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What is a Kettlebell?

24 kg - 53 lb Metrixx® Elite Precision Cast Iron E-Coat Kettlebell by Kettlebells USA®16 kg - 35 lb Paradigm Pro® Elite Precision Steel Competition Kettlebells are The Official Kettlebell of Steve Cotter's Kettlebell University™

A kettlebell is a type of dumbbell or free weight that is round with a flat base and an arced handle. It looks like a cannonball with a handle, or a teapot without the spout, hence the name “kettlebell” in English. In Russia it is called a “girya” (Russian: гиря.) Kettlebells are made of either cast iron or steel.

Unlike a dumbbell, a kettlebell’s center of mass extends beyond the hand. Kettlebells can be swung, thrown, juggled, pressed, held, moved and manipulated in hundreds of ways. They are small and portable and can be incorporated into all aspects of athletic and fitness training. Kettlebells are a highly efficient way to lose weight, tone your body, increase your cardio-vascular fitness and strength and maintain joint health, mobility and flexibility.

Where do kettlebells come from?

Kettlebells being used as market weights in Imperial Russia - Kettlebells USA®Kettlebells being used as market weights in Imperial Russia - Kettlebells USA®

The kettlebell as we know it today originated in Russia approximately 350 years ago. The first appearance of the word in a Russian dictionary appeared in 1704. They were originally used as handled counterweights to weigh out dry goods on market scales. People started throwing them around for entertainment and they were later put to use for weight lifting.

The forefather of the modern fitness gym, Dr. Vladislav Krayevsky, founded the St. Petersburg Amateur Weightlifting Society on August 10,1885, considered the birth of weightlifting in Russia. A proponent of what he called “heavy athletics”, in 1900 Krayevsky wrote "The Development of Physical Strength with Kettlebells and without Kettlebells”. He was one of the most influential pioneers in fitness of his day. His students included the legendary strongman George Hackenscmidt, “The Russian Lion”, who credited him with teaching him everything he knew and Eugene Sandow, “The Father of Modern Day Body Building”.

Kettlebell lifting is the National Sport of Russia
Old Russian Kettlebell Training Manual - Kettlebells USA® Competition Kettlebell Design is Based on Scientific Research - Kettlebells USA®


Kettlebell Sport lifting (Girevoy Sport) is the National Sport of Russia. Today exercising with kettlebells is undergoing a major resurgence and kettlebell training has now become one of the most popular and best ways to lose weight, maintain a high level of cardio-vascular fitness, get stronger and get that sculpted, toned, healthy & beautiful body you've always wanted. Proper kettlebell training can help you to live a longer, healthier life. Joint health, mobility and flexibility can all be maintained, and even improved, with the correct application of kettlebell movements. Kettlebell lifting is technical just like Olympic lifting, and requires the lifter to use the correct form to avoid injury and to derive the maximum benefit from any of the hundreds of kettlebell exercises and variations.