Kettlebells originated in 17th century Russia where pyramid-shaped weights called “giri” were used on huge scales to measure grain, feed and meat. Over time the “girya,” or kettlebell changed in shape and size, and became a tool specifically manufactured for strength training.
There are tons of awesome benefits that come from doing kettlebell exercises. Kettlebells are known to improve overall strength, core power, balance, flexibility, and coordination while also burning fat and sculpting healthy and lean muscles.
So what are the benefits of kettlebell training?
1. Builds strength without bulk
Kettlebells are great for shaping a lean, toned, and firm physique with a focus on building strength, rather than muscle bulk. They are especially good at working your core, lower back, and glutes. Whilst kettlebells can be used for deadlifting, a lighter weight kettlebell makes for a simple and effective addition to cardio workouts.
2. Instant calorie burner
Kettlebells provide a super quick way to shed some pounds. Recent studies have found that the average person can burn around 20 calories per minute during a standard kettlebell workout, meaning you could burn 400 calories in a 20-minute workout!
3. Functional workout
Kettlebell training can work out all the muscles that you use in everyday life, making daily activities easier, whilst also improving your posture. The fluid swinging movements often used in kettlebell workouts are also easy on the joints. So be kind to your body and pick up some kettlebells!
4. Increase your range of motion
Kettlebells can help keep the body loose and moving in all plans of motion to help decrease risk of injuries and aches/pains. Large moves performed with kettlebells like swings, cleans, snatches and beloved Turkish Get-ups are amazing for joint health and flexibility.
5. They’re not balanced like a traditional weight
Because of the unique shape of the kettlebell, the center of gravity isn’t the center (like with a dumbbell or plate). To keep stable, your core and glutes have to work harder. This means a stronger core can help reduce back pain, help to make you a faster runner, help to eliminate risk of injuries and increase your overall calorie burn (because more muscles are activated during the workout).
6. A great physical AND mental workout
Surprisingly, many kettlebell workouts also work your brain. The swift swapping of the weight between hands, and transferring of weight between different sides of the body, requires focus and coordination. This makes a kettlebell workout mentally stimulating too!