Kettlebells were first used in ancient Russia to build strength, endurance, balance and agility while working the entire body through dynamic, total-body movements. Since ancient times, Russians have valued physical strength and often held kettlebell contests to display different feets of strength using kettlebells.Many of these contests were held in small towns and villages and winners were referred to as ‘Bogatir’, meaning strong and honorable man. These men were honored not only for their strength, but for their honor and using their strength for good, not evil.
However, kettlebells, were never referred to as a real sport, it was more of a form of entertainment for the people in the towns and villages. Men would show off their strength at fairs and town get togethers and were admired for their strength and physical prowess.
After World War II, weightlifting became popular. Kettlebells were still not a sport however and farmers and townspeople did it for fun and bragging rights. People were motivated by being winners and declared masters of the sport, getting recognition and admiration from people. There were no rules or regulations to follow, it was just simply whichever man lifted the most weight, the most times, won.
In the 60’s, more and more contests were being held, but there were still no definitive rules. Different towns and cities just had their own set of rules. Then in the 70’s, Kettlebells became part of the United All State Sport Association of USSR, but there were still no official set of rules or standards. In 1985, a committee of kettlebell sport was organized.
Finally, after years of unorganized, unofficial kettlebell competitions, official rules, regulations and standards were setup and in 1985 the first official kettlebell National Championship of USSR was held.
In the year 2000, kettlebells finally made their way to the US and have been increasing in popularity every year since. In 2002, kettlebells were even named “hot weight of the year” by Rolling Stone Magazine. More and more people are discovering how great the results are from working out with Kettlebells. Find out for yourself just how good of results you can get with kettlebells and check out one of the core kettlebell moves, the kettlebell swing