What's a kettlebell?

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So named because it bears some resemblance (especially if painted black) to the old cast iron kettles found on every kitchen hob in years past.

A  “cannonball with handle” or “ring weight” are other descriptors.

In Russia , it also known as a handlebell , or girya , meaning weight. People who use Kettlebells are known as gireviks. Centuries ago , the weights were standardised into units known as poods ( 1 pood = 16.3 kg ) and used as weights/measures to enable standardised commercial trading.


A Russian strength , flexibility and conditioning  guru – Pavel Tsatsouline – introduced kettlebells to the West , after emigrating to the USA following the breakup of the old Soviet system. He unleashed his wealth of strength, flexibility and conditioning “secrets” to the masses and around 2001 introduced kettlebells to the mainstream. Pavel's methods are based on the proven strength & conditioning principles espoused by old-time strongmen and further developed by the Soviets in the past century for military conditioning and athletic purposes.. At present in the USA,  and to a much lesser extent the rest of the world,  there are kettlebell instructors and gyms which promote kettlebell training. The wave is rapidly gathering momentum