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New to Kettlebells? A Trainer Explains How to Choose the Right Weight

Pop Sugar 2019-11-05 22:50:10

Whether you're just getting started with strength training, or you're looking for a way to mix up your workouts, you're probably curious about the kettlebell, which can be swung, pressed, and more for a full-body workout. Like other free weights, kettlebells come in a variety of sizes — but choosing the right one for you doesn't have to be intimidating.

"Whether clients would like to incorporate kettlebells at the gym or purchase them for home workouts, I suggest having two kettlebells, one light and one heavy, as part of their selection," Karisa Curtis, an NASM-certified personal trainer in Los Angeles, told POPSUGAR. "Reserve your lighter kettlebell for upper-body and above-the-head exercises. A good rule of thumb for choosing your lighter kettlebell is picking one up, racking it at your shoulder, and performing several single-arm overhead presses with it. You want to find a weight you can barely perform 10 reps with."

For beginners, a good starting place is a 6- to 8-kilogram kettlebell, Karisa explained — that's the equivalent of 13-to-18 pounds. For lower-body movements, where you naturally have more strength and power, she recommends a heavier kettlebell that's 12-to-16 kilograms (or 26-to-35 pounds) to start. "If you are new to fitness, begin on the lighter side, but if you have experience and a general knowledge of lifting weights, the heavier option should suffice," she said. "As with any exercise, consistency, even over a short period of time, will improve your strength dramatically, so choose weights you can have longevity and grow with."

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For more help choosing the right weight based on your fitness goals, be sure to check out this guide.

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