Your arms are one the few body parts that people get to see naked most often.  It’s no wonder that men and women alike place so much emphasis on their arm workouts.

Who doesn’t want nice toned biceps and tight triceps?  Kettlebells can help you build your arm muscles so that even Popeye will be jealous.

What are Kettlebells

Kettlebells are a type weight made of cast-iron or cast steel with a round flat base and an arched handle.  It resembles a cannonball with a handle or a kettle without a spout (lending to the name kettlebell).

The primary difference between an ordinary dumbbell and a kettlebell is that the latter’s center of mass extends beyond the hand. Because of their shape, kettlebells are more versatile and can be swung, thrown, pressed, and held in a variety of exercises.

Their versatility makes them highly efficient for creating a single program that will help you to lose weight, tone your body, increase muscular strength, and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Kettlebell Arm Exercises

If you are looking to build up your arms and upper body, a kettlebell workout is a great alternative to lifting dumbbells or using body part specific weight machines.  Exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and the military press are all easily done with kettlebells in place of dumbbells.  Kettlebell specific exercises include the swing, halos, and snatch.

To perform bicep curls with kettlebells, begin with your feet hip-width apart.  Hold a kettlebell by the handle, one in each hand.  Bend at the elbows and bring your arms up so that your hands are level with your shoulders.  Return to starting position and repeat.  Variations include the hammer curl and wide grip curls.

Overhead tricep extensions start with the same hip width stance, except this time you are holding one kettlebell by the handle with both hands.  Hold the bell above your head and slowly bend your elbows to lower the bell behind your head. Return to starting position and repeat.

Only one kettlebell is needed for the military press as well, but this time you will hold it with one hand.  Bend the arm, so the bell is level with your shoulder.  Press the arm straight up above your head and then return to the position with the kettlebell at your shoulder.  The nonworking arm can be at your side or held out in front of you for balance.  Switch arms and repeat on the other side.

The swing is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises because it works many muscle groups, including the arms.

Start with the feet shoulder width apart, holding the kettlebell by the handle with both hands, arms relaxed.  Lean forward and get into a squat position.  Quickly moving into a standing position, while swinging the weight up to chest level, hold, then return to the squat position, hold, and repeat.

Halos begin with the feet a little wider than shoulder width.  Use both hands to hold the kettlebell, with the handle on the bottom so the bell is upside down.  Rotate the kettlebell over your shoulder and around your head. Complete a full rotation to return to start and repeat in the opposite direction.

The snatch is very similar to the swing.  Begin in the same squat position, except this time, hold the kettlebell in one hand.  Squat down, swinging the bell between your legs then quickly move to a standing position while swinging the weight above your head, hold and repeat.

These are just a few of the many arm exercises that can be done with kettlebells.  For more detailed descriptions, pictures and videos, Forest Vance has created the Kettlebell Challenge Workouts that will get your arms in shape in no time at all.

This kettlebell training program is the perfect toolkit to take your fitness to the next level in just 20 minutes a day.

Arm Circuit

In order to get a cardiovascular workout while doing your kettlebell arm exercises, be sure to design your program to include bouts of high intensity followed by brief rest.

A good structure for your arm circuit includes doing four to six of the exercises above.  Complete each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest.

Once you complete the circuit, rest for one to two minutes and complete the circuit again, for a total of two to three rounds.  Don’t forget to include a five-minute warm up and cool down as part of your workout to prevent injuries.

Additionally, here is one of my favorite 30 minute upper body kettlebell workouts from Fitness Blender. You only need a single kettlebell for this routine!

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