The Origin of the Kettlebell

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A kettlebell is one of the most useful and versatile pieces of exercise equipment that is made. A kettlebell looks like a flat bottomed metal ball with a handle on it. The origin of the kettlebell is debated, many people guess that it originates from Ancient Greece and Persia. Here are a few of the theories:

1. The kettlebell was actually a weight that farmer’s used on end of a scale to weigh goods. The famers began using these in friendly competitions to see who could lift more

2. It was actually used as a cannonball with the handle added to make it easier to load the canon.

3. The Russian military developed them to train the men to more easily load real cannonballs into cannons. The training was effective so the training started to leak out to the public

Regardless of the origin, kettlebells started to become an extremely effective training method in Russia about 300 years ago (it first appeared in the Russian dictionary,the translation is “girya“, in 1704). This training was mainly for military and police forces, wrestlers, athletes, and even some common civilians. The kettlebell movement really began gaining momentum in the 1980’s when in 1981 the first Kettlebell Commission was formed in Russia.

Today, a kettlebell routine is considered to be an excellent training method. Today, kettlebell training is utilized by Russian Special Forces, the US Military, the US Secret Services, professional athletes across all sports (including endurance athlete…Lance Armstrong is known to use them), everyday people, celebrities, and more. Kettlebell gyms are popping up all across the country and they have been further popularized by the CrossFit community. Expect this long used training technique to continue to gain popularity!

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