10 Essential Items for Kettle Belles

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Some people credit their coaches for their kettlebell progress and successes, but the truth is it takes a village (or credit card) to raise a Kettle Belle.

Here’s our editor’s picks for 10 essential items to enhance your kettlebell sport game at the gym.  Having an organized bag to transport your gear provides the comforts of home in a mentally grueling sport.  Last minute searching for a digital timer or athletic tape only provides unnecessary stress.

pumabag1. A gym bag – Preferably with a separate ventilated shoe compartment for your chalky lifting shoes.

Yes we’re partial to PUMA, but this list recommends ten options from ten different brands.  Have fun.

pinkwater2. Water bottle – H2O is a must-have during any kettlebell training set. Ideally, your bottle should hold at least 20 ounces of water (2 ½ cups).

It should have a sports cap that allows you to drink water from one hand without touching the mouthpiece to avoid contact with your chalked up sweaty hands.

Camelbak has a variety of bottles that are BPA free that encourage a lifter to flip bite and sip their water.


3. Portable chalk container – Never depend on unfamiliar sources of chalk.

Always have your own on hand to ensure the quantity and quality you need.

Make sure to store yours in an air tight container with a top that twists and locks for travel.  Ziploc makes wonderful 32 ounce containers that can meet this need.

shorts4. A good pair of compression shorts (or tights) – When you have one or two kettlebells swinging through your legs, the path needs to be unobstructed.

A great pair of comfortable compression shorts will surely enhance your training and prepare you for competition in which shorts must be worn to participate.

adidasweightlifting5. Weightlifting shoes – OK, so this is one of your biggest investments in the gear department. Most competitive kettlebell lifters we know swear by their Nike Romoleos.

However, if a purchase of those top-tier shoes breaks the bank, ADIDAS makes a great pair of quality lifting shoes to provide you with the support you need to push off the floor for many reps to come.

tshirt6.  Cotton tee for the jerk and long cycle – For snatch you can wear whatever you want as long as you have on compression shorts.

When it comes to launching a heavy kettlebell off of your hip however, you will need a 100% cotton t-shirt to prevent your elbow from slipping off of your hip.

The tee on the left is made by Tokidoki, suggested by us for no other reason than to have fun.  Stay young Kettle Belle hipsters!

kg7.  Wrist protection – To extend the health of your wrists, we recommend wearing Kettleguards.  When we first started competing, we wore ace bandages for protection, but those proved to be way too time-consuming and not to mention a Kettle Belle’s fashion nightmare (we even tried to dye ours in the early days, but to no avail).

The new version 2.0 Compact Kettleguards are slim, cute, and effective.  They’re also approved for competition by all governing kettlebell sport organizations.

handkit8.  Hand kit – Antibacterial wipes/spray, triple anti-biotic ointment, athletic tape, band-aids, gauze, tissue and ibuprofen.

All of these compact items fit perfectly into our personal hand kit pictured on the left, but we suggest you design your hand kit to fit your unique needs.

The main point is to have your own hand kit ready for unexpected blisters and open wounds.  Some kettlebell sport competitions don’t provide access to a first-aid kit. Beware.

timer9. Timer – minutes / seconds – As many timers as we have tried at the Ice Chamber, we keep returning to this one from Radio Shack.  Yep, that great store from the 1980s which recently went bankrupt still sells our most used piece of equipment.

Our only explanation is the sensory feedback this timer offers, which includes a loud recognizable beep and large numbers to view from up to 8 feet away.

ipodtouch10. Camera – iPad, iPod touch, and old FLIP cameras that still operate work easiest.  We know what you’re thinking… why not use our smartphones?

We do not suggest using your smartphone to film your training sets because incoming calls can disrupt your video in progress.  Can you think of anything worse than losing your new PR on video to an unwanted sales call?