Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Kettlebell Lifting

The sport of kettlebell lifting (also known as Girevoy Sport or GS), is a weight lifting sport performed with kettlebells, a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle, used to perform all types of exercises.

Kettlebell lifting as a sport started in Russia, where it is most popular. It has recently spread throughout the world, and where it is a popular form of weight training exercise.

Unlike Olympic Weightlifting or Power Lifting which is about the maximal weight lifted, in kettlebell lifting competitors have to lift a submaximal weight and perform as many repetitions as they can in a 10 minute time frame.

There are 3 classic kettlebell lifts that are traditionally performed: the Snatch, Jerk and Long Cycle.

performing a kettlebell snatch athlete performing a kettlebell snatch

In 2017, the International Union of Kettlebell Lifting was given 'observer status' by the Global Association of International Sports Federations, paving the way for it to be considered officially a sport.


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