If you think of well-trained soldiers with a high physical capacity and excellent athletic conditions, it’s almost certain that the U.S. Marine Corps or the fierce Russian army will come to mind. For these professionals, having a physical form of 10 can be the difference between life and death. It is clear that the requirements for the general population are not the same, but surely almost all of us envy having a well-trained body.

Precisely, by looking at the training programs of Russian soldiers, the world of fitness adapted one of its tools to the exercise plans of the civilian population. These are kettlebells, also known by their origin as Russian weights, special weights that help shape almost everyone, even if not military.

Kettlebells are not traditional dumbbells or weights like any of those found in the more classic gymnasiums. Its name in English already gives us a clue, as ‘kettle’ means kettle for water or tea …, so its shape is like a kind of teapot with, therefore, the flat base and a handle located at the top of the ball. This makes the training with them very different from the more traditional dumbbells, as their special grip and the fact that their centre of gravity is displaced also work the stabilizing muscles.

Therefore, the use of kettlebells is presented as a discipline in which muscle toning is much more complete and is, as Leo Cavallo, certified instructor of kettlebells and founder of Kettlebells Barcelona, explains, has gone from being “a method of physical conditioning to a mere and own sport and a fitness discipline in itself.

What are kettlebells like?

The kettlebells are tools designed to work on muscle toning more completely than with traditional dumbbell weightlifting or bars with different weights.

Its cannonball shape with a flat base and a handle for grabbing them allow the execution, in the words of Leo Cavallo, specialist instructor of Kettlebells Barcelona, “ballistic exercises that are dynamic movements, carried out continuously and much more complete than the typical weight lifting”.

Although the shape of the kettlebells is fixed, their weights are not. In this sense, we can find in specialized shops and the gymnasium kettlebells from eight to 48 kilos, so you can customize the training according to the level of experience of the participant and their structure and physical form, as indicated by Leo Cavallo.

Precisely, this customization makes the use of kettlebells is suitable for almost everyone, although it is advisable to ask the specialist doctor if it is appropriate this type of anaerobic exercise if we suffer from any disease. However, people who carry a pacemaker or suffer from high blood pressure should, in principle, avoid this type of exercise and look for another more appropriate physical activity to keep their body in shape.