tl;dr: I’ll be honest, I love buying original Dragon Door RKG cast iron, Russian hard style, kettlebells, though I have a number of Kettlebells USA cast iron kettlebells and they are also perfect. I do own one 16kg Kettlebell Kings kettlebell, but it’s a Competition bell, so I don’t have experience with their cast iron kettlebells but all the reviews suggest that you can’t go wrong with Dragon Door RKG, Kettlebells USA, or Kettlebell Kings. My most recent cast iron kettlebell was a 16kg RKC Kettlebell from Dragon Door.

Kettlebell Brand Comparison

Kettlebells have been around since the early 1700s, but they have seen a significant increase in popularity in the fitness world in the last 15 years. Their distinct shape and functionality offer many of the strength-building advantages of dumbbells, while also allowing users to perform unique kettlebell exercises involving a lot of movement, like swings. The closed-loop handle provides a secure grip for two-handed movements, and the ball shape makes it easy and comfortable for swinging motions in exercises like swings, snatches, and jerks. Dumbbells, on the other hand, are more appropriate for exercises like squats, curls, bench presses, cleans, and others with less movement.

Kettlebell exercises are effective because they combine cardiovascular and resistance training in a single exercise, enabling you to improve your conditioning and build muscle simultaneously. This means that a single tool can meet all your workout needs and can be easily stored. It’s important to note, however, that proper technique is crucial for safely using kettlebells and avoiding injury. It is highly recommended to seek out a certified kettlebell trainer in your area to learn the basics before fully diving into kettlebell work. There are also reputable online tutorials and trainers who offer remote coaching through video feedback.

When it comes to kettlebells, there are competition kettlebells with specific design features and cast-iron kettlebells suitable for most users. Cast-iron kettlebells are recommended for beginners since they are better suited for two-handed work and are more affordable. After testing various cast-iron kettlebells, the Metrixx Elite Precision E-Coat Cast Iron Bell from Kettlebells USA was found to be the best option for most home gyms due to its comfort and accommodating design for both one-handed and two-handed exercises.

The Metrixx Elite kettlebell has a slightly wider handle gap and a unique design that ensures the same “rack” position for different weights, making it more comfortable for a variety of exercises. Its single-use mold casting process results in a consistently smooth finish that is unmatched by other manufacturers. The Metrixx Elite bell is ideal for both basic and advanced kettlebell exercises, providing excellent performance and a comfortable experience.

It’s worth noting that if you’re accustomed to a standard kettlebell shape, it may take some time to adjust to the Metrixx Elite’s design, but once you become familiar with it, you’ll likely find it more comfortable and versatile than other kettlebells on the market. In summary, the Metrixx Elite Precision E-Coat Cast Iron Kettlebell is an excellent choice for anyone looking to incorporate kettlebell exercises into their fitness routine. Inspired by The Best Kettlebell for Home Fitness | Reviews by Wirecutter

Kettlebell History

Kettlebells, which have been in existence since the early 18th century, have seen a significant resurgence in the fitness industry over the past 15 years. The term “kettlebell” first appeared in a Russian dictionary in 1704, and these unique exercise tools have a rich history. Originally used by Russian strongmen and military personnel for strength training, kettlebells made their way to the United States, gaining popularity primarily through the efforts of Pavel Tsatsouline.

Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor and Master of Sport, introduced kettlebells to the United States in the late 1990s. He wrote articles and books on the subject, emphasizing the effectiveness of kettlebell training for strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. Pavel also played a significant role in the establishment of kettlebell instructor certification programs, such as the Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) and StrongFirst.

Kettlebells are known for their distinct shape and functionality, which combines the strength-building benefits of dumbbells with the opportunity to perform kettlebell-specific exercises that require more movement, such as swings. The closed-loop handle of a kettlebell offers a secure grip for movements with both hands, while the ball shape facilitates comfortable swinging motions between the legs and back toward and under the groin area.

Cast iron kettlebells are the most common type of kettlebell used today, differing from competition kettlebells in size, handle shape, and dimensions. Cast iron kettlebells are often the preferred choice for individuals who want to maximize strength and body composition, as their smaller and denser dimensions allow for the use of two kettlebells simultaneously. Additionally, cast iron kettlebells are more cost-effective compared to competition kettlebells.

The production process of cast iron kettlebells has evolved over time. Many companies, such as Dragon Door, Rogue, and CAP, have developed their own designs based on the original Dragon Door RKC kettlebell, which set the industry standard in the United States. The manufacturing process typically involves the use of molds to cast the kettlebells, with some companies using single-use molds to ensure a smoother and more consistent surface texture. This is important because a well-crafted handle is essential for preventing injury and ensuring proper technique during one-handed and two-handed exercises.

Different kettlebell finishes, such as powder-coated and e-coated, cater to the specific needs and preferences of users. E-coating is a more expensive process that results in a smoother finish, which is necessary for one-handed exercises. Powder coating is less expensive but can be rougher on the hands, making it more suitable for two-handed exercises.

Kettlebell training is effective because it combines cardiovascular and resistance training in a single exercise, resulting in improved conditioning, fat burning, and muscle building. One versatile tool can meet all workout needs and can be easily stored in a closet. However, it’s crucial to learn proper technique from a certified kettlebell trainer to prevent injury and maximize the benefits of kettlebell training. Many resources, such as the RKC and StrongFirst trainer locator tools, can help individuals find certified trainers in their area.

In summary, kettlebells have a long and fascinating history, from their early beginnings in Russia to their widespread adoption in modern fitness routines. The evolution of cast iron kettlebells, brought to the United States by Pavel Tsatsouline, has made them a popular and effective tool for strength training and overall fitness. The combination of their unique shape and functionality provides users with a versatile and efficient workout tool that can meet a variety of fitness goals.