Deciding on a Kettlebell Certification

kettlebell certification

There’s speculation about where the kettlebell comes from.

Defined by Kettlebell USA as “a type of dumbbell or free weight that is round with a flat base and an arced handle,” some say the kettlebell’s origin is rooted in Ancient Greece, and from there the handled spherical body made its way to Russia in the early 18th century.

Others claim it was developed in Russia in the 1700s for men to test their strength. The competitive kettlebell exercises that are prominent today didn’t evolve until the time of the Soviet Army.

Wherever it came from, it is safe to say gyms and Boxes have taken ahold of the kettlebell and implemented it into their workouts.

With that said, perhaps a kettlebell certification is a piece of continuing education you and your Coaches should consider. In the article, “How to Choose the Best Kettlebell Training Courses for You,” writer Chris McGrath explains most clients have never been trained with a kettlbell. Thus, “great care, consideration and preparation” is needed when introducing a member to the kettlebell. While the kettlebell is just a simple weight, McGrath explains that proper kettlebell training is the key “to ensure the benefits [of using a kettlebell] greatly outweigh the risks” for your members. In order to ensure you are teaching kettlebell movements properly, consider a kettlebell certification for you or your staff:

StrongFirst’s Kettlebell SFG Certification

There are six criteria a participant has to exhibit in order to pass this course:

  1. Demonstrate both safe and efficient movement in the core skills.
  2. Show good judgment in teaching movements.
  3. Exhibit strong spirit.
  4. Display that your teaching skills are effective.
  5. Pass the Kettlebell Snatch Test (given at the end of the cert).
  6. Be professional.

Note: There is typically a 25 to 30 percent failure rate. And this certification expires every two years.

Dragon Door’s Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification

This certification also has six requirements to pass the course:

  1. Pass the Hardstyle Pushup test.
  2. Pass the Snatch test.
  3. Show you have a mastery of the foundational techniques.
  4. Exhibit that you understand kettlebell safety, as well as situational awareness while using kettlebells.
  5. Show you can teach kettlebell movements.
  6. Follow the RKC Code of Conduct.

International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation Certified Kettlebell Teacher Level 1

There are two main points for this kettlebell certification. First is mastering the basics. Teaching eight exercises and their variations, the cert also touches on the “training principles underlying and associated with each movement.” Second is learning the essential coaching skills to be able to teach others safely and effectively. Assessment for the course will be on your performance of the below techniques:

  1. Swing
  2. Clean
  3. Press
  4. Push Press
  5. Snatch
  6. Squat

Note: Recertification is required every three years. There is a Certified Kettlebell Teacher Level 2 Certification.

Read up on the various courses out there and then decide which kettlebell certification you, or your Coaches, will pursue.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at