What is a Kettlebell?

A kettlebell is a Russian type of hand weight that is shaped like a big cannonball with a handle. Often made out of pure cast iron, they are available in a wide range of weights and sizes. The lightest one weighs in at only 10 pounds, and they can increase in weight all the way up to 100 pound weights. These unique tools are used in a wide range of strength training exercises, to increase muscle and build endurance. The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities

 The History

Kettlebells originated in Russia, and the first recorded mention of them was in 1704 within a Russian dictionary. The Russian word for Kettlebells is “girya,” and the men who lifted these weights were called “gireviks.” Kettlebells gained recognition as a superb weight loss tool when they were featured in the fitness magazine Hercules in 1913. Recently, Kettlebells have become increasingly popular within the United States thanks to a man named Pavel Tsatsouline. Tsatsouline is a fitness author who was a trainer for not only the United States armed forces but the Soviet Union forces as well.  The United States noticed that they could not endure as long as their Russian counterparts within competitions so they began to incorporate the kettlebell into their training routines. In 1985 a committee for the sport of Kettlebell lifting was created, and the first National Championship for Kettlebells was held in Russia in 1985 with a unique set of rules and standards. Today, the Kettlebell is being introduced into the fitness routines of the everyday individual, as their benefits have proven them to be one of the most useful tools for building strength. They have even been featured on popular television shows such as The Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition.


The Benefits

 The Kettlebell  has many benefits to offer to those who use it on a regular basis including: building of endurance, toning and strengthening, increased flexibility, weightloss and cardiovascular fitness. The history of the Kettlebell has a long and proven record of effectiveness.  Kettlebells have been incorporated into everyday exercise routines and you can use them from the comfort of your home as a unique alternative to bulky fitness equipment and expensive gym memberships.