What's the point of having a backyard home gym if you can't utilize it due to excessive equipment cluttering up the space?
If you’re lucky, you might have enough space for a foldable bench too.
The idea is pretty simple to understand, you need to be space efficient when building your own gym at home.
And when it comes to kettlebells, you would rather invest in an adjustable kettlebell instead of a couple of more with varying weights..
At first glance, it looks like a perfect idea. It saves space, and you can adjust the kettlebell within seconds only. But is it?
I've tried quite a few options out there, and while it may look like the perfect addition to your home gym, the adjustable kettlebell requires some consideration.
So, what should you know about these things? Are adjustable kettlebells any good?
What are adjustable kettlebells?
Before I dig deeper into smaller details, I need to make sure you know what adjustable kettlebells are, just in case you are new to fitness equipment.
In theory, they make sense. You have one kettlebell, and its weight can be adjusted in small increments.
Weights vary widely, just like for any other piece of equipment. Just pick something suitable for your workouts.
The idea is to get a whole set of kettlebells into one piece. But there will obviously be more than just one piece. All those adjustments are made by adding or removing small pieces.
Instead of taking up lots of space with multiple kettlebells for kettlebell workouts, you can get the same workout with a few small, compact pieces that are great for your home gym.
How does an adjustable kettlebell work?
I won’t bore you with technical and mechanical stuff here.
If you look up online, you’ll find plenty of different brands and models and some of them may have unique adjustment methods.
If you have ever used a cheap barbell for power clean or squat clean, or perhaps doing squats daily, the principle is the same. You have a kettlebell skeleton, and it can take small pieces to become heavier.
Most adjustable kettlebells work on similar principles though. You will need to turn the kettlebell around and loosen it up. You’ll usually need a small wrench for that.
Open the case, and you'll see a bunch of weighted plates. Remove or add plates to reach the desired weight, then tighten the kettlebell back in.
It’s usually based on a thick screw.
Even if the operating principle is different, adjustable kettlebells come with instructions, so you’ll know precisely what to do to adjust weights.
Adjustable kettlebells vs. standard kettlebells
Each option has both pros and cons.
To keep it simple, if you have a massive home gym, such as the whole of your basement, I recommend going for standard kettlebells.
Standard kettlebells are more durable, and they offer an impressive weight range. Some of the heaviest weights cannot be found in adjustable kettlebells.
Their durability is obvious. You have one solid piece, rather than a skeleton with moving parts that can be added and removed every now and then.
On the other hand, adjustable kettlebells are widely appreciated for their space saving capabilities. Forget about getting 10 different standard kettlebells, a single adjustable one will do.
An adjustable kettlebell is also proportionally cheaper than buying multiple standard kettlebells.
But… There is always a but…
Since you’ll add and remove weights all the time, it’s not as durable as a single piece.
Plus, if you change your weight daily, it will be annoying to do it over and over again.
What muscles can I target with adjustable kettlebells?
Adjustable kettlebells are shaped and work like standard kettlebells. Whatever essential fitness exercises you can do with a standard kettlebell, you’ll be able to do with an adjustable one too.
I use kettlebells for everything. I do the squat to overhead press which targets the whole body, or classic kettlebell swing, which targets back, abs, glutes, hamstrings to get bigger quads and so on.
You can hold a kettlebell in hand and bend your body from the waist to left and right, only to work on your oblique abdominals.
You can hold kettlebells and do hundred lunges to make them more difficult, but you can also use them for core exercises to make your core stronger. In fact, you can target biceps and triceps muscles on the same day with kettlebells.
I won’t get into small details, but you can literally use kettlebells to work any part of your body.
Top 3 adjustable kettlebell reviews
I haven’t owned every adjustable kettlebell on the market, but I’ve tried quite a few.
I've swapped five gyms in the last couple of years, been to gyms on holiday, and even tried adjustable kettlebells in some of my best friends’ home gyms.
Just like always, I recommend finding something suitable for your needs. Anyway, here are my top recommendations from personal experience.
This is one of the most complete adjustable kettlebells I’ve ever used, mostly because of the weight range, between 8 and 40 pounds. That’s just under 20 kilograms maximum.
There are six adjustments, so it basically replaces six standard kettlebells.
The handle is classic and ergonomic, easy to grab, metallic. It doesn't have a nonslip cover though. The weight selection is done with a dial, and you can go to 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 40 pounds.
It comes with a JRNY membership for a year, but it didn’t help me too much, as I keep my own journal to track my fitness routine.
Shanchar Adjustable Kettlebell
This is one of the most straightforward adjustable kettlebells out there. It’s basically a thick screw with a handle. You can add or remove six different weights within seconds only, which is convenient if you tend to change them often.
It has no sophisticated mechanisms, so it's a durable piece. There are six plates, two in each weight, 4.6, 5.5, and 6 pounds.
It may have an unusual design if you don’t use all of them, but it won’t interfere with your workouts.
On a side note, I recommend making sure plates are well fitted. The mechanism is so simple that incorrect fitting can cause them to slide out, so be careful and double check the kettlebell before starting your workout.
Apex Adjustable Heavy-Duty Exercise Kettlebell
Solid cast iron makes this one of the toughest adjustable kettlebells on the market. It has powder coating for a soft feel as well. The surface is textured, including the handle, so it has a great grip too.
The handle itself weighs 15 pounds, so it’s suitable to those with a bit of experience. As for the bottom plate, it weighs 5 pounds. You have four plates ranging between 2 and 10 pounds. Overall, you can go between 20 and 50 pounds in weight.
This is one of the highest weight ranges in adjustable kettlebells.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still unsure if adjustable kettlebells are any good?
Is kettlebell good for belly fat?
Yes, kettlebells are an excellent tool for reducing belly fat and improving core strength. You can achieve dream to get 12 pack abs to 10 pack abs with kettlebells. Any abs exercise that involves a weight can be done with a kettlebell.
Are adjustable kettlebells worth it?
Yes, if your space and budget are limited.
Bottom line, are adjustable kettlebells any good?
I think they are. For those of us who don't have the luxury of a dedicated room in our home or an entire basement to make into a gym, compact and efficient solutions are essential. We're limited by space, and we can barely afford to fit in a bench, a cardio machine, some weights, and a few other accessories.
With these thoughts in mind, the adjustable kettlebell saves space and money, so it’s ideal for in-home gyms.
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