How Many Kettlebells Do I Need?

Kettlebells are a great and simple way to add weights to your exercise routine. They are small and easy to grasp, which makes them perfect for intense cardio and heavy lifting.

If you’ve been wanting to start training with weights, kettlebells have become extremely popular among fitness fanatics. They have long replaced dumbbells and are better to use because of their distinct design.

How Many Kettlebells Do I Need?

A lot of people wonder how many kettlebells they need to begin with? You’ll only need 1 kettlebell to start off with. You will need to get heavier ones as your routine progresses, but for beginners, 1 kettlebell is enough to complete most workouts.

Man carrying two kettebells

The majority of workouts are performed with only one kettlebell. People usually have more than one because they need to alternate between weights once they go further into their routine.

Because of the versatility of the design, you’re able to hold the kettlebell with both hands. This allows you to exercise your entire body. If you’d like to add more endurance to your training, you can hold it with one arm at a time. This will amplify the effect of using just one kettlebell.

Should I Buy One or Two Kettlebells?

There are many exercises that only require one kettlebell. If you’d like to get more creative in your workout, you can always buy two. 

You really won’t need more than one kettlebell to get a full workout. With many exercises, one kettlebell will work out your entire body. As long as your form is correct, you should be able to get great results with just one kettlebell. 

There are several other kettlebell exercises that would require you to have two kettlebells. With these exercises, you would need to have much more strength and experience using your kettlebells. That’s why only one is ideal for beginners. 

Although, if you consider yourself athletic and have acquired much strength, you can start with two kettlebells. Keep in mind that one kettlebell is a lot for a beginner.

Do I Need More Than One Sized Kettlebell?

If you are just beginning, one or two different sized kettlebells should be enough. One kettlebell should be more than enough if you aren’t very active.

Woman holding a kettlebell with both hands

The reason you might see people with a “collection” of kettlebells is that some exercises require different sized weights. Some harder exercises might be performed with lighter weight kettlebells as opposed to other easier exercises that can be done with heavier ones.

The only purpose of having more kettlebells is when you are much more advanced in your exercises. There are many ways you can progress in your routine with just one sized kettlebell. By making your workouts tougher, you can go further in your routine with just one.

Do I Need Pairs of Kettlebells?

Kettlebells are designed in a special way that fits both hands perfectly. Meaning you can hold one kettlebell with two hands. 

Kettlebells are not like dumbbells or barbells which consist of two same-sized weights on each side of your body. You do not need two pairs of kettlebells consisting of the same weight to effectively complete your routine. 

If you have two kettlebells of different weights you can hold them on each arm. Just make sure you alternate between them so you get the same results on each side.

Exercises That Use Just One Kettlebell

Kettlebells give you a huge variety of exercises. They are considered to be one of the most versatile mechanisms in fitness. They allow you to get a complete workout done with one kettlebell alone. 

Man using a kettlebell

Here are some top exercises that you can complete with just one kettlebell. You can also perform these with two kettlebells but you’ll still get great results by only using one.

  • Swing
  • Clean
  • Press
  • Push Press
  • Jerk
  • Snatch
  • Squats (Front, Goblet, Overhead, Jump)
  • Bottoms Up (Clean, Press, Pushups)
  • Windmill
  • Turkish Get Up
  • Renegade Rows
  • Juggling
  • Deadlifts
  • Arm Bars
  • Halo

Always remember that these routines should be performed with proper form to get the best outcome. 

What Size Kettlebell Should I Get?

After you’ve decided on how many kettlebells you need, it’s also important to know what size is right for you.

You don’t want to buy one that’s too heavy, this could cause injury to your muscles, especially for a beginner. You don’t want to buy one that’s too light either, as this can result in little to no muscle building or weight loss.

Woman holding a kettlebell with her right hand

Choosing the right size will depend on a few aspects; your gender and how physically active you are. 


Men should start out with a kettlebell weighing 16kg/35lbs to 20kg/44lbs. If you’re consistently training in the gym, you can go up to 24kg/53lbs. 


A physically fit woman should start with sizes ranging from 12kg/26lbs to 16kg/26lbs. If you’re completely new to working out you should start off with 6kg/12lbs to 8kg/13lbs.


Remember when choosing the right size you have to mindful of how many kettlebells you want to use. If you decide to use two kettlebells then pick two lighter weight ones. On the other hand, if you’re only going to use one kettlebell, choose a heavier one that’s within your weight range.

Whether or not you have decided yet on how many kettlebells you need, adding them to your workout will help you easily achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.