As home fitness users turn more towards kettlebell exercises, competition kettlebells continue to grow in popularity. Although the name might suggest that these training aids are reserved for competitions and sporting events it is actually not the case at all.
Competition Kettlebells are used in official events but there is a lot more to them than that, with this particular type of kettlebell being created to have a uniform standard for all kettlebells to adhere to – and the benefits of this can be seen by amateur and professional users alike. We have decided to find the best competition kettlebells available in the UK to help you find your perfect match – but before we do, let’s take a more in-depth look at exactly what it takes for a kettlebell to be classed as a competition kettlebell.
What Is A Competition Kettlebell?
Competition kettlebells have been designed to create a uniform shape and size regardless of the weight. If you look at a range of weights for a standard kettlebell then you will likely see that as the weight increases, the size of the kettlebell increases. This is not true of the competition variety, as these are all designed to be the exact same shape and the exact same design regardless of the overall weight.
In addition to the size, the shape is also slightly different to most standard kettlebell weights. The handle of a competition kettlebell is much flatter with a lot less curve to it and it will generally run parallel to the floor if you placed the weight on a flat surface. They do not have particularly wide grips unlike some designs that we see on the market of the non-competition variety.
The reason for this uniform shape and size is to create a more consistent experience when training with these kettlebells. The smaller handles and smaller bodies tend to create a better overall balance when using them and this is particularly true as the weight level increases. If you compare this to lifting barbells with weight plates you might be able to consider how the weight distribution will make a difference to ensure you are performing exercises with the correct form – the same principle applies here to the kettlebell.
The other main difference between a standard and a competition kettlebell is that the latter is always made from steel whereas most standard models are made from cast iron. Steel is far superior as it will not rust over time and it is much stronger so you will see no degradation over time. Like most things, there is a difference in quality depending on the brand you opt for so be sure to look for premium quality materials and kettlebells that have been cast as one solid piece of steel with no welding or welded rods used and ones that do not use fillers to increase the weight as this can negate the benefits that you will expect to find with competition models.
Top 6 Competition Kettlebells In The UK
Having scoured the UK for the best competition kettlebells we have managed to compile the prime options in to a top 6 list. We have ordered them in order of our preference but it is worth reading through each to check which you think is best for you.
Escape Competition Pro Kettlebells 2.0
The Escape Competition Pro Kettlebell 2.0 is another top quality option from a company that has over two decades of experience in supplying commercial quality equipment to gyms and now offers their goods to home based consumers too. The Escape Pro 2.0 range is not cheap and not quite as wide ranging (in terms of weight) as the Kettlebell Kings models but they are a very good alternative all the same.
With weights ranging from 8kg to 32kg (all being colour coded indicated by a small stripe on the handle) there is more than enough for most users. Even most commercial setups will only go up to around 30kg in weight so these should more than suffice for a home user.
The Competition Pro Kettlebells 2.0 meet all international competition standards and feature a cast stainless steel handle and cast steel base that has a powder coated finish which looks incredible. Escape Fitness have taken the decision to create a hollow core which positions the majority of weight nearer to the handle rather than equally spread throughout the entire kettlebell. The reasoning behind this is that it will make the kettlebell easier to handle when performing swings and also that it will place less stress on the wrists.
Using the Escape kettlebells is a pleasureful experience and you really get the sense that you are using a top quality product. The weight distribution does take a little getting used to if you are used to a completely balanced kettlebell but it did feel a little easier on the wrists and it was easy enough to perform all the usual swings and snatches.
These kettlebells have a slightly oversized base compared to some models and this makes them an ideal accessory for performing push ups and kettlebell renegade rows.
Kettlebell Kings are one of the biggest Kettlebell brands in the US and they have now brought their top quality kettlebells to the UK and Europe with free shipping on offer too. They offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of weights for their competition kettlebells and the quality of their weights is far and away the best we have seen.
With weights ranging from 8kg all the way up to 48kg in 2kg increments, it is hard to find a better selection anywhere else. All of their competition kettlebells are made from a single solid steel cast which means there has been no welding or use of welded rods to put these together – they have been cast in to their shape. They have not used any filler materials to create the weight either, so you will not find any of the bad stuff that you can find in some brands such as sawdust and ballbearings.
As a result of them using a single cast solid steel design you get a perfectly balanced feel that is uniform through the entire range. In addition to this, each weight has a handle that is 35mm in diameter which is the international competition size.
There are a range of industry standard colours which are used to indicate the weight (so you can’t choose your colour) and they all feature the distinctive Kettlebell Kings branding. Most casual home users will most likely opt for 2 or 3 different weights and when you rack these up or store them on the floor next to each other they look stunning and will add to the overall positive feel of your home or commercial gym.
Each model measures up at 210mm at the widest point and 284.5mm in height. The width of the handle is 192.6mm with the base measures up at a width of 134.2mm. All of these are bang in line with international standards and make for the ultimate overall profile.
The real benefit of choosing this brand comes from the usability though and of all the kettlebells we tested there were none that performed better in terms of feel, balance and the range of exercises you can perform. Whether it is swings, snatches, cleans or lifts these kettlebells will not disappoint and they are also ideal for a range of floor based exercises such as push ups.
Ziva Competition Kettlebell
The Ziva Signature Steel Competition Kettlebell is another excellent option for anyone looking for a kettlebell that meets international competition standards or just wants a high quality range of kettlebells that provide an excellent user experience. Available in a large range of weights (in 2kg increments) from 4kg to 36kg, the Ziva kettlebell is one of the only brands that starts off at the 4kg weight range which makes them an ideal brand to go for if you are performing low weight, high rep rate exercises or if you are using them predominantly to add resistance to cardio based exercises.
The solid steel construction is finished with a lightly textured material to provide a surface that is perfectly suited to being used with chalk for the ultimate in long lasting performance. Similar to the Escape 2.0 model, the Ziva is upward loaded putting more emphasis on the weight toward the handle and it has no fillers whatsoever. This makes the Ziva a great option for explosive movements and in particular rotator moves thanks to the low amount of torque generated thanks to the weight balance within the kettlebell.
The design of this kettlebell is perfectly in line with international standards in terms of its dimensions and Ziva actually designed this model with the leading authority in kettlebell training – Steve Cotter. You will find 35mm handles and a wide enough base to perform all manner of push up and row exercises.
All in all, the Ziva is a top option. It may not be the most affordable option but it is certainly very high quality.
Jordan Competition Kettlebells
Another solid offering in the world of competition kettlebells comes from the popular fitness manufacturer Jordan Fitness. They focus most of their attention on free weights and accessories for weight training such as benches, bars and racks and as such they have developed a solid understanding of what commercial training centres and home users are looking for.
The Jordan competition kettlebells do not disappoint and are a very worthy entry on our list and of course they comply to international competition standards. You will find the expected 35mm handles, an industry standard colour coded design on the main body and all of that contained within a solid steel construction that both looks and feels great.
The range of weights is pretty impressive with the Jordan kettlebell ranging from 8kg to a massive 40kg. It is worth noting that they only increase in increments of 4kg so if you are looking for a set that has smaller weight increments you might be better off looking at one of our other options. That being said, if you are looking for a wider ranging set of say a 12kg, 20kg and a 28kg kettlebell then these are both well made and pretty reasonably priced.
Like the Escape model these kettlebells are made with a hollow core with more weight dispersed upwardly rather than towards the bottom. They have a wide base design which also allows for push ups and other floor based exercises to be performed with ease.
The Jordan kettlebells were a joy to use and we found them very good in terms of grip, the range of exercises we could perform with them and for placing less stress on the wrists. Top marks.
MYO 3 Kettlebell Set
The MYO 3 kettlebell set is a package that offers exceptional value for anyone looking to buy a set of relatively heavy kettlebells. This package includes a 20kg, 24kg and 28kg kettlebell and all for a very reasonable price that compares favourably to buying these weights individually. We also like the weight spread between the 20kg and 28kg range as this will make this set suitable for a wide range of users and a very wide range of exercises.
The MYO kettlebells can also be purchased individually and are made from solid steel with a hollow core. They feature the expected 35mm handle and this is perfectly formed and comfortable to use. They can easily be used indoors and outdoors and also feature a wide enough base to perform a range of floor based exercises with.
They are colour coded as you might expect and we found them comfortable to use with good weight distribution. There is a high gloss finish on the outer which may not be to everyones taste but in terms of functionality they do the job well and are affordably priced.
UKSF are a reputable UK manufacturer of high quality free weights and their competition kettlebells are no exception. Whether you are looking to kit out your home gym or a commercial gym, these weights will be a worthy addition. Conforming to all international standards in terms of colour coding and dimensions, these kettlebells look incredible as well as offering excellent usability.
The main part of the kettlebell is finished with a coating of colour whilst the 33mm diameter handles are left with the raw stainless steel and this makes them look and feel top class.
They have been single cast which makes them perfectly weighted and balanced with no rattles or irritating noises heard inside of them while you are using them.
The UKSF models are available in 4kg increments starting at 8kg up to 32kg so long as you can get your hands on them – as they are in pretty short supply at the time of writing.