The kettlebell or girya is a cast iron weight, resembling a cannonball with a handle, used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. Kettlebells were developed in Russia in the 1700s, primarily for weighing crops. It is said that these farmers became stronger and found them useful for showing off their strength during festivals. The Soviet army used them as part of their physical training and conditioning programs in the 20th century. They had been used for competition and sports throughout Russia and Europe since the 1940s.
Unlike traditional dumbbells, the kettlebell’s center of mass is extended beyond the hand, which facilitates ballistic and swinging movements. The kettlebell allows for swing movements and release moves with added safety and added grip, wrist, arm and core strengthening. The unique shape of the kettlebell provides the “unstable force” for handling – key for the effectiveness of the kettlebell exercises.
By their nature, typical kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. A sample list of exercises used during our classes are:
- Turkish Get Up
- High Pull
- Strict Press
- Goblet Squat
- Farmers Walk
Please check out our “Video Page” to view these exercises being performed.