What Does a Kettlebell Look Like?

Kettlebells have been in use for exercise for a long time now. If you still don’t know what it is, then you should. It’s a piece of convenient exercise equipment that you can use in the comfort of your home. You probably wonder, what does a kettlebell look like? You are in luck as we’ll answer it for you.

What Does a Kettlebell Look Like?

The kettlebell looks like a bell. It contains a bell, a handle, and the horns. The bell is the round-shaped base that looks identical to a cannonball. The horns connect the kettlebell towards the handle which is where you mostly hold the kettlebell.  

Person holding a kettlebell with one hand

While kettlebells previously consisted of cast iron or cast steel, they consist of more convenient and different materials now. The design of the kettlebell is unique as its center of mass is extended beyond the hand. 

There are various ways to hold the kettlebell. You can hold it by the handle, the horns, or at the base of the bell. The most common is holding the kettlebell by the handle. However, there are various forms of exercise where you won’t be holding the kettlebell by the handle. 

When Was Kettlebell Invented?

The early form of kettlebell was invented in the 18th century. Most people called it the Russian girya. It was a type of metal weight mainly used to weigh in crops. Circus strongmen would later use them as weights in the 19th century. 

As it became a piece of standard weight equipment, many people began using them in competitive strength athletics in Russia and throughout Europe by the 19th century. This gave birth to competitive kettlebell lifting in 1885. 

It was in the 1940s that the kettlebell appeared in the United States. While it wasn’t a popular hit back then, it is now regaining its popularity and you can practically see them in gyms and even at home. 

What Benefits Can You Get from Kettlebell?

There are many benefits you can get from using a kettlebell for your workouts. It’s a great versatile workout tool that you can use at your home. 

Person holding a kettlebell with one hand
  • Promotes better posture: by design, the kettlebell allows you to correct your posture and form during exercise. The center of gravity will make it uncomfortable for you to do when you are doing an exercise wrong. 
  • Develops the core: some forms of kettlebell exercises promote the development of your core muscles
  • Improves muscle strength and endurance: kettlebells can give you full-body workouts and they help a lot in developing your overall strength and endurance.
  • Great for cardio: kettlebells also help improve your cardio and heart health with the correct type of exercise. 
  • Convenient to use: it’s easy to carry around with light weights and you can bring them wherever you go. It’s also great for home use as it does not take too much space. Use it together with the best apps for kettlebell workouts to make your routine more effective.

Do You Use 1 or 2 Kettlebells?

You can do most of the exercise fine with just using 1 kettlebell. Most kettlebell exercises also involve only 1 kettlebell. However, if you mastered using 1 kettlebell, you might be enticed to use 2 kettlebells for the additional difficulty. 

You would want to do 2 kettlebells if you want to:

  • Improve your balancing form
  • Add more weight for better strength workouts
  • Add more difficulty for both physically and mentally
  • Want to finish workouts faster compared to using 1 kettlebell

Overall, it’s better to just do exercises with 1 kettlebell and it’s less expensive to do also. 

How Do I Know What Size Kettlebell to Use?

There are various guides on what size kettlebell you should use. For starters, you can check what kettlebell weight you should lift if it’s your first time. There are various factors that help you determine what weight you should use. 

Man trying to lift a kettlebell with both hands

Factor in your fitness level, the goal you would want to achieve, schedule, how many sets and reps you need to do. There are various factors you need to consider and it’s better to plan them ahead. 

A basic thing to do for beginners is to start with light weights and gradually go up as you master and feel your body developing. 

Are Kettlebells Better than Dumbbells?

Most people would categorize both as free weights. However, each of them brings different benefits to the table. 

Kettlebells are better if you want to do explosive physical exercises. It’s great for people who engage in explosive sports like basketball, boxing, and powerlifting. You can also do full-body workouts using kettlebells and it also improves your cardio. 

Dumbbells for beginners are great for basic movement workouts and for building muscle and developing strength and endurance. Dumbbells also let you focus on working on a specific muscle group. It allows you to focus on doing the exercise slowly for better muscle hypertrophy. 


Kettlebells are now popular around the world and are conveniently used at home. Now you know what it looks like. It will help you with a lot of exercises you can do that will give you a lot of benefits.

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.