despite the fitness value in power towers, dumbbells, and spin bikes, kettlebells may be our favorite piece of equipment at ListofFit. They are designed to facilitate exercises that build and strengthen your core through whole-body movements.
Kettlebells have a unique history as well. They were initially used in Russia in the 1700s as a way to weigh crops. After the farmers noticed their increased strength, they began to use kettlebells in competitions during festivals to impress spectators. In the 20th century, the Russian military used kettlebells as part of their physical fitness regimen.
From an exercise perspective the kettlebells offer two distinct physical benefits at once. They increase your physical strength through moving the weight, and they increase your stamina and endurance through the swinging and whole-body movement exercises. We feel that makes kettlebells a superior piece of equipment than the standard dumbbell or weight bench.
Within the last decade, the popularity of kettlebells has exploded. Most gyms have them available and some well known fitness centric people like Joe Rogan use them regularly. With this increased interest there has been more competition in the market to create new and unique lines of kettlebells to use at home or at the gym. This has led to their being kettlebells that look like monkeys!
For those who want to maximize their core and functional strength and not just have big arms with a bigger gut, then kettlebells are a must. We have selected four pairs of kettlebells that we feel can make your home gym complete.
- Weight Options: 9 lbs., 13 lbs., 18 lbs., 26 lbs., 35 lbs., 44 lbs., 53 lbs., 62 lbs., 70 lbs., 80 lbs., 88 lbs.
- Summary: Our pick for best kettlebell. Simply gets the job done, has a smooth grip, and is a good value.
- Price: Ranges from ~$20 to ~$125
- ListofFit Rating:
(4.7 / 5)
- Weight Options: 2 Adjustable Kettlebell Sizes: 20 lbs. and 40 lbs.
- Summary: The only adjustable kettlebell on the list. Power Block is an awesome value and are great for those who need multiple kettlebell weights.
- Price: ~$100 for 20 lbs. and ~$200 for 40 lbs.
- ListofFit Rating:
(4.3 / 5)
- Weight Options: 5 lbs., 10 lbs., 15 lbs., 20 lbs., 25 lbs., 30 lbs., 35 lbs., 40 lbs., 45 lbs.
- Summary: Yes4All Vinyl Covered Kettlebells are recommended for those who plan to do exercises on a hard-surface floor.
- Price: ~$14 for 5 lbs. and ~$58 for 45 lbs.
- ListofFit Rating:
(3.9 / 5)
- Weight Options: 4 kg, 6 kg, 8 kg, 10 kg, 12 kg, 14 kg, 16 kg, 22 kg, 24 kg, 26 kg, 32 kg, 40 kg, and 44 kg.
- Summary: Well crafted kettlebells that feature smooth cast iron that is easy on the hands. Also comes with a non-skid rubber bottom making them good for home use.
- Price: ~$30 for 4 kg. and ~$185 for 44 kg.
- ListofFit Rating:
(3.9 / 5)
1. CAP Barbell Cast Iron Kettlebell
Our first best kettlebell selection is from a brand that is familiar to ListofFit. CAP also had a weighted vest that made our top weighted vest article. CAP really focuses on creating quality products that are great for use in home gym and Crossfit groups alike.
These CAP Barbell Cast Iron Kettlebells are color coded by weight so that you don’t have to spend anytime looking for the correct kettlebell for a specific exercise. Weight options for the CAP kettlebell include 9, 13, 18, 26, 35, 44, 53, 62, 70, 80, and 88 pounds. With such a wide variety there is likely a pair or two of these kettlebells that will meet your needs.
The weight is guaranteed to be within 1% of the kettlebells stated weight. Also, these kettlebells are made from machine-finished, powder-coated iron that will not rust or breakdown over time.
Price of the CAP Cast Iron Kettlebells vary from around $20 to $170 at the time of writing this article. These are a great value and cheaper than other options with a vinyl cover.
Using the CAP Kettlebells is an enjoyable experience thanks to their craftsmanship and balance. There is no seam line on the handle of these kettlebells and the grip is a good size for both ladies and gents, which makes them comfortable to use. The color coding will come in handy for those who buy several pairs for their home or if you a buying them for a gym. Overall, we recommend these kettlebells to lifters who need heavier weight kettlebells than are offered by other brands.
If you are reading this article and do Crossfit, be sure to read our article on weighted vests as the CAP brand made this list as well.
2. PowerBlock Kettle Block
In our best adjustable dumbbell article we discussed how impressed we were with the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells as they earned the honor being the “ListofFit Best Pick” in the adjustable dumbbell category.
PowerBlock has come with another incredibly innovative product with the PowerBlock Kettle Block. This is the only adjustable kettlebell system that we are aware of that is for sale today.
PowerBlock Kettle Block comes in two different size options: 20 pounds and 40 pounds. The 20 pound Kettle Block allows users to adjust the weight to 5, 8, 12, 16, and 20 pounds. The 40 pound version allows for adjustability to the following weights: 8, 12, 16, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 50 pounds.
Pricing on the Kettle Block depends on the size you buy. The 20 pound version come in at right around $100, while the 40 pound version will set you back about $200. For the variety of weight options this is a great value for those who require a lot of variety in their kettlebell weights.
The Kettle Blocks work well for most of the kettlebell exercises that we do on a regular basis. They feel solid and considering the many movable parts that is an accomplishment in and of itself. However, there are some issues to consider when buying the PowerBlock Kettle Block Kettlebells. First, the Kettle Block is not as comfortable as traditional dumbbells when doing snatches or similar exercises where the kettlebell lays on your forearm.
In summary, these kettlebells are recommended to those of you who need three or more different kettlebell weights that would result in paying a lot of money in traditional kettlebells. If you are in this camp, save yourself the money and hassle and pick these up.
Wanting dumbbells as well? PowerBlock makes the best rated adjustable dumbbells on the market.
3. Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell
Yes4All makes many different fitness related products including yoga mats, pull-up bars, and kettlebells. The latter of which has made its way onto our best kettlebells list.
These Yes4All Kettlebells have a vinyl cover that work as protection so that the kettlebells do not damage floors and carpet. But don’t let the vinyl fool you, these kettlebells are made from top grade cast iron that are durable and hard as any other kettlebell on the market.
These Yes4All Kettlebells come in nine different weight options ranging from 5 pounds to 45 pounds. This range will offer a kettlebell weight that will meet the needs of most users.
From a value perspective you do pay a bit more for the vinyl covering on these kettlebells compared to kettlebells that do not offer such a cover. Prices range from $14 for the 5 pound kettlebell, to almost $60 for the 45 pound version.
These Yes4All Kettlebells are really the best choice for those who plan to use kettlebells at home and are concerned about the damage that the kettlebell could do to their flooring. The vinyl covering should provide some assurance. Still, do not slam or drop these kettlebells as the vinyl can crack and breakdown over time.
Users have mentioned that the handle on these kettlebells is smooth and does not tear up your hands. These are simply solid kettlebells at a reasonable price.
4. Perform Better First Place Gravity Cast Iron Kettlebell
Similar to Yes4All, Perform Better also makes a variety of fitness gear including the First Place Gravity Cast Iron Kettlebell.
The weight options on these kettlebells is impressive with weight options including: 4 kg, 6 kg, 8 kg, 10 kg, 12 kg, 14 kg, 16 kg, 22 kg, 24 kg, 26 kg, 32 kg, 40 kg, and 44 kg.
With all these options there is sure to be the perfect kettlebell to add to your workout.
From a price perspective, Perform Better First Place Gravity Cast Iron Kettlebells are a bit more expensive than comparable models like the CAP Kettlebells. However, the Perform Better Kettlebells do have some unique features that help them stand apart from other options.
For one, the First Place Gravity Cast Iron Kettlebells have the heaviest weight option out of all the kettlebells on our best kettle bell list. The 44 kg kettlebell is the equivalent of 97 pounds.
Another feature found on these kettlebells is the non-slip rubber bottom. This means that the kettlebells won’t slid around when trying to pick them up or put them down giving them a stable feel. We feel this design is superior to the vinyl cover as it offers better traction on the bottom of the kettlebell and looks better too.
The Perform Better First Place Gravity Cast Iron Kettlebells are a fine kettlebell especially if you don’t mind spending a few more dollars to get the rubber non-slip bottoms featured on these badboys.
ListofFit Best Pick: CAP Cast Iron Kettlebell
Each and every kettlebell we’ve selected to our best kettlebell list are high quality and will meet the needs of many fitness enthusiasts. However, when selecting the best of the best, we really focused on a mix of quality, ease of use, price, and features.
With all those things in mind we feel confident in saying that the CAP Cast Iron Kettlebells are the best kettlebells available today. They have a large variety of weight options, are made from quality cast iron, and are priced reasonably compared to the competition.
The handle on the CAP Kettlebells is also very comfortable to use and will not cause blistering or irritation on the skin while performing all types of swings movements.
While the CAP Cast Iron Kettlebells were our first choice, the other selections on our list have their own specific strengths that may make them better for you. For example, if you want weight variety without having a bunch of kettlebells in your home, then by all means pick up the PowerBlock Kettle Block as this will likely meet your needs better than the CAP.
Considerations When Buying Kettlebells
Making kettlebell exercises a part of your strength-training regimen is a great investment in your body and stamina. But before diving in consider some of the things that are relevant for buying kettlebells.
First, if you are buying these for a home gym consider the flooring that your home gym is on. If it is not carpeted or covered with a rubber mat then we strongly recommend buying kettlebells with a vinyl cover or rubber bottom.
Also, make sure you are buying the right size kettlebell in terms of weight. If you are just getting into working out then please do not go buying an 80 pound kettlebell. That’s an express way to a slipped disk. Just be honest with yourself regarding your abilities and don’t over do it.