By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Kettlebell“The fastest-growing exercise trend in the US revolves around sinister-looking black cannonballs with handles, known to the hardcore fitness enthusiasts who swear by them as kettlebells. With recent media attention that has ranged from The Today Show, Time and Newsweek to Rolling Stone the kettlebell surge into the mainstream culminates this March with the first ever National Kettlebell Convention in Las Vegas.” – Dragon Door

“The fastest-growing exercise trend” That phrase seems forced to me. I have memberships to two gyms and I’ve never seen a kettlebell. Where is this trend growing? After looking at pages and pages of information on the Internet, it seems that much of the hype comes from the website mentioned above: Dragon Door.

The sites that don’t lead back to Dragon Door seem to tout their story: These “revolutionary” exercise tools originated in Russia. They are good for martial arts training. Their shape helps develop your core muscles. None of the websites offer clinical studies to back up their claims. The hype screams so loudly that I just want to cover my ears.

There also seems to be a huge backlash. I found people discussing in forums about why they hate kettlebells (What is wrong with kettlebells?). I found an article that attempted to dispel many of the myths surrounding kettlebells (Kettlebells : An Antidote to the Hype). All of this for an item I hadn’t heard about before I saw the word in passing a few days ago.

CarioBellsWhat do I think? I think body builders get bored. A new type of weight that is shaped differently than what they are used to is exciting to them. If it keeps them interested in their fitness routine, more power to them. I’m not bored yet, so I’ll stick with my vinyl-covered dumbbells. If I ever do get bored, though, I think these ones are pretty…


4 Responses to “Kettlebells”

  1. David Verduin Says:

    As a personal user of kettlebells, I cannot sing their praises loud enough. I am a professional firefighter, who for many years worked out in the traditional “Gold’s Gym manner”–basic exercises for prescribed sets and reps–getting nothing more than slightly larger “show” muscles(i.e. pecs, biceps). Kettlebells, on the other hand, have better prepared my body for the real world and the everyday realities of my job–stress, awkward positions, heavy lifting in less than perfect conditions/positions, not to mention functional strength in areas that allow me to keep up with my kids–kids that are 30+ years younger! I truly believe kettlebells have a distinct advantage over DBs & BBs and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone. And to those that believe I have fallen for hype…I’d rather fall for a little hype, than fall and not be able to pick myself up again–think about it folks! Old school, functional strength is where it’s at!

  2. John Logan Says:

    I trained very happily with a kettlebell for 9 months, then 12 weeks ago, doing an exercise I had done with no problems for 6 months, the kettlebell snatch, I broke my arm on the 2nd rep of a set. I had to have surgery and a steel plate and 6 screws now holds my forearm together. Prior to this, I had never been injured in 24 years of weight training. I went to report this injury to the Dragon Door website. When I could get no reply from the publisher and author of the books I had used, I post the inury on the Dragon Door forum. The thread grew until it had 6000 views and 100 replies, Dragon Door forum members accusing me of lying, whining, being a troll, and saying my inury was impossible or my fault, but certainly no fault of the books and DVDs I had bought from Dragon Door, which I had learned the exercise from. After 2 days of myself being attacked and insulted by the Dragon Door forum in the worst way I had ever experienced, the thread was deleted by the website admin. I had only wanted to warn others of the serious injury that had happened to me. If you Google “broken arm kettlebell snatch” you will find full details of my injury (the fact that I had posted the details on 3 websites in the 11 weeks after my injury was described by Dragon Door’s forum members as “evidence that I was an attention seeker posting my injury details in any comment box I could find”. John Logan

  3. Andy Says:

    Mr Logon:

    Are you surprised people call you a whining troll? It was rather a pointless comment.

    So what if you did break your arm? People break their legs everyday playing football. Do those people attack football websites? People die running marathons. People die falling off horses, riding bikes etc. People break their necks playing rugby.

    I don’t know one sport or exercise that someone has not been injured in – do they whine?

  4. MrAugustus Says:

    Indeed. I can’t help but be curious where the break had occurred. Be it anywhere on the forearm and if these were snatches you were performing, the kettlebell presumably smacked the forearm/ulna rather hard, and this is indicative of bad form as the forearm receives little if no impact when the snatch is performed corr. As Andy said, people get injured in all types of exercise, and I certainly wouldn’t blame those who read your post for giving you a hard time. It was likely warranted.

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