Ring in the new year with an adjustable kettlebell
Adjustable kettlebells give you a good workout without taking up a lot of room in your home gym. Some are designed to easily take along with you as you travel. The best adjustable kettlebell is by Bowflex. The included weights give you several levels of resistance up to 40 pounds and are encased to help keep you safe during your workout. Plus, the body is contoured to make is safer when using the kettlebell close to your body. It’s easy to use, too.
Best Overall: Bowflex
The Bowflex adjustable kettlebell is our top pick for the best because of Bowflex’s reputation for making dependable and long-lasting products, the weight range you get with this kettlebell, and the ease and comfort of using it. There are four weights included that, when added, increase the resistance up to 40 pounds. While other kettlebells increase weight in five-pound increments, this one from Bowflex has in between weights, including eight pounds and 12 pounds. Turning the dial on the top of the encasing captures or drops weights until you have the desired amount for your exercise routine. This makes it easy to quickly change the overall weight during your workout without losing your stride. Because the weights are held within the Bowflex encasing, you don’t have to worry about bumping up against uneven ridges. The base of this kettlebell is coated so it won’t cause damage as it is placed on the floor. And the handle is extra wide and shaped to provide comfort and a good grip as you use it.
- Well constructed
- Easy to use
- Weights encased
- On the pricy side
Best Value: Apex
The Apex adjustable kettlebell is on the inexpensive side, but still has a lot to offer. It comes with four exercise plates that weigh five pounds each, plus the base, which weighs another five pounds, and the handle. Alone the handle is 15 pounds, which offers a good workout on its own. The weights are held together with a large screw that doubles as a stake that the plates are placed on. When the plates you need are on the pin, it is then screwed into the handle to create the kettlebell. The weights aren’t enclosed, so there will be ridges and unevenness where the weights rest upon each other. Also, the baseplate isn’t covered in any protective finish, so you’ll need to be careful when placing the bell on your floor. But overall, the plates are secured, and this adjustable kettlebell is a cost-effective way to get a good workout.
- Half the cost of other brands
- Made of metal
- Wide handle
- Exposed weights
- No protection on base
Soft Weights: Hyperwear
These soft weights are made with a neoprene shell and filled with sand. The sand is packed tight in its own shell. This helps the entire weight feel solid, just like metal weights and keeps the filling from shifting during workouts. As you work out, the soft weights don’t cause bumps or bruising as they bounce against your arms or other part of your body. Plus, they are gentle on floors and don’t make a lot of noise as they are set down. Each weight is added to the fiberglass handle by unscrewing the bottom and slipping it on, then resting on top of each other. You’re not restricted to adding weight in any size or weight order, which gives you variety in your workout. The Hyperwear adjustable kettlebell handle is made with a comfortable fiberglass that is tough enough to hold a lot of weight. This kettlebell comes with enough free weights to add up to a total of 20 pounds, but you can purchase weights separately and add enough to make a 30-pound kettlebell.
- Soft weights
- Quiet workout
- Easy on floors
- Neoprene may cause cancer
- Not as sturdy as metal weights
Sandbag Weight: Ludus Imperium
This kettlebell by Ludus Imperium is made using sand. It looks like a duffle bag that is filled with sand, but there are multiple layers inside to keep the sand in place while your exercise and not spill out, including a separate bag that comes out so you can fill it with sand then add it to the outer bag. The whole bell is reinforced to keep it from being damaged from punctures or tears. This sandbag-type kettlebell can be filled enough to weigh 40 pounds. And since you need to provide the sand, you can easily take this kettlebell with you on vacation and fill it at your pleasure. Filling this Ludus Imperium doesn’t back the sand tightly. It will shift during your workout. However, trainers find that the sand moving gives your muscles a more varied workout even when the weight remains consistent. Since the Ludus Imperium sandbag kettlebell is made with fabric, there isn’t any worry about it scratching or damaging your floors when you use it at home. The kettlebell alone is a pretty sweet deal, but you do need to purchase and add the sand, which is an additional cost. This can add up if you need to remove and repurchase sand often.
- Easy to travel with
- Up to 40 pounds of weight
- Safe on floors
- Uneven weight
- You provide sand
Conversion Kit: Kettle Gryp
Source: Kettle Gryp
The Kettle Gryp is a portable handle that turns most handheld dumbbells into a kettlebell. This is the ultimate way to save on space while still getting a well-rounded workout because you don’t have to purchase different weights, but simply use the dumbbells you already have. The Kettle Gryp has a rubber-lined grove that fits snug against the bar of the dumbbell without allowing any movement or slipping. It easily holds up to 55 pounds of weight, too, which is a lot more than other traditional adjustable kettlebells. Its handle is extra wide to accommodate both single and two-handed exercises and isn’t too thick so that you won’t lose your grip. You can transport the Kettle Gryp on its own and use it at the hotel gym to keep up with your workout routine.
- Weights not included
- Made from plastic
The Bowflex adjustable kettlebell has a contours case that keeps its weights firmly in place and away from your body to reduce pinching and other harm. It comes with six weights that, when added together, bring the total weight of this kettlebell to 40 pounds. While several adjustable kettlebells give you this much resistance, the weight tends to increase in five-pound increments. Bowflex, however, have in-between resistance weights of eight pounds and 12 pounds. No other adjustable kettlebell we looked at gives you these levels of resistance. You can easily add or drop weights by turning the dial at the top of the kettlebell body. Decreasing weight simply releases the extra weights from inside, so they stay behind when you lift the handle. When you place the case over stacked weights and turn the dial, these will become locked inside for increased resistance.
The large handle of the Bowflex is strong and wide enough for two-handed exercises. The base is coated to help protect flooring as it is being set and lifted during your exercise routine, and when stored during use. Because of how well it is constructed and its versatility, the Bowflex adjustable kettlebell is more expensive than most similar products from other manufacturers. But with your purchase of this kettlebell you also get access to Bowflex’s personal training videos that show exercises and hints for getting the most out of each exercise.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Nicole Johnston writes for multiple Mobile Nations brands, including TechnoBuffalo, covering primarily internet security and privacy programs. She has over 12 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sector, including six years of testing and reviewing consumer products and four evaluating antivirus software, parental controls, and identity theft services.
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