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How do I Build Kettlebell Strength?

Justin Bartz
Justin Bartz

Building kettlebell strength requires an understanding of the kettlebell, as well as the muscle building that goes into strength training with a kettlebell. If you are planning to set up a home kettlebell routine, the first thing to examine is what kettlebell weights you plan to use, as well as whether you are using an American kettlebell or a Russian kettlebell. Some modern kettlebells feature adjustable weight, and the traditional Russian kettlebell weighs approximately 35 pounds (about 16 kg).

Many men and women will begin their kettlebell strength program with different types of weightlifting with their kettlebell weights. The advantage of kettlebell strength training compared to a traditional weightlifting routine is that during weightlifting, the muscle building in the body is generally limited via repetitive motions, giving the body an unbalanced look. Kettlebell strength training works the entire body by utilizing all muscle groups instead of isolating certain ones during weightlifting. Kettlebell moves engage the entire body, so kettlebells provide a great cardiovascular workout compared to traditional weightlifting. In addition, kettlebell strength training also has been shown to increase your range of motion, flexibility, balance and posture.

A person should use heavy kettlebells in low repetitions in order to build muscle mass.
A person should use heavy kettlebells in low repetitions in order to build muscle mass.

Before you starts kettlebell strength training, it is important to make sure that you are using the proper kettlebell weights. Safety is important to ensure that you don't suffer an injury, which could severely limit the types of kettlebell moves that you can perform. It is recommended that a beginner or novice lifter start with a kettlebell that weighs 5 pounds (about 2.25 kg). Most women will later advance to kettlebells weighing 10 pounds (about 4.5 kg), and men will advance to kettlebell weighing 10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9.1 kg). Each individual is unique, however, so you can build kettlebell strength in your own way and at your own pace.

It's important to warm up before working out.
It's important to warm up before working out.

The general rule of thumb is to increase kettlebell weights when the initial weight does not challenge you any longer. Instead of concentrating strictly on the kettlebell weights, increasing your kettlebell strength lies in the training program that you use with them. Many individuals who practice kettlebell lifting in their routine often use kettlebells that are lighter than recommended. Regardless of what types of strength training are done with kettlebell lifting, warming up sufficiently before working out is important to minimize the risk of injury. If you are concerned about beginning a kettlebell workout program, contacting your physician to discuss these concerns will help to lessen the risk of incorrectly starting an exercise routine.

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Discussion Comments


I have just recently started putting together a home gym but I have been frustrated to discover that workout equipment can be really expensive. Even when you are buying second hand the cost can be really prohibitive.

So I have a question that I am hoping to answer. maybe someone out there has had this experience before. I am wondering if it is better to invest my money in a full set of dumbbells or kettlebells? I can afford one but not both. I like working out with both of them but I can't figure out which is more important for my home gym. So help me out guys. Which one do I buy?


I think kettlebell conditioning is one of the best ways to work out and I am glad to see more and more people in the gym using the kettlebells. For years these just sat in the corner and collected dust because people were more preoccupied with fancier looking new equipment. The kettlebell may be simple looking but it has a ton of different uses in the gym.

I was introduced to kettlebell exercises by my high school football. he was a big believer in them and had developed his own kettlebell strength workout that he required all of his players to perform 3 times a week. It mostly used kettlebells but also incorporated a weight bench and a barbell. I hope that he copyrighted that workout at some point because it was amazingly effective. We had a pretty good football team and I give a lot of the credit to the fact that all the guys on the team got to be freakishly strong thanks to coache's training method.


Kettle ball training is great and I have made this the focus of my workout routine for well over a year now. What is so great about kettle balls rather than traditional dumbbells is that they allow for a greater range of motion and facilitate the use of multiple muscle groups at once.

The most efficient way to workout is to engage the most muscles you can at any single time. So rather than doing bicep curls which only work that one muscle in the arm, it is better to do something like the clean and press which literally works every muscle in the body. Kettle balls are great for this kind of all over workout.

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    • A person should use heavy kettlebells in low repetitions in order to build muscle mass.
      By: Christopher Howey
      A person should use heavy kettlebells in low repetitions in order to build muscle mass.
    • It's important to warm up before working out.
      By: sumnersgraphicsinc
      It's important to warm up before working out.
    • The traditional Russian kettlebell weighs about 35 pounds.
      By: michaeljung
      The traditional Russian kettlebell weighs about 35 pounds.