The focus of the kettlebell is to increase the strength and endurance of the user. The kettle bell is a solid piece of metal, which is round in shape, welded to a handle.

The Origin

The beginning of the venerable kettlebell can be traced back to rural Russia of the 18th century. It used to be a permanent and a popular feature in the circuses of those times. The kettlebell or Girya (Persian for heavy) was usually the showcase for strength and therefore the men who competed in the heavy kettlebell lift were most revered. It all started with the ubiquitous circus performances in the 19th century and soon spread like wildfire to Europe. The kettlebell was somewhat similar to the Indian club functionality but different in shape and size.

A standard Russian kettlebell weighs 16.38 kgs. The term kettlebell became popular after its arrival on the shores of England in the 20th century. The spread of kettlebell and its popularity can be gauged from the fact it influenced both the Greeks and the Shaolin Monks.

The modern-day version of the kettlebell is not much different from what it used to be in the early days. It has been integrated with new age fitness regime and because of its usefulness, has gained immense popularity among its practitioners. The kettlebell routine is now a must and is being commonly used for not just strength training but building the core and improving flexibility to the body too. Gyms and athletics centers around the world have added the tool, with great enthusiasm, to its instructional structure and trainers swear by its viability.

There are variants of the kettlebell too. Instead of the solid metal, you have sand fillings, water, and steel shots too. The shape of the kettlebell adds to its instability, which is the primary force it generates. This unstable force is key to the effectiveness of the whole routine.

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Kettlebell: The Key Targets


The focus areas, which the kettlebell helps to improve and build, are the lower back, the legs, and the shoulder. It also helps increase the grip strength of the arms.

The kettlebell has a few basic movements and most exercises are fashioned around these. They are the snatch, the swing and clean and jerk. The kettlebell workouts of the yore mimicked the age-old practices of shoveling and fieldwork. These movements engage the whole body and were primarily created to improve the overall movement, while working in the fields. Kettlebell workouts engage a large number of muscles at a time and are usually a part of High-Intensity Training or HIT.

However, the caveat here too is similar to any other exercise, Be Careful. It becomes all the more imperative to be as careful as possible while dealing with a kettlebell is because this regime involves taming the unstable force being generated while lifting or swinging. Any unnecessary jerks and bad angles will lead to injury and muscle inflammation. People with back and shoulder problems are advised to stay away from it since it not only aggravates the existing discomfiture but also adds to it. Kettlebell workouts need to be done only after proper education and under expert guidance. Trained practitioners of the physical education need to be a part of any regime that involves a kettlebell.

However, the advantages are many. If done properly the kettlebell has the ability to transform the human body into an explosive superstructure. It is an extremely beneficial workout routine, which increases agility, endurance, and flexibility to the human body. It increases mobility, improves agility and is a great cardiovascular exercise.

Double Kettlebell Basic Routines

Some of the basic exercises involving a double kettlebell are as follows:

  • Conventional swing

  • High pull

  • Hang clean

  • Swing clean

  • Snatch

  • Floor press

  • Push press

  • Jerk
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  • Lunge press

  • Thruster

  • Squat

  • Pistol squat

  • Deadlift

  • Carry

  • Row

  • Lunge

  • Lateral lunge

  • Get up

  • Windmill

  • Farmers walk

Single Kettlebell Basic Routines

A single kettlebell routine too can be improvised. These workouts are usually varied out by a singular kettlebell and are designed to improve on the explosive outburst of muscles. It also improves the overall posture of the practitioner and hence is necessary in any High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Some of these are as follows:

  • American swing
  • Turkish getup
  • Halo
  • Arm bar
  • Slingshot
  • Slingshot lunge
  • Circular swing
  • Circular swing
  • Deck squat
  • Bent press
  • Russian twist

Kettlebell Exercises for Women

There are a few kettlebell regimes, which are specifically designed for women, though both male and female practitioners can do many of the above-suggested workouts.

  • Russian kettlebell swing
  • Single arm kettle bell swing
  • Two arm kettlebell row
  • Kettlebell figure 8
  • Kettlebell goblet squat
  • Kettlebell high pull
  • Kettlebell lunge press
  • Kettlebell sumo high pull
  • Kettlebell russian twist
  • Kettlebell windmill
  • Single arm kettlebell floor press
  • Kettlebell slingshot
  • Side step kettlebell swing
  • Kettlebell deadlift
  • Kettlebell clean
  • Two arm kettlebell military press
  • Single arm kettlebell split jerk
  • Single arm kettlebell snatch
  • Kettlebell power plank with row
  • Kettlebell half get up
  • Kettlebell push up
  • Kettlebell push up with row

The essence of the above exercises lies in the increased mobility of the superstructure of the body, starting from the spine, the hip, and the core. It goes right up to the legs. The flexibility of the back and the shoulder muscles improve manifold and the athlete will feel a marked difference in the fitness form after being a part of the regime.

Kettlebell Workouts for Men

A few male specific Kettlebell regimes.

  • Kettlebell swing
  • Kettlebell clean
  • Kettlebell press
  • Kettlebell push press
  • Kettlebell jerk
  • Kettlebell snatch
  • Kettlebell front squat
  • Kettlebell goblet squat
  • Kettlebell overhead squat
  • Kettlebell windmill
  • The turkish get up
  • Kettlebell push ups
  • The renegade rows
  • Kettlebell jump squats
  • The single leg kettlebell romanian deadlifts
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There are quite a few variations of the Kettlebell swing, which typically are:

  • Single arm
  • One kettlebell double arm swing
  • Double kettlebell double arm swing
  • Suitcase
  • High

There are a few others but they are mostly improvised and do not have many followers.

The Kettlebell workout is indeed an extremely energy sapping regime and it helps the body build strength and endurance. Care must be taken to know what has been done and whether it be done correctly or not.

Once that knowledge is gained, the sky is the limit.

So go ahead and lift the kettle!