Sizing Up: How and When to Increase Your Kettlebell Weight

Kettlebells are used for many purposes. They have been used since ancient times to build monuments, they were used during the American Civil War to carry ammunition, and they were even used in World War II. Today kettlebells are still being utilized today in CrossFit training programs. Many people use them because it helps with strength training and cardio workouts at the same time!

But what if you want to increase your kettlebell weight? What if you want to do so without getting injured?

Well, I’m here to tell you how and when to increase your kettlebell weight.

The following table lists some of the common kettlebell sizes. You will notice that there are no “standard” size or “small” size kettlebells.

There is no such thing as a small size kettlebell. So, let’s just say that a 16kg (35lb) kettlebell would be considered large for most people.

Kettlebell Size Standard Size Small 16kg 35lb Large 20kg 45lb Extra-Large 24kg 55lb Giant 28kg 60lb

So, which one should you buy?

If you’re new to kettlebell training, then a larger size might be best for you. However, if you’ve been lifting for awhile and have developed good technique and form with your current kettlebells, then a smaller size may be better suited for your needs. If you’re still unsure of which size to buy, then just stick with the standard size or large size kettlebells.

Now, when is the best time to increase your weight?

Well, the best time is when you can perform a movement and get at least 8 reps but are forced to cheat on the last 2 reps to complete the set. This will allow you to continue to train and focus on perfecting your technique rather than trying to lift too heavy of a weight.

There are many types of kettlebell exercises that you can perform. Let’s take a look at the kettlebell snatch, for example.

When you perform a snatch, you will swing the kettlebell between your legs and then thrust your hips forward while extending your arms overhead so that the kettlebell ends up in your hands. It is a fluid motion that requires coordination and balance. While it is a great exercise, it has one major flaw. It can easily cause an injury to your wrist, elbow or shoulder if you do not have proper technique. If you are experiencing any pain while you are performing this exercise, stop what you are doing right away and consult a physician.

So let’s talk about the importance of proper technique when it comes to weightlifting of any sort. You should never try to lift a weight that your body is not ready for.

This will not help you in the long run. Instead, it will only lead to injury. There is a proper way to lift any object and that includes kettlebells. It also goes the other way around. There is a proper way to perform any movement, such as walking, running, or even breathing.

The following table provides some tips for performing the proper technique for the kettlebell snatch.

Sizing Up: How and When to Increase Your Kettlebell Weight - | Gym Fit Workout

Element of Technique Explanation

1. Feet position You should have about shoulder width apart.

2. Tighten your core (abs) and pull your navel towards the spine.

3. Hinge at the hip while keeping your back straight and knees slightly bent.

4. As the kettlebell begins to swing, use your hips and grab the kettlebell so that it ends up in front of you in your grip.

5. Using a fluid motion, thrust your hips forward and push the weight up as you extend your arms overhead.

There are also several types of kettlebell exercises. Each one provides its own unique benefits.

Exercise Name Muscle Group Worked Primary Muscle Groups Kettlebell Swing Core, Shoulders, Arms Single-Arm Press Shoulders, Arms Clean and Press Shoulders, Arms Snatch Shoulders, Arms Windmill Core, Shoulders, Hips

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Sources & references used in this article:

SHAREABLE RESOURCE: Tools of the Trade Size Matters (Part Two) by GT DeSimone – ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 2018 – journals.lww.com

Unspoken Rules to Size Up Your Session by DS Fairbairn – breakingmuscle.com

Weight training: steps to success by TR Baechle, RW Earle – 2019 – books.google.com

Transference of kettlebell training to strength, power, and endurance by P Manocchia, DK Spierer, AKS Lufkin… – The Journal of …, 2013 – cdn.journals.lww.com

Try These Kettlebell Workout Splits for Major Muscle Gains by A Read, KV Barbells – breakingmuscle.com