Long before gyms were packed to the gills with futuristic looking machines, those who wanted an explosive way to build muscle had the kettlebell.


Kettlebells are heavy metal balls with a single handle at the top and have been around in some form for literally centuries. Given their low-tech design and practicality, it’s easy to see why kettlebells have been a mainstay in the fitness world.


Thinking about starting a workout routine but not quite ready to take the plunge into getting a gym membership? Go out and get yourself a kettlebell.


While there are exercises that utilize multiple kettlebells, one is really all you need to open up a world of potential moves. They’re relatively inexpensive, don’t need a ton of storage room, and can be used in a fairly confined space.


Kettlebell exercises can be done with one or two hands depending on the move and the weight of the ball.


One of the biggest benefits to kettlebell training is getting a full-body workout. Virtually all of the common kettlebell exercises incorporate multiple muscle groups leading to a more effective workout than machines designed to isolate a specific area.


Because kettlebells exercises are focused on completing a range of compound movements than pushing the envelope with weight, they’re better suited for toning and sculpting the body than building mass. That doesn’t mean you won’t see any muscle growth, but kettlebells aren’t going to give the same bodybuilding results as dumbbells.


That being said, given the extremely low barrier to entry and the myriad benefits, basically anyone looking to have a fitness routine could afford to incorporate the kettlebell. It can be the focus of an entire exercise or just one part of a varied routine.