How to choose the size of your kettlebell?

Are you a beginner who want to buy your first kettlebell? Here you can find some information about kettlebell sizes.

SMAI kettlebells

Kettlebells usually comes with 4 kilos increments, so they start at 4 kilos, then 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, etc. For beginners, it is those in the lower register that are the most appropriate ones.


Women usually start with an 8 kg kettlebell. 4 kg is too light if you want to load your legs in any significant amount, but might be fine to strengthen arms and shoulders, if you are not so strong there.


Men can usually start with a 12 kg kettlebell. This gives a good load when you get the number of repetitions up. But again it may be necessary with a lighter kettlebell for press exercises if you are not so strong in the upper body.


The first technique you often start with when training with kettlebells, is the swing (see the category ‘Technique’). Here the core and legs are working more than the arms and shoulders, so you can use a relatively heavy weight. The recommended weight classes above will provide a good starting load on your legs when you do a lot of reps, but at the same time the bells are not so heavy that you can not use them for exercises where the upper body will work more. If you start out with heavier weights the swing might still go well (with fewer repetitions), but you will still need a lighter kettlebell for the upper body exercises. So do not be afraid to start too light, many swear by many repetitions to build strength, rather than getting very heavy and few reps.

Once you have begun with the training and learned the basic technique, there will be need for heavier or lighter kettlebells, but there are a large number of exercises, giving possibilities to adapt your training program to fit just one kettlebell.

This video is somewhat in line with our experiences, but he suggests a higher weight class for men than what we usually recommend.

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