Fo Real Fitness: Kettlebells

By Danielle Douglass and Neal Iwamoto

The ubiquitous kettlebell. If you’re a regular at the gym and have never touched one, give it a shot.  

Kettlebells can help cure your boredom if you’re looking to switch up your fitness routine. There are so many different exercises with kettlebells that you can go through numerous sessions without repeating any moves. 

Certified personal trainer Iokepa Bahilot says that kettlebells provide functional training and are a good way to maximize workouts in a short amount of time because they involve multiple muscle groups and energy systems.

“Kettlebells are great for full-body conditioning because they force your body to work as a whole unit rather than isolating muscle groups,” he says.

History of kettlebells

Kettlebells originated in Russia in the 1700s as a farming tool to weigh crops. During downtime, men used them to show off their strength. They were later used to build strength and fitness in soldiers for war. Competitive kettlebell lifting developed after World War II in Russia and it was brought to the United States in 1999 by kettlebell world champion Valery Federenko.

Kettlebells in pop culture

Since its introduction to the U.S., kettlebells have permeated through pop culture with numerous celebrities and professional athletes using them to stay fit. 

Benefits of the kettlebells

There are numerous fitness benefits to working out with a kettlebell: 

    • Improves both cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance. 

    • Provides a quick workout.

    • Builds hand, wrist, and grip strength. 

    • Easy on the joints. 

    • Doesn’t require lots of equipment.

    • Can be done at home, at a gym, or outdoors.

If you’re a kettlebell newbie, check out this quick video below for five kettlebell exercises to get you started. If you’re a kettlebell veteran, let us know your favorite moves!