A kettle bell is a piece of exercise equipment that is used to increase muscle strength, cardivasulcar performance and increase flexibility. The easiest way to describe what a kettle bell looks like is to liken it to a cannonball with a handle.
They were originally developed in Russia in the 1700’s and were known as girya. Kettle bells were commonly used by the Russian military and armed services as a way to keep soldiers fit and aid in developing and maintaining strength.
Why are kettlebells so popular?
Good question and to be honest I had to do some research on this one. It appears that Kettle bells started gaining in popularity in the west around the late 90’s when Pavel Tsatsouline began marketing them. An ex Russian Special Forces instructor Pavel became known as the “kettle bell king” and even appeared in a 2001 edition of the rolling stones magazine with kettle bell in hand. Things really started to kick off after the publication of his book in 2001 called “The Russian Kettlebell Challenge” this was followed by two further books ”Enter the Kettlebell!” And “Return of the kettlebell”.
During the last decade kettle bell mania has spread from the USA to Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Many people think that kettle bells are just the latest gym gimmick that will disappear shortly only to be replaced by the next crazy South American fitness dances. The evidence would tend to suggest otherwise, first of all as we discussed kettlebells have been around for around 300 years, hardly a flash in the pan!
Many gyms and their personal trainers are now incorporating kettlebells into their exercise programs and class schedules meaning that they are investing money into purchasing kettle bells and storage racks. Interestingly adjustable kettle bells are not commonly found in gyms yet but we expect that to slowly change as more come onto the market.