The Kettlebell is an old low tech but highly effective Russian conditioning tool. Measured in Russian poods (one pood=16kg, one and a half=24kg, and two poods=32kg) these cannonballs with handles on them were originally used as counter weights in the market place. Folklore has it that at the end of the day, the men would play with them, demonstrating feats of strength and endurance, and juggling them for fun.
Kettlebells have long been employed by strongmen and were integrated in the former USSR and the eastern bloc to great success for Olympic sports programs. The effectiveness of KB's for training and conditioning of athletes was demonstrated by the USSR sweep of gold medals in Olympic throwing events in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
The USSR quickly recognised the benefits of kettlebell movements, and implemented KB training for the masses for general conditioning and exercise.
It became part of the culture as "the Peoples" method for physical fitness. As the legendary Pavel Tsatsouline can attest to, the KB's became the conditioning tool of choice for the Russian Special Forces "Spetznaz", creating wiry soldiers with incredible endurance and explosive power.
The Girya, or Kettlebell, is a devastatingly effective tool for functional strength, explosive power, endurance, agility, and timing. Kettlebell's are an incredible conditioning tool. Unlike dumbbells that have a well-balanced stationary centre of gravity. The kettlebell has a fluctuating centre of gravity and a lever like handle, which creates a fluctuating resistance arm, generating a greater load on the force arm through a range of motion.
When we say functional strength and endurance, we mean conditioning that is immediately transferable to our everyday lives. That could mean swinging an axe, baseball bat, or a golf club, or running to catch a bus while holding your child and negotiating around trip hazards. These everyday actions require full body muscle and motor systems to fire in synergy to execute our desired actions effectively...Why not train in this fashion!
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