Kettlebell Exercises For Arms: Killer Kettlebell Arm Workout
Kettlebells may not be the first piece of equipment that comes to mind when it comes to exercises for arms, but there are plenty of extremely effective exercises you can use! Read on to find out how the kettlebell can be the key to helping you build big strong arms.
There is a common misconception that kettlebells can't be used to build muscle, but with the right exercises this is simply untrue. The versatility of the kettlebell means that it can be used for explosive power, endurance training and as I will show you here, muscle building. Read on to find the best kettlebell exercises for arms, as well as an awesome single kettlebell arm workout you can try.
In order to create an effective kettlebell arm workout, you'll need a combination of compound exercises (multi-muscle movements) and isolation exercises (single muscle movements) . For the best results, make sure each of the kettlebell exercises are taken through their full range of motion in a controlled manner.
Before we go through the workout, let's take a look at the exercises!
Kettlebell Exercises For Arms
Let's split it up into two categories:
These two muscles in the upper arm are the ones we'll be targetting in each of the kettlebell exercises.
The Triceps, at the back of your arm, are predominantly used in pressing movements. Don't neglect these in your arm workouts! Let's take a look at the best exercises for building big, strong Triceps:
1. Single Arm Overhead Press (compound)
The overhead press is one of the most effective kettlebell exercises for arms. It is a big compound movement that works the Shoulders as well as the Triceps.
Hold the kettlebell in the top corner of the handle, with it resting between your forearm and upper arm. Your elbow should be tucked in to your side. Create as much full body tension as you can by squeezing the handle and tensing your quads, glutes and core, as well as your opposite fist.
Push the kettlebell straight up until you have reached full extension at the top. Control the descent back to the original position.
2. Tricep Extension (Isolation)
In terms of isolating the tricep and pushing the muscle close to failure, the kettlebell tricep extension is unrivalled. This is my personal favourite and a constant in every kettlebell arm workout I do.
Hold the kettlebell upside down by the sides of the handles, with your arms fully extended above your head.
Slowly lower the kettlebell behind your head as far as you can, keeping your elbows fairly narrow. By moving the kettlebell as low as possible, you are taking the Tricep through the maximum range of motion. This will yield the greatest results in muscle growth.
Push the kettlebell all the way back to the top, where the arms should be fully extended once again.
3. Tricep Kickback (Isolation)
The Tricep Kickback is a tough kettlebell exercise and only requires a light weight. It is a great exercise to build big arms and really solidifies the mind-to-muscle connection with the Tricep.
Starting on all fours, hold the kettlebell by the body and bring your elbow up to your side.
From here, straighten your arm back behind you, ensuring your elbow does not move. Focus on locking the elbow and tensing the Tricep in this position.
Control the kettlebell back down to the starting position slowly, ensuring the elbow stays in the same position by your side and does not drop too.
Let's be honest, who doesn't want big Biceps? The biceps, located at the front of the upper arm, are mainly resposible for pulling movements. Let's run through the best kettlebell Bicep exercises so you can show off those guns!
1. Alternating Row (Compound)
The alternating row is again one of the kings in regards to kettlebell exercises for arms. The movement also works the upper back and Lats as well as the Bicep. Building a strong kettlebell row is a sure-fire way to build big arms.
Start with a fairly wide stance. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight and your knees wide over your toes. The kettlebell should be on the floor directly in the middle of your feet.
Maintaining your body position, pull the kettlebell up to your side with one hand. Make sure your arm is locked before you begin the lift.
Control the kettlebell back to the floor, making sure you have reached full extension at the elbow before it touches the ground.
Repeat the movement on the other side whilst remaining in the same hinged position.
2. Standing Bicep Curl (Isolation)
The kettlebell Bicep curl is another exercise that no kettlebell arm workout should go without. The grip here makes the movement similar to a dumbbell hammer curl, working the long head of the Bicep.
Begin by holding the sides of the kettlebell with your arms straight down and elbows locked.
Keep the elbows tucked in to your side and curl the kettlebell up towards your chest. Imagine your elbows are the centre point of an arc that the kettlebell is creating. Squeeze the Biceps at the top of the motion.
Control the kettlebell back to the start position, locking the elbows at the bottom. In this position you should be able to tense your Triceps.
3. SIngle Arm Kneeling Bicep Curl (Isolation)
The position of the kettlebell in this exercise changes the grip to work the short head of the bicep. The kneeling position will help you to isolate the movement even more and avoid using any momentum.
In a kneeling postion with one knee up and one knee down, hold the kettlebell by it's body in the opposite hand to the front knee.
Curl the kettlebell to the top in the same manner as the standing kettlebell Bicep curl, keeping your elbow in the same position for the duration of the movement. Squeeze the Bicep at this top position.
Lower the kettlebell back down to the fully extended starting point and repeat.
So there you have 6 of the best kettlebell exercises for arms in your locker- including 3 kettlebell exercises for Triceps and 3 kettlebell exercises for Biceps.
The combination of compound and isolation movements will help to give you the greatest results and build big strong arms.
Now let's put these exercises into a killer kettlebell arm workout!
You'll be using a couple of advanced muscle building techniques, such as supersets (two exercises of the same muscle group, or opposite muscle groups, used back to back with no rest) to help overload the muscles and build the biggest arms.
The rep ranges you'll be doing will mostly fall into the 8-12 category, which is optimal for muscle building and hypertrophy.
Kettlebell Arm Workout:
Overhead Press (left) x 12 reps
Overhead Press (right) x 12 reps
x 3 sets
Alternating Row x 20 reps (10/ side)
Standing Bicep Curl x 12 reps
x 3 sets
Tricep Kickback (left) x 12 reps
Kneeling Single Arm Bicep Curl (left) x 12 reps
Tricep Kickback (right) x 12 reps
Kneeling Single Arm Bicep Curl (right) x 12 reps
x 3 sets
Give that kettlebell arm workout a try! For long term muscle growth, apply the principle of progressive overload. This involves making the exercises harder over time. The simplest (but not only) way to do this is by increasing the weight. Once the kettlebell starts feeling a bit light on the exercises, grab a bigger one!
If you like the kettlebell exercises for arms shown here, check out the best kettlebell exercises for weight loss!
If you live in the UK near Southampton/Winchester and would like some help getting the results you want using kettlebells, check out Personal Training at your home!
Thanks for reading!