In this post, you will learn about kettlebell for seniors. Kettlebells are a great form of resistance training that can be performed at home so kettlebells are perfect for seniors.
In case you are not familiar with the importance of strength training for seniors I recommend you check out that link.
Many people avoid strength training because they have the misconception that you have to go to a gym and do grueling workouts.
They may be afraid of the gym and not really sure what to do there or they might be put off by the whole gym culture and the superficiality that often goes along with it. I’m sure you have your own prejudice about strength training.
Kettlebells are my personal favorite because they take up very little space, they are effective and affordable. A single kettlebell opens up a whole lot of options compared to only using your bodyweight.
Let’s start by looking at what kettlebells actually are, how to use them, and what considerations you should make when choosing one for yourself.
What Are Kettlebells
Kettlebells are free weights that typically consist of a ball of metal with a handle. They look a bit like a cannonball with a thick handle. Or like a classic tea kettle, which the name apparently refers to.
These days kettlebells come in different shapes and sizes. High-quality kettlebells are made out of metal so they are virtually indestructible but there are also plastic ones that are filled with sand.
What makes kettlebells special is the shape. They have a thick handle you can hold on to securely with two hands and the actual weight is very compact and there are not pointy parts.
This makes kettlebells perfect for dynamic movements where you swing and push the weight around. The danger of losing your grip or bumping your leg painfully is much lower than with a dumbbell.
Kettlebells come in different weights ranging from just a couple lbs all the way to over 50lbs. For most people somewhere between 12 to 30lbs is perfect for lower body and general training and about half of that for upper body training.
One of the problems with kettlebells is that a weight that’s heavy enough for effective lower body work like swings and deadlifts is often too heavy for overhead pressing. This can be compensated with two different size kettlebells or by getting some other form of weight for the upper body work.
How To Use Kettlebells
Kettlebells are especially good for doing dynamic full-body exercises like the kettlebell swing. I’d go as far as to argue that just by performing kettlebell swings and bodyweight squats you can achieve a bare minimum amount of strength training to keep your body healthy and functional.
The dynamic movements like the swing are great because they utilize your whole body. The movement is initiated with the legs and the hips and the power is transferred through the back and the arms to the kettlebell.
Here’s a great kettlebell routine from YouTube by Bob & Brad:
Because you are moving around with a free weight, the movement also challenges your balance, a key element of your health that you should train when aging.
Kettlebells are also perfect for functional movements like the deadlift which essentially helps you pick heavy objects from the floor.
You can perform most exercises with kettlebells that you can perform with dumbbells. The key difference is the shape and form of weight.
Kettlebells are typically used one at a time and the shape is much more comfortable for swinging the weight around and between your legs when compared to dumbbells.
On the other hand, overhead presses can feel awkward on your wrist when using a kettlebell and dumbbells are generally more suitable for that purpose.
Considerations For Choosing A Kettlebell
There are a couple considerations to make when choosing a kettlebell.
The first is the material of the actual weight. There are kettlebells that are made out of plastic and filled with sand, there are metal ones and I think I’ve even seen concrete ones.
The plastic ones are cheaper than the steel ones but since the steel ones are affordable as well you should invest in them since they will last literally forever (just don’t leave them in the rain if you workout in the yard, they’ll rust).
The plastic ones can break if you fall them. The steel ones will just break whatever you drop them on.
Which takes us to the second consideration, the finishing material. I recommend you pick a kettlebell that’s made out of steel or iron but is coated with an elastic coating like rubber.
This is because when you move the heavy kettlebell on your floor, put it down, or accidentally drop it, the soft coating will offer a bit of protection against denting and scratching your floor.
A straight steel kettlebell can scratch a wooden floor when moved on it and shatter ceramic tiles even when handled carefully because the surface is so hard.
Finally, it’s important to pick a suitable weight for your use. The correct kettlebell weight is highly individual as your physical fitness, age, gender, and size all play a significant role.
For most seniors, a kettlebell between 4kg (9lbs) and 12kg (26 lbs) is suitable for lower body training. Petite women and seniors that suffer from significant old-age frailty might need even lighter ones.
It’s important to recognize that you should always consult a professional when picking up a kettlebell if you are unsure of your personal fitness level and physical capability.
Best Kettlebell For Seniors
A good example of an affordable kettlebell that meets all the aforementioned criteria are the Yes4All vinyl-coated kettlebells. I’ll leave an affiliate link to Amazon below, if you decide to buy through it I will earn a small commission that helps me keep this site up and running.
They are made out of cast iron, they are coated with a soft vinyl to protect your flooring and they are available in weights ranging from 5lbs to 45lbs.
Any other similar kettlebell is perfect as well and there are a ton of options with different colors and finishes on Amazon alone.
Kettlebells don’t have moving parts, so you can’t really go wrong with them no matter which one you pick. The weight is the most important thing.
I hope you found this short guide about kettlebells for seniors useful. If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you.
Kettlebells are a perfect form of free-weight strength training for seniors that are looking for an effective and affordable way to do basic strength training at home.
Kettlebells also challenge your balance skills so they are perfect for balance training as well, something that is extremely important as you age.
As a recap, I recommend you choose a rubber-coated kettlebell that’s made out of metal. This kind of bells will last forever and they offer a bit of protection from denting your floors.
Thanks for reading and if you found this post useful, consider sharing it on social media.
See you next time!