Most of the current research on kettlebells has been done in former Soviet countries. What they have found is that kettlebells improve sports performance no matter what sport is being tested. Voropayev (1983) tested a group of college students over several years on pull-ups, a standing broad jump, a 100-meter dash and a 1 K run. He had one group train for these activities following the typical university physical training program and a second group train exclusively with kettlebells. The kettlebell group outperformed their peers in every activity. Shevtsova, a Siberian scientist (1993) studied the effects of kettlebell training on heart rates and blood pressures and found those with 3 to 5 years of training with kettlebells to have long-term decreases in heart rate and blood pressure and that their heart rates return to normal more quickly after exercise. Another study, by Gomonov (1998) looking at body composition, showed that those using kettlebells had lower body fat.
What makes kettlebells so unique and more versatile than other tools is the thick handle removed from a compact center of mass. Because of it’s design, when swinging a kettlebell, core stabilizing muscles are utilized to maintain balance. When performing moves such as cleans or snatches, muscles from the entire body are recruited. Kettlebelling allows for whole-body conditioning in a very efficient manner. Kettlebells allow for movement in more than one plane and across all joints. Joint health improves and knee, hip, shoulder and wrist weaknesses disappear.