So, what is all the fuss about Kettlebell training? For those of you who have never heard of Kettlebells, I hope this will be a good introduction to what they are, where they came from and how they can make a difference to your fitness.
What are they?
The kettlebell is a cast iron weight, which resembles a cannon ball with a handle. An ancient Russian exercise device, the kettlebell has long been a favorite in that country for those seeking a special edge in strength and endurance.
Where did it all start?
Well as the name suggests, they started life as kettles! The kettle would have been filled with sand or whatever else was available to make the kettle heavy. These kettles were used as a strength training tool in Scotland over 2000 years ago! Over time, these kettles were replaced by similar looking weights because of the kettle’s sharp edges and spout. Cannon balls were probably used and thus we can see how the modern kettlebell would have evolved from this
Kettlebells are very popular with the Russians who used to use them in military training. The Russian military used the kettlebell snatch (a Kettlebell exercise) to test the troops’ strength, the more they could do, the stronger they were – not an easy test!
The Russian Special Forces personnel owe much of their strength, explosive agility, and never-quitting stamina to kettlebells. The official Soviet armed forces strength training manual pronounced kettlebell drills to be “one of the most effective means of strength development” representing “a new era in the development of human strength-potential”.
Many famous Soviet weightlifters, such as Vorobyev, Vlasov, Alexeyev, and Stogov, started their Olympic careers with old-fashioned kettlebells.
Although Russians have known kettlebells for as long as they have known vodka, the first official kettlebell competition took place only in 1948 and the first USSR championship did not happen until 1985.
In the twentieth century Soviet science discovered that repetition kettlebell lifting is one of the best tools for all round physical development. (Voropayev, 1983) observed two groups of college students over a period of a few years. A standard battery of the armed forces PT tests was used: pullups, a standing broad jump, a 100m sprint, and a 1k run. The control group followed the typical university physical training program which was military oriented and emphasised the above exercises. The experimental group just lifted kettlebells. In spite of the lack of practice on the tested drills, the Kettlebell group showed better scores in every one of them.
The Red Army, too pragmatic to waste their troopers’ time on pushups and situps, quickly caught on. Every Russian military unit’s gym was equipped with Kettlebells.
The ballistic blasts of kettlebell lifting become an excellent conditioning tool for athletes from rough sports like kickboxing, wrestling, and football. And the extreme metabolic cost of high rep Kettlebell workouts will burn fat fast.
There is a great variety of kettlebell lifts and exercises. Russians even compete in kettlebell throwing.
The style of the kettlebell has remained largely the same, although you can get them in a variety of different colours and weights. Weights start from 2kg and go up from there to 4kg, 6kg, 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 30kg, 34kg and 36kg!
Kettlebell training is suitable for all ages and abilities. This is not just for the men, woman can benefit greatly from Kettlebell training, and no ladies, you won’t ‘bulk up’ but you will have a lower body fat %, improved fitness and a toned physique! You get a brilliant cardio, strength and core workout and you have fun whilst you are doing it :0)
So, reasons to get started…
- Fun and varied, never boring
- Combines cardio and strength in same session
- Greater fat loss
- It’s fun
- Easy to learn
- Cardio that doesn’t impact on your joints
- Flexibility without long poses
- Money saving
- Can use them at home
- Easy and convenient to store
- Improved posture
- Increase core strength and stability
- It’s safe
- Functional strength without the monotony of isolated reps
- Builds a lean, muscular physique
- Builds mobility
- Improved co-ordination
- Increase metal focus
So, if you really want to try a different training approach that will give you amazing fitness benefits and have fun at the same time, kettlebells are the answer! m2m fitness run Kettlebell classes every Monday 0930-1030 and every Thursday 1800-1900 hrs at Impulse Leisure, Southwick, West Sussex, please contact for further details. Happy swinging! :0)