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How to Turn Your Dumbbells Into Kettlebells

Updated July 19, 2017

A kettlebell is a piece of exercise equipment that is a small roundish cannon, usually made of iron, with a handle on the top of it. Kettlebells can be rather pricey depending on the weight you select (the cost is higher the heavier they get). If you want to sidestep the additional cost incurred by purchasing a kettlebell for doing a this type of workout, make a kettlebell yourself. The basic requirements are a weight and a handle. Use a dumbbell of any comfortable size for your fitness level and affix a handle to it. Find a handle you can comfortably work out with or wrap it with a non-slip material.

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  1. Lay out your supplies. Cut a length of rope long enough to lace through the pipe, with enough left to make a knot around each end of the dumbbell.

  2. Lace the rope through the pipe. Let an even amount of rope hang out of each side of the pipe.

  3. Set the pipe next to the dumbbell and begin tying the rope and pipe combination to one end of the dumbbell. Use a strong knot like a hitch knot or a figure eight knot to ensure the handle and pipe stay together.

  4. Give it a tug to make sure it is secure. Pull the rope very tight and begin knotting the other side, keeping the rope taut so there is no slack between the dumbbell and the handle.

  5. Wrap the handle in duct tape or hockey tape to create a smooth handle and a solid piece. You may need to wrap it several times until it feels right.

  6. Tip

    Shop at flea markets and second-hand stores to look for dumbbell sets that come with a handle to turn them into a kettlebell. Not only are they convenient but you might be able to find them for a good price if you try to bargain. After you make your first kettlebell, make note of any adjustments you would like to make for your next time when you need a heavier kettlebell. Experiment with different types of tape and materials.


    Before you begin your workout, test the kettlebell to make sure the handle is secure to prevent injuries that may take place if the handle and the weight separate. As with any exercise regime, work within your skill set and consult your physician if you have any concerns.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dumbbells
  • Measuring tape
  • Rope
  • Scissors
  • PVC pipe in a handle shape
  • Handle (if not using PVC)
  • Duct tape or hockey tape

About the Author

Jennifer Mullett

Jennifer Mullett started writing in 1998. She has published several short stories in Notebook Magazine, has ghostwritten news releases and articles for local companies and continues to write fiction. Mullett has a diploma in floral design from The Canadian Institute of Floral Design and a diploma in photographic studies from Lawrence College.

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