Did CrossFit Make Kettlebells Popular?

CrossFit is huge, it’s a brand that turns in over $4 billion in annual revenue, and with over 14,000 gyms across the world the impact of CrossFit can’t be overlooked. So did CrossFit popularize the kettlebell?


Let’s take a step back, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Taco Fleur and I’m a huge advocate of Kettlebells because I know they’re an incredible tool that can produce amazing results, prevent common injuries and allow unilateral work. I’ve made it my business to introduce more Kettlebells in CrossFit, I chose to do this because I love the competitiveness of CrossFit and I hate seeing people injured.


I create regular Kettlebell WODs on our popular Youtube channel with over 21K subs, growing exponentially, currently at a rate of 50 a day. Post short clips regularly on our Instagram. It’s been going great with the channel but I never felt I had the interaction with Crossfitters that I did with Kettlebell Enthusiasts, so I figured I would put the question out there today:

“Lost cause? Hello fellow Crossfitters, I’m in a pickle. I’ve been trying to get more* Kettlebell Workouts in CrossFit, but I’m starting to get the feeling like it’s somewhat of a lost cause and everyone that does CrossFit loves the barbell unconditionally, anything else is heresy.

I’ve been posting these kettlebell WODs for a while and I’m just not getting the interaction I’m looking for. Anyways, I guess this is my way of asking ‘Am I wasting my time putting these workouts together and posting them in CrossFit groups?’. Thanks
*”More” is the keyword, not replace….”.


I got some good responses, enough to keep posting. One of the debates that started was:

“Did CrossFit Make Kettlebells Popular?”


I had to think about that, going by responses and what I’ve seen in the CF Boxes, I’d say NO, I’d say it has put the kettlebell in the limelight, but I don’t believe it has made it popular, rather the opposite I’d say. Every box has kettlebells these days, but the only thing most do with it is using it as a doorstop, American Swings or Snatches, of course that’s generalising it, but… Those that do more, usually do it poorly.

Let’s take a step back, in the kettlebell world one starts with the hip hinge, then progresses to deadlift and into the swing hip hinge style AKA Russian Swing. This is because almost everything popular you do with kettlebells is built upon swinging, I.e. snatching, cleaning, and even the American Swing should be based upon that. Without this fundamental exercise being taught properly and used as the foundation for everything else, you have a disaster waiting to happen.

Working with kettlebells also comes with a high learning curve, there are things like hand insert, corkscrew, pull-out, fixation, racking, bell to body proximity, transitions and much more. The proper hand insert is one of the most basic fundamentals I see missing almost 95% of where I go. If the fundamentals are not laid, then everything built upon is doomed to fail.

So, even though I think that CrossFit has put the kettlebell in the limelight I do believe that the majority of CF people actually hate the kettlebell, and I don’t mean the kind of love hate relationship one has with the burpee, I’m talking about “It’s kettlebells today, I’m going to skip the WOD and do my own thing!” kinda hate. And it’s not surprising, people don’t want to tear their hands, bang their wrists, jack up their shoulders or go home with extreme lower-back pain.

CONCLUSION: To me exercise is exercise, whether you’re doing CrossFit, Kettlebells, Mace, HydroCore, Sandbags, Boot Camp or Jane Fonda Workouts. I don’t care whether you do kettlebell sport, hardstyle or crossfit style kettlebell and I could go on. I simply want to see the kettlebell world enter the CrossFit world and vice versa, learn from each other, take from each other what’s good and share. So let’s make it happen.

I leave you with a few Kettlebell WODs I programmed and you decide for yourself whether you can WOD with the KB or not:

If you’re interested in the kettlebell history

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