The 6 Best Kettlebell Arm Exercises
Kettlebells are simply the ultimate workout buddy. From a distance, these cannonball-shaped weights look like oversized coloured sweets or lollies, but don’t be fooled by their cute colours or bell-bottomed shape; they are a force to be reckoned with!
They have been around for over 300 years and have sustained the waves of fresh fads and phases that flash through the fitness world. These weights are commonly incorporated into PT sessions, exercise classes, and body-building regimes due to their versatile ability to improve strength, cardio, flexibility, and build muscular hypertrophy. The perfect tool for any novice or self-confessed fitness expert.
Why should you start training with kettlebells if lifting weights isn’t your ‘thing’? For starters, they make you a pro at everyday activities like carrying heavy shopping bags or picking up your little ones. When you hold the weight by a handle (not the same as a dumbbell), not only are your arm muscles being engaged, but also your shoulder, back, leg, and abdominal muscles are working together to help you control the weight. You actually burn more calories using a Kettlebell as you activate more muscles when handling one.
Now, before you get stuck into a kettlebell routine, make sure to use proper form and posture, and consult a personal trainer or kettlebell expert if you need some before you start using them every day.
So, you know how beneficial these gumdrop-shaped weights can be, it’s time to put them into practice! For beginners, we recommend you start with a 6-8kg kettlebell and for those who consider themselves more experienced, grab a 10-16kg kettlebell. Our trainers have put together the ultimate arm workout to give you a juicy arm pump in 6-exercises.
Before you start swinging away, get your arms primed and ready by doing a full-body warm-up for 5 minutes. If you have a skipping rope handy, skip for 5 minutes to activate your forearms and wrists while moving blood around your entire body. If you don’t have a skipping rope, warm up by doing 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute of high-knees, 30 seconds of forward lunges on each leg, and 1 more minute of jumping jacks. Once complete, take a 30-second break and grab your kettlebells!
1. The Kneeling Curl-Press
Targets: Biceps and Shoulders
Tips: Brace your core by standing upright on your knees. Using one kettlebell, hold the handle with your arms straight and curl it up below your chin. Once curled press it above your head activating your shoulders.
Repetitions: Start with 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
2. Kettlebell Gorilla Row
Targets: Shoulders, Lats, Core, Back and Biceps
Tips: Stand with your legs further than shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Hinge down from your hips and pull the handle off the floor, moving the kettlebell towards your hips.
Repetitions: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps per side
3. Kettlebell Skullcrusher
Tips: Start with a lighter weight as this is a harder exercise and could cause injury. Lay on your back with your knees bent. Hold the side handles of the kettlebell slightly above your forehead, straighten your arms and repeat by hinging from your elbow once reaching your start position.
Repetitions: 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps.
4. Kettlebell Sit Up and Press
Targets: Shoulders, Trunks, Triceps, Core
Tips: Lie flat on your back with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Grasp handles of the Kettlebell above your head and sit up, pressing the Kettlebell above your shoulders once sat to complete the rep.
Repetitions: 3-4 sets of 8 -12 reps.
5. Kettlebell Snatch
Targets: Shoulders, Forearms, Lats, Back, Core, Quadriceps, Glutes
Tips: Start in standing position with your feet at a hips-distance apart. Grab a kettlebell from the floor in one hand and position it between your legs, slightly bending your knees with elbows outwards. Explosively raise the kettlebell overhead with elbows tucked in, then bring it back to the ground and swap hands to repeating the rep.
Repetitions: 4 - 5 sets with 6 – 8 reps for each arm
6. Single-arm Kettlebell Push up
Targets: Chest, Triceps, Biceps, deltoids.
Tips: Start on a standard push-up position. Place one hand on a kettlebell and complete a push-up, ensuring your back stays straight.
Repetitions: Complete 8 – 10 reps on each arm and rest before doing another 4 Sets.
And that's it! The kettlebell arm blaster done and dusted! When you’ve ticked off this work out, it’s time to pick up the kettlebells consistently and hit your arms each week to eventually feel your t-shirt sleeves tightening as your guns grow bigger!