2

votes

What size kettlebell should a petite woman start with?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 06, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Hello all,

I'm interested in getting my first kettlebell, but I have a few concerns.

I'm female, 107lbs, 20 years old, and have no weight lifting experience or access to classes right now. What size kettlebell should I use? More importantly, is it safe for me to start on my own? I don't want to injure myself.

Any advice would be appreciated. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Oh and then test yourself on actual pullups only once per week.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2012
at 09:45 PM

"Thay" = They. lol. You can also do isometric pullups. These are simply a static exercise. Reach up and grab the pullup bar or the top of an open door, now pull but NOT as hard as you can. Pull hard enough to make your muscles shake but not hard enough to pull up at all. Now keep the muscles shaking for 30 seconds or more. See if you can build up to a minute. Have a rest and then repeat for another 4 sets. This is a great strength builder for people that can't do pullups yet. Good luck.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2012
at 09:40 PM

I still wouldnt bother with the kettlebell yet. Carry on with the exercises you are doing. Thay are all great so get really good at them. With the pullups, get a chair or something to stand on so that you can start at the top position of the pullup and then just lower yourself down as slowly as possible. Stand on the chair again and repeat.

0a936e6b9cf67c590755e6ce96cf1a44

(25)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Thanks to everyone who has answered so far! Yes, I do exercise similar to Primal Blueprint Fitness. Pushups, squats, plank position, and I attempt to do pullups but I have zero upper body strength so it doesn't work out that well. I also sprint in the yard occasionally. I don't really have a routine for when or how often, it's mostly when I feel like it. Do you think that's enough of a base to add kettlebell?

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on June 06, 2012
at 08:23 PM

This is true. I didn't just grab n' swing. Thankfully my husband has been doing crossfit and powerlifting for over a year and can teach me. You gotta be careful!

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:17 PM

I started with a 15lb one. I'm 5'5" 115lbs. I had Nooooo upper body strength to start out with! The 15lb one got too light too fast. Now I use my husband's 1 pood (36.11 lbs). Watch some youtube videos on how to swing it properly. It's not hard.

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8 Answers

5
E2db1519690001648433e8109eb2c013

on June 06, 2012
at 06:52 PM

A half-pood (8kilo) 'bell is usually suggested for small folks/women.

More important is learning prober technique. DON'T 'just grab' a kettlebell and try to follow some DVD. Read and/or watch instructional material from

Pavel Tsatsouline,

Tracy Reifkind,

Jordan Vezina,

Whatshisname at Chronicles of Strength.

Etc. etc.

Take the time to know what you are doing before you plunge into anything. All these people, and many others, have simple progressions for learning to swing the kettlebell productively and safely.

While the kettlebell is hard to beat for metabolic conditioning (much more intense than rope-skipping with no impact) Bodyweight work for strength is a very good idea. You can find good progression schemes in 'Convict Conditioning' by Paul Wade and 'Primal Blueprint Fitness' by M. Sisson etc.

A few minutes of strength work followed by 10-20 minutes of kettlebell intervals will do wonders, IF you are patient and careful at the start.

3
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Respectfully, if you want to avoid injury, you should avoid swinging heavy things. Whatever your goals for increased strength or fitness, they are more safely attained with a few simple bodyweight exercises.

1
4498698fa91a620e4ee5b618da71016a

(427)

on June 06, 2012
at 07:51 PM

I would personally not start until you can tryout a class at a reputable place. There are too many factors that you can't see by yourself when using a bell because it works so many parts of your body.

Other than that, go light to get a feel for the momentum and don't let the bell drag you down. You're the one in control no matter how light you may think the bell may be when starting off.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on June 06, 2012
at 08:23 PM

This is true. I didn't just grab n' swing. Thankfully my husband has been doing crossfit and powerlifting for over a year and can teach me. You gotta be careful!

1
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:26 PM

I think Sam's advice to start with body weight exercises is smart. That said, once you do that and gain some strength...

I think NewEra's advice to start with 15 lbs is also smart. It's light enough to start with (the weight of a four-month-old baby), and heavy enough to actually do some good.

Good luck!

0
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on December 14, 2012
at 06:45 PM

Here's a weight selection video to start.

http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PBOnePieceView?storeId=10151&catalogId=10751&languageId=-1&pagename=199

I use an 8 kg bell but could go higher to 12.

Form is very important but don't let not being near an RKC dissuade you.

For proper swing training, this video is great. Its just about the swing and the proper form for the swing. It changed my technique completely for the better.

0
77fcbf8bece61c60e3ff430d4bb5de66

(383)

on June 07, 2012
at 10:36 AM

I use 5.0 kgs kettlebell, just be careful when u are starting off, its so easy to do too much too soon, i speak from experience, ease yourself into it slowly. You can buy starter dvd's on amazon, they do warm up exercises which is a good idea to prevent injury. Enjoy they are a great workout.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2012
at 05:54 AM

Forget the kettlebells for now. Do you exercise at all? If not, then try out Sam's suggestion of bodyweight exercises and progress from there.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Oh and then test yourself on actual pullups only once per week.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2012
at 09:45 PM

"Thay" = They. lol. You can also do isometric pullups. These are simply a static exercise. Reach up and grab the pullup bar or the top of an open door, now pull but NOT as hard as you can. Pull hard enough to make your muscles shake but not hard enough to pull up at all. Now keep the muscles shaking for 30 seconds or more. See if you can build up to a minute. Have a rest and then repeat for another 4 sets. This is a great strength builder for people that can't do pullups yet. Good luck.

0a936e6b9cf67c590755e6ce96cf1a44

(25)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Thanks to everyone who has answered so far! Yes, I do exercise similar to Primal Blueprint Fitness. Pushups, squats, plank position, and I attempt to do pullups but I have zero upper body strength so it doesn't work out that well. I also sprint in the yard occasionally. I don't really have a routine for when or how often, it's mostly when I feel like it. Do you think that's enough of a base to add kettlebell?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 07, 2012
at 09:40 PM

I still wouldnt bother with the kettlebell yet. Carry on with the exercises you are doing. Thay are all great so get really good at them. With the pullups, get a chair or something to stand on so that you can start at the top position of the pullup and then just lower yourself down as slowly as possible. Stand on the chair again and repeat.

0
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Try them out to see what is best for you. See which weight allows you to relatively comfortably do 10 swings and then go up one size. See if you can swing it 6-8 times. That's the place to start.

It would be best to start with someone who can train you or with bodyweight exercise recommended above. Both to reduce injury and to save money. If you are just starting do fitness, you'll train out of the beginning weight very fast. Save the pricey purchase until later.

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