Kettlebell Alternatives You Already Have At Home

Brad Robinson
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Best Home Kettlebell Alternatives

Weighted objects such as dumbbells are great for strength training but they are often too unwieldy to be used for HIIT or cardio training.

They can also be quite expensive.

One solution to this problem is to use a kettlebell. But if you don’t have the budget to shell out your hard-earned cash to get yourself a kettlebell or if you simply don’t have the space at home to store one, the good news is you don’t necessarily need to.

There are plenty of options for you to choose from when looking for alternatives to a standard kettlebell. A couple of the most common kettlebell alternatives are:

Filled Water Bottles

A filled water bottle makes a great alternative to a kettlebell.

Filled water bottles work in much the same way as kettlebells. They can be used for the same exercises, you just have to make a few small changes to your routine in order to compensate for the weight.

You can use a filled water bottle as an alternative to a kettlebell to perform exercises like snatches and swings.

Your warm up and cool down exercises with a filled water bottle will also change and you will need to keep a closer eye on your technique. However, with time and practice, this is much easier than it sounds.

Detergent Jugs

For a traditional kettlebell workout, you need one kettlebell. This is not exactly possible if you are at home without any equipment.

The first option, which may be a tad bit unhygienic, is to use your detergent jug. Fill the jug with water and hold it with two hands upside down.

Turn the jug and repeat the motion. The hand-held weight ensures minimum work to increase the intensity of every rep.

Milk And Water Jugs

When you have to lift something heavy but don’t have anything to help you out, maybe a friend or a neighbor, it is not unusual to just find something around the house that seems like it can help.

Having said that, sometimes the best kettlebell alternatives we have around our homes can be something that’s commonly discarded and thrown away, like water or milk jugs.

Why Choose Milk Jugs? When you compare a milk jug to a kettlebell, you would be terrified at the thought of picking up one.

But, as you know it is often about how we choose to handle the weight.

In that case, I recommend a jug that has a handle. That way you can use the handle to grip and carry the jug around with ease and also concentrate a lot on the overall weight rather than the weight of the jug itself.

The milk jugs I have are about 12” in diameter and when full, they weigh around 11 lbs.

What should I fill my jug with? Water is usually preferred since it is readily available and last for a long time if taken care of properly.

There are kettlebell workouts that will use water gallons and milk jugs, but you can also fill them with weights to increase the weight resistance.

Advantages of Milk Jugs are:


Backpacks are a great tool to add weight to any conditioning workout.

For instance, you can fill a backpack with books, kitchen supplies, clothing, or different types of sand.

You can also fill up a backpack with anything else you enjoy lifting such as additional weights or water.

Be careful not to put too much weight in the backpack or you might injure your back.

Tea Kettles

Tea is nice and relaxing, but this is not why you need to use your kettle.

A kettle can be an excellent kettlebell alternative because of how the water would be moving while you are prying the kettle around. It can be quite a workout that you normally would not get without picking up one of those heavy looking metal discs.

This is a great kettlebell alternative for beginners so you can just stick it in a corner in the kitchen and start off slowly until you are ready to pick up the real deal. Remember to use light weight and never swing the kettle around while it’s hot.

Paint Cans

Paint cans are great for building grip strength and toning your arms, chest, and shoulders. If you choose a can that has a lid, you can also work in your abdominals.

If you are using a can with a lid, cut out a small hole in the cover to ensure that you still have a good gripping surface.

Gym Bags

If you haven’t tried Kettlebells before, the prospect of forking out a not insignificant amount of cash to get on the proverbial bandwagon is tempting.

However, with a little forward thinking and a little nous for scavenging, you may find that you’ve got half of the required kit already scattered around the house.

But before you get all excited about scouring the loos for an old metal dustbin, let’s just be clear: the Kettlebell isn’t for everyone.

With a hefty 22kg body, it’s an unforgiving training implement that requires an awful lot of fluid effort in order to perform the required swing and holding positions.

That said, if you’re aiming to get that extra “oomph!” into your cardio or some “fire!” into your fitness routine, then you might just be ready for a kettlebell.

So, let’s take a quick look around the house to see if we can’t find some items that will get you started with the Kettlebell.

Kettlebell alternative 1:

An old ruck sack or skiing rucksack.

Your Own Bodyweight

Essentially, you can use your bodyweight to perform many kettlebell exercises, like high pull, snatch, push press, one arm push press, and one leg deadlifts.

Kettlebells come in a variety of weights that increase in increments of 1 kg.

If you make an exhaustive list of each increment of your bodyweight, you can simply refer to it to get the weight of the dumbbell that you need for your exercise, which in simplest terms, is 3-4 kg less than your bodyweight.

For example, let’s say that you weigh 80 kg. For most of the kettlebell exercises, you’ll need a dumbbell that’s 3-4 kg lighter than that. That is around 76-76 kg.

If you are using lighter dumbbells, you may need to practice with them several times before you can add the required level of explosiveness.

Similarly, if you’re using heavier dumbbells, you’ll need to reduce the explosiveness.

In the long run, it’s probably better to bite the bullet and invest in kettlebells. But if you already have them or aren’t willing to buy them, this is a great alternative!