What is a Russian Kettlebell?

A. Hunter

A Russian kettlebell is a piece of exercise equipment that helps improve muscle strength, stamina, and flexibility. It is the shape of a cannonball or bowling ball with a handle on one end and a flat base on the other. Kettlebells are typically made of iron. The first mention of kettlebells was in 1704. The Russian name for the piece of equipment is girya.

Kettlebell exercises can strengthen many of the muscles in the upper body.
Kettlebell exercises can strengthen many of the muscles in the upper body.

Often considered awkward to use due to it shape and the handle, this awkwardness is what makes a Russian kettlebell a good way to exercise. The most common exercise is the swing, where muscle is created and calories are burned at the same time. Other Russian kettlebell drills are the get up, the clean and press, the squat, and the snatch.

Due to the difficult nature of the equipment, it is recommended that users first work with a qualified instructor. An instructor can teach users the correct technique and posture. Proper training will also make a user aware of the common injuries due to incorrect technique. These injuries usually occur to the neck, spine, and back.

Russian kettlebell exercises can improve flexibility and aerobic fitness and also build strength. The full body movements involved in kettlebell exercises means that the user is involved in an intense total body workout. Specific muscle groups that are targeted are the glutes, hamstrings, ldeltoids, trapezius, and shoulder stabilisers. As the workouts are intense, most kettlebell exercise regimes are short; a 10 minute workout, three times a week will usually show benefits.

People of all ages and exercise ability can get benefits from the Russian kettlebell. The only equipment needed for this type of exercise is a kettlebell itself, although most users start with two. Woman commonly use kettlebells that are between 16 and 26 pounds (7.25 and 11.79 kg), while men usually use ones that are between 35 and 44 pounds (15.87 and 19.95 kg). There are kettlebells that weigh more, but they are for more advanced athletes. It is recommended that beginners start using the Russian kettlebell at a lighter weight.

The main difference between a kettlebell workout and a dumbbell workout is related to muscle groups. The kettlebell exercises involve multiple muscle groups at once, while the dumbbell exercises focus on one specific muscle group. Free weights, like dumbbells, are good if the user is working on an isolated muscle group or is looking for an inexpensive, simple way to tone his or her body, but a Russian kettlebell will provide a more intense workout.

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