Kettlebell training is growing in popularity, but exactly what is a kettlebell and what are the benefits of kettlebell training?
A kettlebell is essentially a cast iron ball with a handle that comes in different sizes and weights.
The first documented mention of the kettlebell dates back to a Russian dictionary from 1704. It's believed that during this time the kettlebell was actually a counterweight used in the Russian markets to measure the weight of produce. The farmers would swing and toss the kettlebells for fun and exercise.
Kettlebells eventually became popular among Russian strongmen, and their popularity spread to other parts of Eastern Europe as well. To this day, kettlebells continue to be very popular in Russia and Eastern Europe. Over the last decade or so, the use of kettlebells has been growing in other parts of the world.
You can do standard weight training exercises such as curls and rows with kettlebells, however, the unique value of kettlebells comes from performing explosive exercises such as snatches, swings and cleans and presses. These types of exercises require mutiple muscle groups to work in unison and provide a great full-body workout.
Kettlebells, with their off-centered weight and thick handles, have a different feel than dumbbells and provide a different type of workout. They require the use of more stabilizer muscles and work the targeted muscles through a greater range of motion.
Here are the primary benefits of kettlebell training:
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