The kettlebells, also known as Russian girya, are a training tool increasingly used in all types of routines. However, due precisely to this popularization, there is a great diversity of models available in the market.
Choosing a suitable kettlebell may not be as simple as it seems. Therefore, it is worth stopping to assess its different characteristics according to our needs, such as shape, weight, or material. Here are some practical tips!
1. Hard or Soft?
There are two main styles in the kettlebell style: Hard-style and Soft-style. The first (not to be fooled by the name) is the most classic and simple, and also the most suitable for beginners and to learn the technique. They are characterized by offering an extended handle that allows double grip with both hands, which is very practical for some exercises. So, if you are going to start strength training, these will be the best option.
Soft-styles tend to have more colorful designs, with a narrower grip and a more refined design.
2. The material
When we talk about Hard-style or classic kettlebell, we can find them mainly from three materials: cast iron, plastic, and sand. Review the details of each of them and choose the one that suits you best:
- The cast iron is the most common to see, and also the most durable and economical. They are made in one piece, and if you are not going to store them or use them in a humid environment, they are highly recommended.
- The plastic ones are filled with heavier material, such as cement. Its appearance tends to be more modern or striking, although its durability is less than those of iron.
- The sand ones are easy to transport because they can be emptied, but their handle is not rigid, so they prevent many classic kettlebell exercises.
3. The grip
Not all kettlebells have a handle of the same size or thickness. And as there is also a big difference in the sizes of each hand, it is necessary to test and make sure that we are going to take a model that we can use properly in our kettlebell training.
Check that your hand can close comfortably around the handle, offering a firm grip and without forcing your fingers. Some exercises require that the kettlebell be firmly held or could fly away, risking accidents.
Also, the handle can have different amplitudes and shapes. Some allow a double grip, very useful for beginners, while others are narrower and are specialized for other types of exercises.
Finally, the surface of the handle itself is also very important. Many kettlebells offer a porous texture that some prefer to avoid to prevent the appearance of calluses on their hands. However, these types of textures offer better grip and greater adhesion, helping to prevent accidents that can become very dangerous.
4. Adjustable kettlebells
Although the usual are the kettlebells of a fixed weight, models of adjustable weight have appeared. These kettlebells have a base weight, to which you can add detachable discs that allow you to adjust the weight. In this way, we have a wide range of resistance in a single kettlebell, without having to buy several different weights.
If you have little storage space, they are a great option, although their durability and comfort are somewhat lower than those of classic kettlebells.
5. The basis and form
The body of the kettlebell tends to be rounded with a flat base, offering on the sides a small flat surface. This surface fulfills a support function in many exercises, and it is therefore appropriate that the kettlebell is not completely spherical.
Similarly, the base must be broad and offer solid support. Keep that in mind!
6. The weight
Last but not least, there is a weight in kettlebell training. The most common kettlebell weights are about 16 kg, but there are between 8 and 48 kg. Which one should you buy?
If you are a beginner, a 16 kg kettlebell for men and 12 kg for women is recommended. Of course, this is only indicative and depends entirely on your fitness level.