Kettlebells are a very simple, yet incredibly effective piece of fitness training equipment. A kettlebell comprises of an iron base, shaped like a cannonball, with a solid rounded handle attached to the top - and yes you guessed it, they look a little like a kettle!
Despite their apparent recent surge into mainstream fitness, they have actually been around for 100's of years, believed to have originated in Greece and then later used extensively in Russia.
In Russia, a kettlebell is called a Girya, and a kettlebell lifter is called a Girevik.
Indeed kettlebell sport in Russia (and now throughout the world) is one of the toughest sports known to man and requires athletes to possess extreme strength, endurance and mental toughness.
Hollywood Actors LOVE Kettlebells!
Top Personal trainers in the USA no longer ask "What are Kettlebells?" as in the states the very best trainers have adopted kettlebell training, and brought it surging into the mainstream. Consequently their popularity is now MASSIVE and for good reason!
(The following clip is a video of me, taken from Eastbourne Kettlebells sister web site www.total-fitness-personal-trainer.com and provides a small insight into just a few of the many kettlebell exercises available.)
Top Hollywood stars including Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lopez, Ethan Hawk, Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, Lance Armstrong, Mariska Hargitay, Jason Statham and Kim Cattrall use kettlebell training to deliver the kind of bodies that Hollywood demands from its actors.
It doesn’t just stop there though.
Many sporting communities have also embraced the way of the kettlebell, most notably Mixed Martial Arts. In addition, the Soviet Special Forces, U.S. Navy Seals and other elite law enforcement teams use them to develop unrivalled super fitness.
They can't all be wrong can they?
When asking the question of "What are kettlebells and what makes them so successful?" one word pretty much sums it up.
You see, kettlebells can be used in SO many ways, that they have been referred to as a "hand held gym".
Kettlebells - Why So Effective?
The effectiveness of kettlebells lies in their shape and the unique way in which they impact the human body.
Due to the positioning of the kettlebell handle, the centre of mass falls outside of your grip unlike that of a dumbbell, where the centre of mass sits nice and comfortably in your hand.
When a kettlebell is swung, snatched, pushed, jerked, pressed and pulled the unique shape forces the body stabilise and absorb momentum while delivering explosive force and training the body to use its full elastic potential - a factor that is usually neglected through conventional training.
Kettlebell workouts tend to be full body workouts, which means a greater degree of muscle mass is used translating to greater training effect, more calories burned and better bang for your buck!
Quite simply, a kettlebell workout has to be experienced to be appreciated!
The beauty of kettlebell training is that it teaches the body how to function as a complete unit, optimising co-ordination, balance and power while seriously working the core muscles.
In this day and age of long hours being sat down in the office, or on the road, kettlebells are THE way forward for getting back to tip top shape and seeing off those twinges and niggles while delivering unsurpassed workouts.