Maybe your gym has an entire rack of kettlebells waiting for you to get swinging. Or you’re working from home and you’ve got a trusty kettlebell by your side in your living room. Wherever you’re training with kettlebells, you’re bound to get stronger and become a better overall athlete.
In this article, we are going to provide with you a kettlebell arm workout including the 20 best exercises for your arms. Let’s get started.
- Anatomy of Your Arm Muscles
- Kettlebell Arm Workout for Beginners
- Kettlebell Arm Workout for Men
- Kettlebell Arm Workout for Women
- 20 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Your Arms
- 1. Biceps Curl
- 2. Overhead Extension
- 3. Pullover Crunch
- 4. Single Arm Hang Curl (Left Arm)
- 5. Single Arm Hang Curl (Right Arm)
- 6. Lying Triceps Extension
- 7. Hold Alt. Knee Pull
- 8. Biceps Drag Curl
- 9. One-hand Narrow Press (Left Arm)
- 10. One-hand Narrow Press (Right Arm)
- 11. Russian Twist
- 12. Single Arm Bicep Curl (Left Arm)
- 13. Single Arm Bicep Curl (Right Arm)
- 14. KB Diamond Push-Up
- 15. Transporter
- 16. Reverse Grip Curl
- 17. Narrow Press
- 18. Hover Press Knee Tuck
- 19. Extension
- 20. Around the World
- Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Kettlebell Arm Workout
- Benefits of Kettlebell Arm Workout
- Kettlebell Arm Workout: FAQs
Anatomy of Your Arm Muscles
In anatomy, your arm or upper limb is divided into the arm and forearm. So, we’re going to talk about the muscles of the arm, which mean the muscles between the shoulder and the elbow joints.
The Anterior Compartment
Let’s have a look at the muscles of the arm starting with the Anterior compartment. The Anterior compartment of the arm consists of three muscles.
The Biceps Brachii
The first one we’ll talk about is the biceps brachii. As the name suggests, this bicep muscle has two heads both with different points of origin: the long head and the short head. Both heads unite to form a single large muscle.
So what does the bicep brachii do? Well, this muscle has several functions. It’s a powerful flexor of the forearm at the elbow joint which involves decreasing the angle between the arm and the forearm at the elbow joint.
It’s important to note, however, that when the forearm muscle is in the pronated position with the palms facing down, the biceps brachii loses its mechanical advantage. This means its involvement in flexion of the forearm at the elbow joint is more limited than the supinated forearm.
This muscle also assists in the flexion of the arm at the shoulder joint and supination of the forearm. Supination is a movement that involves the rotation of the hand and forearm so that the palm faces upwards.
The Coracobrachialis Muscle
If we remove the bicep brachii, we can see the Coracobrachialis muscle. This muscle assists in flexion and adduction of the arm at the shoulder joint. And this muscle is also said to assist in the internal rotation of the arm at the shoulder joint.
The third and last muscle of the anterior compartment of the arm is the brachialis. And even though the brachialis is located deep within the arm, its large belly makes the biceps brachii look much larger on the surface than it is. So for that reason, we have to say that behind every great biceps, there’s a great brachialis.
When the brachialis contracts, it causes flexion of the forearm at the elbow joint – in particular, when the forearm is in a pronated position.
The Posterior Compartment
Okay, now that we’ve had a look at the anterior compartment of the arm. Let’s flip it over so we can see the posterior compartment. The posterior compartment of the arm consists of two muscles, and the first one we’re going to talk about is the triceps brachii.
The Triceps Brachii
And as its name suggests, the triceps brachii has three heads:
- the long head;
- the medial head which is the smallest of the three;
- and lastly the lateral head.
The three heads of the triceps brachii fuse into a common tendon that crosses the elbow joint before inserting onto the olecranon of the ulna. This muscle is responsible for the extension of the forearm at the elbow joint and the long head also performs extension and adduction of the arm at the shoulder joint.
The Anconeus Muscle
There is another muscle found in this region that is often overlooked, and this muscle is the anconeus muscle. The anconeus is a small triangular-shaped muscle found around the elbow region and it lies superficially and can be easily palpated at the posterolateral side of the forearm near your elbow.
When the anconeus contracts, it assists in the extension of the forearm at the elbow joint, and extension of the forearm at the elbow joint involves increasing the angle between the arm and the forearm at the elbow joint.
It’s worth noting that the triceps brachii and the anconeus are not only innervated by the same nerve, but they’re also often found either partially or completely blended together. Therefore, they sometimes may appear as one muscle.
Okay, so now that we’re familiar with the muscles of the arm, let’s work them.
Kettlebell Arm Workout for Beginners
If you’re a beginner, perform the first 5-6 kettlebell exercises that are written below. You will need a 6-kg kettlebell. Each movement lasts for 40 seconds. Rest for 20 seconds after each exercise.
Kettlebell Arm Workout for Men
If you’re an experienced athlete or have an intermediate fitness level, perform all 20 kettlebell exercises that are written below. Grab an 8-kg kettlebell or a bit heavier kettlebell like a 10-kg weight. You can use a pair of kettlebells if you want. Remember each movement lasts for 40 seconds. Make sure you rest for 20 seconds after each exercise.
Kettlebell Arm Workout for Women
There is no right way to hold a kettlebell. But once you learn how to exercise with a kettlebell safely, you’ll find that kettlebell training is highly effective. It is one of the best arm training tools for an at-home workout.
If you’re a woman, perform only the first 5 kettlebell exercises that are written below. You will need a 6-kg single kettlebell.
20 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Your Arms
We’re going to do an arm workout with the kettlebells. We’re going to be having 20 different movements. Perform each movement for 40 seconds fold by 20 seconds rest in between. And before you start, make sure that you do that proper warming up and switching. Let’s get started.
1. Biceps Curl
We are going to perform kettlebell bicep curls. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Elbows against your rib cage. Two counts – you’re going to bring the kettlebell down; one count – you’re going to bring it up engaging the core. Perform each movement for 40 seconds. Then rest for 20 seconds. And we’re going to be switching to triceps.
2. Overhead Extension
This is a dynamic exercise. Kneeling one foot to the front, one back. We’re going to bring this kettlebell behind the neck. Extend the arms.
3. Pullover Crunch
The next body exercise also targets the core muscles. The correct position is your heels towards your butt. Move the kettlebell into the overhead position. Pull over into crunches. Now we are switching to the biceps muscles.
4. Single Arm Hang Curl (Left Arm)
This is a bicep isolation exercise. This time we’re going to be focusing on one side. Engaging the chair you’re going to be hanging bicep squirrels. Your feet are in one straight line, the arm is hanging. And your elbow is remaining in one spot.
5. Single Arm Hang Curl (Right Arm)
Rest for 20 seconds. And repeat exactly the same with the other arm. Make sure that you’re not moving your elbow.
6. Lying Triceps Extension
We’re going to be lying down on the ground. At the starting position, we’re going to be doing the line extensions. Dropping the kettlebell in one line down. Every time you’re doing that put your head to one side so that the kettlebell is not going to smash your face.
7. Hold Alt. Knee Pull
This is a dynamic exercise. You are going to be lying down on the ground. At the starting position, make sure that the lower back isn’t going to go up in this round. We are holding the kettlebell from the face. Then we’re going to bring it slightly backward. Lift the kettlebell into the overhead position. One knee towards the chest. And we’re going to go alternating. Keep consistent tension in the abdominals.
8. Biceps Drag Curl
This is one of the best arm kettlebell bicep exercises. We’re going to stand up again for the biceps. At the starting position, keep your feet shoulder-width apart. This time we’re going to go for drag kettlebell curls. Grabbing the edges once again, bring the kettlebell weight in one straight line up. Elbows are going slightly backward and coming down.
9. One-hand Narrow Press (Left Arm)
This is one of the best kettlebell tricep exercises. We’re going to get low to do one-hand narrow presses. Switch to lighter weights.
At the starting position, the kettlebell is hanging to your side. So you have a high degree of tension on the triceps. Extend it and try to focus on the triceps range of motion. You are coming to the front with your elbow. And you create a stretch in the long head. Make sure that your shoulder blades are remaining against the ground.
10. One-hand Narrow Press (Right Arm)
Rest for 20 seconds. And we’re going to do exactly the same with the other hand.
11. Russian Twist
We’re going to be also focusing on the core muscles in this suitable exercise. We’re going to lean back and touch the ground slightly with the kettlebell. Keep the continuous tension and focus your eyes on the kettlebell.
12. Single Arm Bicep Curl (Left Arm)
We’re going to be switching to the biceps this time. There are a lot of different bicep curl variations. This is one of the best kettlebell bicep exercises. We’re going to be doing the single-arm bicep curl. To isolate the movement and not bounce back, make sure that you’re standing in a comfortable position against the wall. Arm to the side. Elbow hanging.
13. Single Arm Bicep Curl (Right Arm)
Put the kettlebell weight on the ground and rest for 20 seconds. You’re going to be switching sides and doing exactly the same. Make sure you bring it behind a little bit of the 90 degrees of angle. While you still have the tension.
14. KB Diamond Push-Up
This time you’re going to lie down the kettlebell. Start in a push-up position. You’re going to grab the handle of the kettlebell and do the diamond push-ups. You can do it from the knees or toes.
This is a dynamic exercise. We’re going to get into a plank position. Switch to a light kettlebell.
Performing this kettlebell training, we’re going to put the focus back on the core muscles. Your hands are in a wide position, and your feet are as well. You’re going to bring the kettlebell back, touch and come into the front.
Keep adequate tension in your shoulders and core at the same time. Control the movement patterns and keep breathing. Engage your core. Coming to the front, your hands are in front of the shoulder. You’re not hanging backward.
16. Reverse Grip Curl
This is a suitable exercise. Switch to heavier weights. This time we’re going to go for reverse grip forearms and biceps. Grab the kettlebell. Bring it up. Control it. And bring it down. Hold the tension.
17. Narrow Press
For the next one, you might want to grab something heavier if you have it. We’re going to be going down. We’re going to do the narrow press. Elbows are engaged.
18. Hover Press Knee Tuck
Once again, the core exercise. Switch to a lighter kettlebell. We’re going to be doing the hover press with the knee tucks. Starting position, knees are at 90 degrees angle. From here, you’re going to press the weight and pull back. Make sure that the lower back is sticking against the ground. Keep your feet and knees against each other.
This is an advanced exercise. We are going to combine the biceps and triceps exercises. Grab a heavy weight. Kneeling we’re going to be doing the kettlebell curls, press, and extension.
20. Around the World
This is a classic exercise. We’re going to stand off, position in the feet. You’re going to be doing the around the body. Arms are fully extended. Engage your hips and your core.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Kettlebell Arm Workout
Warm Up Physically and Mentally
Do a proper warm-up. And that’s not going to just help your entire body get ready physically for your kettlebell workouts but mentally as well. Before you get working your body, make sure you get the blood flowing throughout your whole body.
Your Comfort Zone
Make sure you’re pushing yourself. If you’re coming into the gym and you’re not breaking a sweat or you never step out of your comfort level, we got bad news for you. You’re probably not going to get much out of your kettlebell training.
If you push yourself and step out of your comfort zone, you get the most out of each session, set, and rep. That’s when growth begins.
Benefits of Kettlebell Arm Workout
Kettlebells offer unparalleled training advantages. Unlike a barbell, most kettlebell exercises will generally force you to contribute equally to both sides of your body. And unlike a dumbbell, the nature of the load itself tends to recruit more of your stabilizer muscles.
You can work with kettlebells in more ways than you think to develop power or improve your cardiovascular endurance.
Kettlebell Arm Workout: FAQs
Are kettlebells good for arms?
Kettlebells are good for toning arms because they allow you to work multiple muscles at the same time.
How do kettlebells make your arms bigger?
Because of the shape of the kettlebell, your muscles have to work more while you perform your kettlebell arm workout. That’s why kettlebells make your arms bigger in a shorter time.
Do kettlebells build biceps?
Kettlebells offer unique bicep growth and stimulation. Performing a kettlebell type of exercise with proper and clean technique, you build your arms muscles fast and get exclusive benefits.