How To Pick The Right Kettlebell Weight

Kettlebell WeIgHt
Okay! Now that you know your way around a kettlebell, which kettlebell should you choose? Yes, these guys come in all sorts of colors and even designs—includ- ing the monkey kettlebell my husband got me for Valentine’s Day. But, all kidding and fun aside, kettlebell weight is extremely important. In many motions it will also differ significantly from the weight you are used to with dumbbells, so please listen up!

Correct Weight for Kettlebell Ballistics

Because most kettlebell exercises, excluding simple movements such as a bicep curl or presses, are compound, or multijoint, motions, you need to pick a ket- tlebell that is the correct size. remember that not all exercises are created equal—if you take a five-pound weight and use it to do a kettlebell swing, you will NOT get the benefit of the swing.

In kettlebell ballistic motions like the swing and all of its variations, if you pick a ket- tlebell that is too light, your first instinct will be to lift the kettlebell with your arms, and since this is the direct opposite of what a kettlebell swing should be, you won’t receive any benefit and can even hurt yourself with incorrect biomechanics. And even if a weight that is too light is correctly distributed across the posterior chain and core, the weight will not be enough to get a desired response from the body.
Other form issues with using light bells for ballistic exercises include squatting, backward bending, and not engaging the glutes or the entire posterior chain.

When picking a kettlebell, especially for your swing, it MUST be a heavier weight than you can lift forward in front of you comfortably with your arms.

As a woman, you should start your swing no lighter than a twenty-pound kettlebell and progress to a weight of thirty to forty pounds. Kettlebells between twenty-five and thirty-five pounds are the choice for many Kettlebell Kickboxers in our classes.

Correct Weight for Kettlebell Grinds
For grinds, which include traditional forms of exercise such as presses, curls, squats, and rows, you might want to consider having one or two weight options that are typically less than your kettlebell ballistics weight.

 

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