Monday, February 26, 2024

Level Up Your Home Workouts with the Best Adjustable Kettlebells

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Ah, the kettlebell — arguably the most underrated yet most efficient tool for at-home training sessions. From swings, squats and snatches to high pulls, clean and rows, this cannonball-shaped weight can be used for countless moves and helps build strong muscles from head to toe. Gains aside, it’s just as effective for heart-rate spiking HIIT sessions and does wonders for your balance, mobility and core strength.

Nab yourself the adjustable kind to keep your lifting zone clutter-free and save some of that hard-earned cash. These space-saving training tools provide up to eight different weights in one compact package, allowing you to progressively overload your muscles, without clogging up your living room with a pile of different-sized weights.

Whether you’re after something cheap and cheerful for your at-home pump sessions or you’re willing to splash out on a specced-out model, our experts at the Men’s Health Lab tested 10 of the best adjustable kettlebells to help you find your new fitness buddy. Here’s a quick round-up of our favourites. For a more detailed review of each, keep scrolling.

Best Adjustable Kettlebells 2023

Are Adjustable Kettlebells Worth It?

Wes Santos, PT and owner of Instate Fitness, is a huge advocate of kettlebell training. ‘Movement patterns such as swinging, pushing, pulling, throwing and hinging mean you get loads of bang for your buck with kettlebells,’ he says. ‘Whatever your goal, you can design a highly effective workout with a single kettlebell and minimal space.’

You can reap the rewards pretty quickly, too. One US study found that just eight weeks of kettlebell training improved participants aerobic capacity, dynamic balance and core strength by a whopping 70%.

Are Adjustable Kettlebells Better Than Standard Kettlebells?

Both traditional kettlebells and adjustable kettlebells have their strengths. Ultimately, it depends on your goals, where you’re working out, the types of moves you plan on using them for and your budget.

The Pros Of Adjustable Kettlebells

Progression is simple

Unless you have an entire set of kettlebells lying around at home, you’d have to shell out every single time you wanted to challenge yourself with a heavier weight. No such issue with adjustables, though — just press a button, twist a dial or whack on some extra plates for more resistance as you progress.

Get exercise-specific

If you opt for a fixed-weight kettlebell, you’re going to be limited in the moves you can perform. ‘Adjustable kettlebells allow you to be much more specific with the weights you use for different exercises,’ says Santos. Need a lighter weight for your Turkish get-up? No dramas. Want to go heavy on your deadlifts, squats and swings? Done. It’s all possible with an adjustable ‘bell.

Cheaper in the long run

Yes, adjustable kettlebells are pricier upfront than their fixed-weight counterparts, but they’re more cost-effective in the long run. The larger initial investment means you get a variety of different weights in one neat little package, with no need to splurge on a new model when you’re ready to lift heavier.

Save precious space

Really, who has space for a bulky rack of kettlebells taking up an entire wall in their home gym set-up? Adjustable kettlebells require minimal storage space while still giving you plenty of weight options. Just like adjustable dumbbells — what’s not to love?

Best Kettlebell Exercises

Santos shares his favourite full-body KB moves for getting swole at home…

Kettlebell Swing

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to pick up the kettlebell. Keep your spine inline and your core and lats engaged. Drive through your hips without overextending and swing the weight up to shoulder height. Return to the start position and repeat.

Kettlebell Goblet Squat

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed outwards, holding the kettlebell vertically with your hands underneath the weight. Lower yourself into a squat, without rounding your back and keeping your core and glutes tensed throughout. Drive back up through your knees and repeat.

Kettlebell Thruster

Hold two kettlebells by their handles so the weight is resting on the back of your shoulders. Bend your knees slightly, drive through your legs and straighten them, extending your arms as you raise the kettlebells over your head.

Kettlebell Flow

If you’re not au fait, a kettlebell flow combines three different exercises to create one seamless movement. ‘They allow you to hit more muscles, build strength, coordination and mobility in a short space of time,’ explains Santos.

He recommends connecting a kettlebell swing with a goblet squat and thruster for a full-body blast.

How We Test

Our Men’s Health Lab experts set out on a mission to find the best adjustable kettlebells on the market.

They sourced ten weights from leading brands and put them through some spicy sessions, trying out a variety of moves from KB swings and goblet squats to bicep curls and Turkish get-ups, before awarding each model a score for its design, ease of use and overall performance.

Top marks were awarded to ‘bells that allowed us to change the weight quickly, smoothly and securely, with minimal shaking or rattling when in use. The finest adjustable kettlebells were also sturdy, easy to wield and had a compact design that didn’t obstruct any movement patterns.

Let’s get into the swing of things…

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