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The thought of stocking a home gym can be seriously daunting. After all, it's not like you have unlimited space—or an unlimited budget. In order to get the best bang for your buck, Obé fitness instructor Walter Kemp recommends stocking up on a handful of must-haves: Dumbbells, resistance bands, and of course, a kettlebell.
Kettlebells are free weights you can use in a variety of exercises. They typically consist of a heavy ball (or bell) attached to a wide handle. You can grip the handle with one hand and use it the way you’d use a dumbbell, or you can grab it with both hands to complete goblet squats, Russian twists, and classic kettlebell swings. Since you really only need one kettlebell at a time, the weight is decidedly small space-friendly. And because you can use it for total-body workouts, you could buy a single kettlebell—and nothing else—and still thoroughly level up your at-home strength-training routine.
Read on for the best kettlebells on the market, now.
Unipack’s kettlebell is about as classic as kettlebells come. The weight is crafted from solid cast iron—a durable material that can hold up to years of wear and tear. Its handle is wide enough to comfortably accommodate both of your hands, so you can use it to tackle a range of exercises. Plus, since it's powder-coated, it’s easy to grip, and it comes in 5-, 10-, 20-, or 30-pound weights.
Weights tend to cost a pretty penny. But CAP Barbell is here to prove that you can score a high-quality kettlebell at a budget-friendly price point. The brand’s vinyl-coated version is durable, compact, and easy to use, making it a particularly great pick for beginners. We vote that its best feature is its vinyl coating, which makes it super easy to grip. Never again will you have to worry about a kettlebell slipping out of your hand while you work out (even if you’re sweating).
The Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell is one seriously smart kettlebell. Though it’s a single piece of equipment, it can weigh anywhere between 8 and 40 pounds—and you have total control over how heavy it is. By turning the kettlebell’s built-in dial, you can scale the weight of the kettlebell up and down—which is great news for anyone doing full-body kettlebell workouts. (You no longer need different kettlebells for upper-body and lower-body exercises!) It also means this kettlebell is designed to last—it'll scale with you as you build strength.
There are tons of kettlebell sets out there, but they tend to be pretty repetitive. You usually get three kettlebells at a time, and they tend to come in 15-pound ranges. However, this Yes4All set is a cut above: It's available in eight different variations. You can score two weights (ranging from 10–15 pounds), three weights (ranging from 15–25 pounds), or six weights (ranging from 5–30 pounds). Also nice: The weights come in a bunch of different colors, so you can control what your kettlebells look like, as well as what they feel like.
The Peakform Adjustable Kettlebell is basically seven different kettlebells in one. The weight is made up of a bunch of smaller weights, which, when stacked, create a standard kettlebell. Each weight weighs 5 pounds, and you can easily sub them in and out, based on how hard you want your workout to be. So if you’re looking for a 10-pound beginner-friendly workout, you’ve got it. But you’ve also got a 40-pound challenge at the ready if you’re ever in the mood for one.
The Tone Fitness Kettlebell is a beginner-friendly kettlebell that would look great in your home gym. The weight’s wide handle makes it easy to grip, whether you’re doing one- or two-hand exercises, and its PVC coating makes it comfortable to rest your hands on. Opt for a 5-, 10-, or 15-pound kettlebell, or work your way up over time. If you end up collecting the whole set, you’ll have a seriously pretty weight collection on your hands.
CAP Barbell’s Cast Iron Kettlebell is crafted from solid, high-quality cast iron. You won’t find any welds, seam casting, or coating here—which is really just a fancy way of saying, this kettlebell is built to last. Since the weight is made entirely of cast iron, it can handle a little wear and tear. And since there’s no coating, you won’t have to worry about anything chipping after years of use.
The Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell is exactly what it sounds like: A soft kettlebell. The weight looks a little like a beanbag, but it’s filled with non-shifting steel powder and sand—enough to weigh between 10 and 40 pounds. The benefit of a soft kettlebell? If you drop the weight, you don’t have to worry about it ruining your floors. It also offers a quieter, cozier experience than the average solid iron weight.
If you already own a bunch of dumbbells, you may not be in the mood to buy a bunch of kettlebells, too. And with the Kettle Gryp Adjustable Kettlebell, you don’t have to. The plastic handle—more formally called a “dumbbell adapter”—will make your dumbbells function like kettlebells. Simply open up the Kettle Gryp, slide your dumbbell’s handle inside, close the Kettle Gryp, and voila—you now have a kettlebell (and you didn’t have to buy a bunch of bulky, expensive equipment to get there).
Weights are almost impossible to carry on-the-go. Space inefficiencies aside, they’re heavy. And whether you’re carrying your bag on your back or checking it at the airport, extra weight is not what you’re looking for. Thankfully, the Surge 25 Hydro Ball is here to meet your travel workout needs. The kettlebell gets its weight from water. Filled completely, it weighs 25 pounds, but unfilled, it only weighs 4 pounds, so you can empty it and toss it in your suitcase without giving it a second thought. The only downside? It doesn’t compress when empty. Still, we vote it’s one of the best on-the-go kettlebell solutions out there.