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Kettlebell Arm Workout to Build Strength, Skill and Conditioning

Challenge yourself with this workout for all athletes.

Use this Kettlebell Arm Workout to build full body strength, skill, coordination and conditioning.

Kettlebell Arm Workout

We have included two variations of the workout so that you can choose the best structure and rep scheme to suit your goal: muscle building or CrossFit conditioning.

Hypertrophy Variation

To perform the Kettlebell Arm Workout, complete 3 sets of 12 reps for each of the following 5 exercises. This structure will stimulate muscle growth.

CrossFit Variation

To work on your strength and conditioning, complete an 8-minute AMRAP. In the AMRAP do 8 reps of each exercise before moving to the next one taking as few breaks as possible. Your score is the total amount of reps in 8 minutes.

If after either of these Kettlebell Arm Workout variataions you want to push further, complete 100 kettlebell swings as a cash out.

Kettlebell Arm Workout for Beginners

If you are new to working with the kettlebell, make sure to use lighter weights. Additionally, with the hypertrophy variation of the workout, complete 3 sets of 5 reps. Build it up over time as you get stronger and more confident with the technique.

Remember you should never sacrifice form for speed or weight.

Kettlebell Arm Workout Exercises

Use the following tips to optimise your form and technique.

1. Kettlebell Push Press

Set Up: To perform this exercise, you will need a pair of kettlebells of the same weight (whichever you are comfortable training with).

Starting position:

  • Stand with your feet at hip width apart, pointed slightly outward
  • Have the kettlebell placed in front of your feet, at a distance of one foot away from you
  • Grip the handle of the kettlebell, and clean it into the rack position

Execution:

  • Inhale swiftly through your nose, and ensure that your knees are slightly bent
  • Shift your weight onto your heels and engage your core
  • Whilst exhaling strongly and extending your hips upwards, drive the kettlebell into the overhead position by extending your elbows. Your arms shouldn’t be fully locked out, but almost
  • Inhale again and drop your lats while you lower the kettlebell back into the rack position

If posture and quality are affected in the motion at any time, then start the exercise again.

Repeat!

2. Kettlebell Close Grip Push Up

Set Up: For this exercise you will need a single kettlebell large enough for you to balance on it using your hands.

Starting Position:

  • Start by getting into a high plank/push-up position with the kettlebell placed down in front of you.
  • It should be on its side, with the handle facing you
  • Shift your hands onto the kettlebell, using it as an anchor for the exercise, your hands placed as though you were performing a diamond push-up

Execution:

  • Ensure that your back is straight, and that your core and glutes are engaged
  • Begin by exhaling as you bend at your elbows, lowering yourself down towards the ground in a controlled motion
  • Ensure that your elbows are tucked in towards your sides, and that they don’t flare outwards
  • Once you reach the bottom of the movement, hold your position for two seconds
  • Inhale as you propel your body back upwards into the high plank position, maintaining a strong core and straight body posture from head to toe

Repeat! 

3. Kettlebell Clean and Press

Set Up: For the kettlebell clean and press, you’ll need a single kettlebell that you can clean and press comfortably.

Starting Position:

  • Have your legs shoulder-width apart and keep your knees slightly bent
  • The kettlebell should be on the floor between your legs

Execution:

  • Bend down (with the motion at your hips) and keep your spine straight. Grip the handle of the kettlebell
  • Swing it backwards between your legs, and clean it into the rack position. The bell should be resting against your bicep
  • To move the bell into the overhead position, press it straight upwards until your arm is almost locked out. Be sure to brace your core
  • Hold this position for two seconds, and then bring the kettlebell back down into the rack position in a controlled motion
  • Drop the bell quickly into a swing without lurching your arm to repeat the exercise

4. Kettlebell Renegade Row

Starting Position:

  • Get into a high plank/inverted push up position by gripping the kettlebells in a overhead grip, and balancing on your toes
  • Ensure that your back is straight and not arched, and that your neck is in line with your spine

Execution:

  • Whilst maintaining good form and ensuring that your core and glutes are engaged, drive into the ground as hard as you can with your left hand and foot
  • Pull the right kettlebell up towards your body as you would with a dumbbell row, until the handle is in line with your rib cage. Your elbow should be at a 45-degree angle
  • Hold this position for two seconds
  • Carefully bring the kettlebell back down again into the starting position
  • Repeat on the opposite side of your body, and alternate until you complete your set!

5. Kettlebell Upright Row

Set Up: All you need for this exercise is one or two kettlebells, a hard floor, and lots of space around you.

Starting Position:

  • Stand with your back straight and your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Your toes should be pointed slightly outwards.
  • Grip the kettlebells in an overhand grip, and hold them at hip height with a slight bend in your arms

Execution:

  • While engaging your core and glutes, and driving your feet into the ground, drive the kettlebells upwards until they’re almost at face height (this should be a powerful movement)
  • Squeeze your shoulders and upper back by raising your elbows higher than the handles of the kettlebells, and hold this position for two seconds
  • Using a controlled movement, lower the kettlebells back into the starting position
  • Repeat!

Kettlebell Arm Workout

If you enjoyed this Kettlebell Arm Workout, try this Dumbbell version.

If you want to build upper body strength and muscle, check out these articles on lat raises, front raises and flys.

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