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Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more

The cannonball-with-a-handle weight you’ve seen around the gym is a kettlebell — and it’s one of the smartest investments you can make to boost your fitness and your butt.

In fact, rumor has it that Beyoncé is actually talking about kettlebells when she says “left cheek, right cheek, drop it low and then swang” in the new “Savage” remix. (Well, maybe not, but she is a legit fan of kettlebells.)

Bottom line:

This is one kick-ass fitness tool and “the most underutilized piece of equipment in the gym,” says Lauren Kanski, a NASM-certified personal trainer. “If I had to choose one exercise to do for the rest of my life, it would be the kettlebell swing.”

Short answer: It all depends.

“Starting weight is relative to the individual and their training history in general, and it also depends on what exercises you’re doing,” says Kanski. “For lower-body and hip-dominant movements (cleans, swings, etc.), you want heavier loads so you can actually ‘feel’ the movement. For overhead movements (snatching, pressing, etc.), you want something lighter to medium-size load until you get used to it.”

Generally, a good starting point for beginners (especially if you plan to use your kettlebell for swings) is around 18 pounds for women and 35 pounds for men. If you’re really unsure, just opt for a kettlebell with a good return policy!

Now, let’s dive into some specific kettlebell brands and models that are highly rated or have unique features and benefits.

Keep in mind: There are some serious gym equipment shortages right now due to COVID-19. So some of these options may be temporarily sold out. Typically, you can sign up for email alerts to notify you when they’re restocked.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Classic, budget-friendly iron kettlebells

Marcy Hammertone Kettlebells

Calling all minimalists! This basic, no-frills kettlebell is made of cast iron with a non-rust coating, so it’s built to last. Available in a range of poundages (from 10 to 55 pounds), it’s highly rated and does just about everything a kettlebell should.

”You can swing it, snatch it, press it, pretty much do any type of workout you do with a kettlebell,” writes one 5-star reviewer on Amazon. “Highly recommend, and a great price as well.”

Price: $ (about $25 and up)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Amazon.com

Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebell

Got sweaty hands? Similar to the Marcy Hammertone above, this fully cast-iron Yes4All model delivers everything you need in a classic kettlebell — plus a little extra grip! Its powder coated finish provides added texture for a secure hold during kettlebell swings.

The color-coded bands at the base of the handle correspond to the kettlebell poundage (ranging from 9 to 88 pounds) and help make it easy to identify the proper weight if you choose to buy a few.

Price: $ (about $22 and up)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Walmart.com or Amazon.com

Amazon Basics Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettlebell

This beauty has all the benefits of a solid cast-iron bell plus a vibrantly colored vinyl coating that protects your floors (and your arms and wrists during certain moves). The textured handle also provides a nice secure grip. Currently, 10-pound and 15-pound ’bells are available, and more options will be available as demand subsides.

Beware of some other vinyl-coated kettlebells that are actually made of an iron handle fused to a concrete base — those impostors do not hold up well over time.

Price: $ (about $18 and up)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Amazon.com

Adjustable kettlebells

Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell

Tiny apartment, big fitness goals? An adjustable kettlebell ensures you have the proper poundage to do a variety of kettlebell exercises without taking up loads of space. Bonus: You won’t “outgrow” it as easily as single-weight options as you get stronger.

This model from Bowflex is widely considered the gold standard, easily adjusting to six settings between 8 and 40 pounds. Just turn the dial on top to add or drop a weight plate.

Price: $$$ (about $300)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Amazon.com or Walmart.com

Apex Adjustable Heavy Duty Kettlebell

This adjustable kettlebell from Apex is great (and more budget-friendly than Bowflex), but only if you already have weight plates at home.

It includes a 15-pound weighted handle made of powder-coated iron (for better grip), a 5-pound bottom plate, and four nonweighted removable spacer disks that you can replace with standard 2.5-, 5-, or 10-pound weight plates. That means it can go from a minimum weight of 20 pounds to a max of 50 pounds.

Price: $$ (about $65 to $140)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Amazon.com

Travel-friendly kettlebells

Kettle Gryp

When hitting up a hotel gym, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a kettlebell — but dumbbells are in high supply. That’s why this lightweight dumbbell-to-kettlebell adapter is so great for travel. It accommodates many weights, depending on handle size, up to 55 pounds.

“I take it everywhere I travel. While it doesn’t fit every dumbbell, it fits nearly all the ones I’ve encountered in hotel gyms,” writes one reviewer.

Price: $ (about $35)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: KettleGryp.com

Kamagon Water Filled Adjustable Weight Kettlebell

More of a nontraditionalist? This kettlebell takes some liberties with the classic design, and we don’t hate it! Made from durable plastic, this kettlebell can be filled with water to hit your desired weight. The small 9-inch version holds up to 13 pounds, and the large 14-inch version holds up to 45 pounds.

Its two-handle design offers easier maneuverability during certain exercises (like the two-hand press), and most users like that the water adds a unique element to workouts. “Since the water sloshes around inside the ball, it creates an unstable weight, thus creating more of a challenge to your muscles while working out,” writes one 5-star reviewer on Amazon.

Plus, you can drain out the water and easily transport this kettlebell in your luggage — it doesn’t collapse, but it’s super lightweight when empty.

Price: $$ (about $50 to $88)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Amazon.com

Beginner-friendly kettlebells

CAP Barbell Soft Kettlebell

While most kettlebells on this list are perfectly fine for all fitness levels, “a beginner doing workouts at home may want some more padding around the bell than someone more experienced throwing the bell around the gym,” says Kanski.

So, if you’re a bit hesitant to sling around a solid piece of iron (or you want to intro your kiddos to the wondrous world of kettlebells without worrying about them losing a toe or busting your floors), consider this CAP kettlebell made of neoprene fabric and filled with iron sand, available from 5 to 20 pounds.

Price: $ (about $20 to $75)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Walmart.com

Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kettlebell Set

Until you figure out that you really like kettlebell workouts, you may be hesitant to shell out the big bucks, especially for a full set. That’s why this set of three — with beginner-friendly weights of 5, 10, and 15 pounds — is such a great starter pack.

Made from durable plastic and filled with cement, these are a bit bigger than your standard iron kettlebells and won’t hold up to heavy use quite as well, but they’ll certainly do the job until you decide to graduate to a higher-quality bell.

Price: $$ (about $60 to $84)

Sold as: 3-piece set

Get it via: Amazon.com or BestChoiceProducts.com

TKO Kettlebell with Plastic Shell

Here’s another kettlebell that won’t break the bank or bust up your floors when you accidentally let go mid-swing! This budget-friendly TKO option is made from cement covered in scratch-resistant plastic, so it’s a tad bigger but still works like a charm. It’s available in 8-, 10-, and 15-pound versions.

Reviewers love the wider, ergonomic handle on this kettlebell, which allows better grip and maneuverability when you switch positions.

Price: $ (about $29 to $49)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: Amazon.com

For the serious (kettlebell) swinger

Metrixx Elite Precision E-Coat Kettlebell

Good kettlebells can get PAH-RICEY! But if you’re really into kettlebell workouts or do a lot of CrossFit, they can be worth it.

“Really nice iron kettlebells will outlive you if you take care of them, so don’t be afraid to invest!” says Kanski. In fact, most truly high quality kettlebells come with a lifetime warranty.

At first glance, this iron kettlebell looks pretty basic, but some key elements make it a standout pick. For one thing, it has an ever-so-slightly wider handle, so it doesn’t cramp your fingers while you’re gripping with two hands. The handle is also designed so that different weights will fall on the same part of your forearm during moves like presses and snatches.

The Metrixx Elite also has a really nice finish that won’t irritate your hands — not too slippery, not too rough. It features an e-coating, which is supposedly smoother, more uniform in texture, and less likely to chip than a powder coating, and every single kettlebell is made from its own mold.

Price: $$ to $$$ (about $65 to $330)

Sold as: Single

Get it via: KettleBellUSA.com

Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell

Kettlebell Kings makes a variety of kettlebell styles, and they’re all pretty great (Kanski is a big fan). Their Competition Kettlebell is no exception, and it just so happens to be a looker too!

But what exactly is a competition kettlebell? You may notice that this one looks a tad different from the others on this list. That’s because competition kettlebells are made of steel (not cast iron) and are always the same exact size (including the handles), regardless of weight.

This allows you to have a consistent training experience no matter what, which can be particularly beneficial if you’re doing a lot of high-rep sets or focused technique work. In general, though, either style of kettlebell (cast-iron bells are sometimes referred to as hardstyle kettlebells) can be used to get a total-body workout that builds muscle and increases cardiovascular endurance.

Like the Metrixx Elite, each Kettlebell Kings bell is always made with its own individual mold to ensure the exact correct weight. This Competition Kettlebell is available in weights from 18 to 106 pounds.

Price: $$ to $$$

Sold as: Single

Get it via: KettlebellKings.com

Still need some convincing that the kettlebell is for you? Here’s why kettlebells are the MVP of a home gym.

They’re master multitaskers (helloooo, full-body workout!)

Due to their unique shape, kettlebells have some unique advantages over dumbells and can be used for a range of dynamic exercises, including cleans, snatches, Turkish get-ups, squats, and (of course) kettlebell swings.

They allow you to experience a full-body workout with just one piece of equipment. “Kettlebells can be used to train strength, endurance, and power all in one,” says Kanski.

In fact, Beyonce’s trainer, Marco Borges, has revealed that the kettlebell squat-and-press is a major part of the singer’s fitness routine.

And while most strength exercises involving weights don’t get you into an aerobic zone, research shows that Tabata-style kettlebell swing workouts (20 seconds of maximum-intensity swings alternated with 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds) pump you up enough to “elicit a vigorous cardiovascular response” that enhances aerobic capacity.

They combat the nasty effects of sitting all day

During a kettlebell swing — arguably the most popular kettlebell move on the planet — you engage your entire posterior chain of muscles at the same time (think: butt, hamstrings, and back), plus your abs!

This does wonders to combat the negative effects of sitting for hours on end in an office chair, which often leads to what’s called “anterior dominance,” or shortened, tight muscles on the front side of your body that can prime you for injury.

They boost functional strength (the useful kind of 💪🏽)

Due to the shape and positioning of the handle, “the kettlebell mimics things in daily life such as bags, groceries, and other levers we use for carrying, grip, and power movements,” says Kanski.

This means many kettlebell workouts can help you build strength and muscles that are actually useful in real life — not just for show!

They’re usually pretty affordable

In the grand scheme of fitness equipment, kettlebells are pretty affordable for the level of workout they provide — often running from $10 to $200, depending on the weight, quality, and materials.

Just keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone snapping up home gym equipment. While stocks are starting to replenish, some prices may still be inflated as a result of the high demand.

Yes, kettlebells may be a convenient tool to work your whole bod at once, but if you’re on a serious budget right now, know that you don’t NEED one to build strength and muscle. You can get a serious workout with bodyweight exercises alone.

And remember: For the average person, the lower-priced options on this list provide nearly all the same benefits as pricier picks. So, during this time of serious economic turmoil and widespread unemployment, don’t break the bank in the name of fitness!