A kettlebell, or girya (Russ.) is a traditional Russian cast iron training tool that looks like a cannonball with a handle. Elite forces including Navy SEALS, U.S. law enforcement, Secret Service Counter Assault Team, and Force Recon Marines currently train with kettlebells, yet they are also used by people of all ages and levels of fitness.
Kettlebells appeared in 1704 in a Russian dictionary (Cherkikh, 1994) and were apparently used in markets as counter-weights. People started playing with them, tossing them around and eventually they became popular as training tools. In 1913 the Russian magazine Hercules reported, “Not a single sport develops our muscular strength and bodies as well as kettlebell athletics.” Pavel Tsatsouline brought kettlebell training to the U.S. in 1998, and created the training methods and teacher certification process earned by trainers at The Kettlebell Fitness Center.
Why should I train with kettlebells?
With proper instruction, kettlebell training quickly delivers overall gains in strength and conditioning in a short period of time. The muscles that support your shoulders, hips, knees and spine will get stronger, allowing them to support, or stabilize those joints without jarring, bouncing or impact.
Kettlebell training is aerobic and anaerobic at the same time. Think: running and lifting weights simultaneously. Yet unlike running alone, your body will continue to burn fat long after you’ve completed your workout. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, increase your athletic performance or simply be able to get through your day feeling strong, kettlebell training is for you.