If you aren't used to working with kettle bells, begin with light weights and perform the exercises slowly. The sumo high pull is a kettle bell exercise that challenges your traps as well as your shoulders, glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.
To perform the sumo high pull, crouch in a wide stance, holding the kettle bell with both hands as it rests on the floor. Pull the kettle bell up to your shoulders as you stand, stopping when your legs are straight.
The bent-over row is an effective exercise for your traps whether performed with a dumbbell or a barbell. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward to grab the kettle bells.
Pause briefly at the top of your range of motion, then reverse it and repeat. Hold a kettle bell in each hand, with your arms hanging down on either side of the bench.
Each time you do this circuit, try to do more reps, add weight and/or take fewer breaks. Once you are able to perform this trap workout without any extra rests, then you can up the total volume by increasing time per exercise or switch it up completely with different trap exercises following the same type of professional methods!
Setup: a) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight. Action: a) With the kettle bell in front of your body, contract your traps to shrug upwards.
Setup: a) Assume a standing position with your feet roughly shoulder width apart. Action: a) While keeping your arms straight, contract your traps to raise the kettle bell up above your head.
b) Squeeze your traps hard at the top and slowly return to the starting position. Setup: a) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight.
Setup: a) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight. Action: a) Contract your traps to raise the kettle bell upwards and straighten your arms.
Setup: a) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight. Action: a) With your arm by your side, contract your right trap to shrug upwards.
c) Pass the kettle bell behind your back and grab it with both hands and your palms facing behind you. f) Pass the kettle bell to your left arm and complete the side shrug.
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The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data. Kettle bells are versatile pieces of exercise equipment that can be used to improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen the entire body or target individual muscles.
The types of kettle bell exercises are seemingly endless, but when it comes to working the traps, there are only a handful that fall under the “best” category. The sumo high pull hits not only your traps, but the rest your shoulders as well, which can help develop a strong upper body.
Squat down over the kettle bell, grab it with both hands using an overhand grip, straighten your back, then look straight ahead. Well, if you explore one of the neglected corners of the gym (or your garden shed for that matter), you may well find a brilliant alternative to your standard weight workouts: the kettle bell.
While dumbbells and barbells are popular and effective weight training options, they’re definitely not the only method of building muscle. “The thing about kettle bells is that they genuinely do offer a full-body workout,” explains personal trainer Hannah Lewin.
Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find over 50 exercises — ranging from good mornings and single arm dead lifts, to Turkish get ups and kettle bell snatches. Because you tend to use one kettle bell at a time, you’re naturally working on your core power, balance, flexibility and coordination — all of which are crucial to everyday fitness, as well as strength training.
If your core is not activated, you can’t get a weight into the air during a clean and press without putting untold pressure on your back. You need balance and pelvic floor strength to complete a set of kettle bell swings, while coordination is crucial for getting through any heavy weights' session safely.
One person who knows all about strength and conditioning is Laura Higgins — a certified trainer, author and director of The Foundry. Even a kettle bell halo (circling your shoulder girdle with the weight) activates your traps, lats, deltoid and core.
Marimba explains that they’re a great tool for spiking heart rate “very quickly due to their functionality”; they don’t require any effort to set up, but they do get us working hard to move them from point A to B. Utilizing higher rep ranges and ballistic movements with appropriate rest has big cardiovascular benefits.”
Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favorite fitness experts. Kettle bell workout has been around since 1700s when the Russian villagers would use it to display their strength and talent other than weighing crops.
Now, in modern gyms, it is used as a tool or equipment to build flexibility, cardio and strength. Apart from that it helps you tighten your grip, strengthening your shoulders, arms and wrists.
It is also called Indian clubs or Ishim Sasha, the Japanese hand weight equipment that is mainly used in martial arts. The weight of the kettle bell has to be chosen carefully according to one's strength and fitness, which varies from person to person and men and women. Certain things to be considered while buying kettle bell : It should have a well finished curvy handle so it doesn't cut or hurt your hands.
A curvy handle helps in good grip, without putting much stress on one's wrist. A flat base is important so that it doesn't tilt and sits firmly while training, making it easier to use.
The swing targets one's hips, glutes, shoulders and legs. Stand tall with legs apart holding the kettle bell with both hands.
Bend you knees a little and swing the tool with your back and arms absolutely straight. The simple rotation exercise that doesn't require a lot of movement targets your shoulder, biceps and arms.
Bend the knees just a little and pick up the kettle bell pulling it up near the stomach and hold, keeping elbow close to the body while doing so. With the back straight, squat down to the floor bending your knees.
Bend down to hold the kettle bell handle with both hand and pull it up with extended arms and straight back. Dead lifts if done correctly will give you a flatter stomach and help build abs.
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You’ll be glad to know that Origin has you covered with 13 exercises that target your biceps, triceps, deltoid, forearms, and the surrounding muscles in the upper body. Whether you’re training for strength, muscle mass, or endurance, these kettle bell exercises for arms and shoulders will be all you need to achieve your goals.
Set Up: To perform this exercise, you will need a pair of kettle bells of the same weight (whichever you are comfortable training with). 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 kettle bell 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 kettle bell back into the rack position If posture and quality are affected in the motion at any time, then start the exercise again Repeat! Secondary Muscles: Latissimus Doris, trapezium, erector spinal (lower back)
Keep the kettle bells close to your chest when in the rack position, rather than letting them hang out to the side. It’s a great exercise to use for enhancing athletic power since it increases hip strength and explosiveness when you drive the kettle bell overhead.
It also helps with training the core stabilizing muscles, which are important in many compound kettle bell arms exercises. Grip the handle of the kettle bell Swing it backwards between your legs, and clean it into the rack position.
Be sure to brace your core Hold this position for two seconds, and then bring the kettle bell 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 Primary Movers: Biceps, triceps, trapezium, latissimus Doris, deltoid, rhomboids
It is a great exercise to use within full-body metabolic conditioning workouts, and works wonders for building strength in the upper body, as well as in the biceps and triceps. Set Up: All you need to perform this exercise is a kettle bell, a hard floor, and plenty of space around you.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and the kettle bell on the ground directly in front of you. To begin the jerk, grip the handle of the kettle bell and clean it into the rack position.
The kettle bell should be resting on your bicep For the first dip, slightly bend your knees while making sure your elbows stay in contact with your hips, and that your back is nice and straight Quickly after completing the first dip, explosively extend all the joints in your lower body and push your elbows off your hips. This is the second dip movement of the exercise Allow the kettle bell to drop in a controlled motion as you move back into the rack position, making sure to absorb the shock with your knees Repeat this move for the desired number of reps!
Secondary Muscles: Triceps, forearms, hamstrings, calves, abdominal, latissimus Doris Make sure you focus on the connections between your elbow and hips and the heel and floor when performing this exercise as part of your kettle bell workout for arms.
Not relaxing enough can reduce efficiency and decrease your performance, and even lead to injury if it affects your form. If you complete this exercise using a lighter weight and for a higher number of repetitions, you’ll build muscular endurance in your arms and upper body.
Set Up: For this exercise you will need a single kettle bell large enough for you to balance on it using your hands. 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!
If your glutes are pushed upwards or your legs are bent as you move your body up and down, you won’t feel the benefits of this exercise and you will risk injuring yourself (most likely your lower back) Rushing the movement. Remember to hold your position for two seconds at the top of the movement, as rushing it will mean that the core and triceps aren’t fully engaged, leaving you open to injury Moving your head and shoulders (one of the biggest close grip kettle bell push up mistakes).
This is one of the best kettle bell exercises for arms and abs, since it chiefly targets the triceps over all other muscles, especially during the lifting phase and if reps are slow and controlled, but also hits the core This is a great exercise that transforms the traditional push-up by demanding more balance and stamina from the entire body. It’s a fantastic way to build strength, and can even aid you in building muscle mass if you perform the right amount of reps and add some resistance If incorporated into a kettle bell arms workout, this exercise will ensure that you see an improvement with your push-up form, and also will help increase the amount of weights you can lift as you develop and strengthen your triceps.
You may find it beneficial to start out with a lower weight since you’ll be moving the kettle bell around your head. Stand with your feet at around shoulder width apart Grip the horns of the kettle bell (the vertical sides of the handle), and hold it in front of your face/just above your chest
Engage your core and glutes, and ensure that your chest is up and your back is straight Begin to circle around your head with the kettle bell in a controlled motion, letting it brush past your ear (without making contact) and then drop slightly lower behind your neck Continue the loop until the kettle bell reaches the starting position After completing your desired amount of rotations, try the exercise with the kettle bell circling in the opposite direction! If your waist is bending to make larger loops, or if you’re bowing your back to bring the kettle bell behind your neck, then your stance isn’t stable enough.
By rooting your feet shoulder width apart, relaxing the knees, and keeping your core tight before you begin, you’ll avoid injury to your lower back and receive the full benefits of the exercise. Qualify & start earning in just 2 weeks Study full-time, part-time or online REPS & CIM SPA Accredited
It’s a perfect warm up for those who are looking to gain muscle mass in the area, as it prepares the shoulders for heavy lifting and improves their mobility. Having core solidity will help you to have good balance and stability in other kettle bell arms exercises, especially the plank and mountain climbers, etc.
Other benefits include improved upper body flexibility and mobility; if you suffer from stiffness in your shoulders or back, this is a great exercise to help. Set Up: You’ll need two kettle bells of equal weight, and an exercise mat.
Place the kettle bells on the floor to sit slightly closer than shoulder width apart, ready for you to grip. 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 kettle bell up towards your body as you would with a dumbbell row, until the handle is in line with your rib cage.
Primary Movers: Trapezium, latissimus Doris, biceps, triceps, anterior deltoid The renegade row targets your shoulders, arms, back, and core, if done correctly.
Rotating your back, and shifting the weight, will only make the exercise easier, rather than permitting it to work your primary muscles. Plus, it will place additional pressure on your biceps, triceps, and deltoid, meaning that you can use it to assist you in building muscle mass in this area.
Starting position: To begin with, sit on the floor and spread your legs wide apart to each side. You need to keep your shoulders upright and against the wall to avoid injury, and to get the best out of the exercise Lifting the heels.
It’s one of the best kettle bell exercises for arms when it comes to building muscle mass and strength in the shoulders, depending on how you perform it. Bigger shoulders will make your arms appear larger too, so if hypertrophy is what you’re going for, don’t skip this exercise!
Since a good amount of core stabilization is needed during this exercise, it helps with enhancing posture. The kettle bell sit and press benefits also include improved performance in other sports which require core strength.
It's known as one of the best kettle bell exercises for chest and arms, since it hits the pectoralis major as well as the shoulder muscles. Set Up: All you need for this exercise is two kettle bells, a hard floor, and lots of space around you.
While engaging your core and glutes, and driving your feet into the ground, drive the kettle bells 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 kettle bells, and hold this position for two seconds Using a controlled movement, lower the kettle bells back into the starting position Repeat! Ensure you maintain scapular retraction by keeping your shoulders firmly pulled into their sockets.
When you are in the full upright position, focus on engaging and squeezing your glutes and abdominal, as if you were getting ready to take a punch. It increases strength when performed at a lower rep range, making it a great warm up for other shoulder-based exercises.
It involves the biceps during the lifting phase, as it’s a pretty explosive movement, so it’s a great exercise to use if you’re looking to target your upper arms. Another benefit is the fact that it develops better cleans and snatches by boosting shoulder mobility and strength, so if you do struggle with these exercises or you’re looking to improve your technique, this is a great one to try!
If you do not keep your head straight and looking forward, you could strain your neck or upper back Having the kettle bells touch your sides. You must keep the kettle bells apart and far from your sides, so that the pressure from the added weight is properly placed Bending your neck or arching your back.
You should maintain a straight and controlled posture when completing this exercise, and place most of the tension in your arms. During the movement, your body is forced to maintain a straight posture due to being loaded with added resistance.
This will help you to maintain a straight posture in your daily movements, and during other kettle bell arms exercises, meaning that injury will be less likely. If you haven’t specifically targeted your triceps before, you should start with a lighter weight while you adjust to the movement.
Your palm should be facing inwards Bend your knees slightly, and lean forwards so that your back is at a 45-degree angle in relation to the ground (keeping it nice and straight) You should keep your elbow tucked into your body at all times, so that you don’t place extra strain on the shoulders and end up with a nasty injury Arching your lower back.
If you fail to keep your back straight during the movement, you could strain the area, or even sustain a more serious injury The exercise can help you to achieve your goals, if you pair it with good nutrition and practice progressive overload.
Have the kettle bells places around shoulder width apart Grip them so that your palms are facing inwards, and get into a high plank/inverted push up position whilst balancing on your toes Ensure that your back is straight and not arched, and that your head is in line with your spine Perform a push-up by carefully lowering your body (bending at the elbows), pausing for a second, and then driving your body upwards Once you’re in the top position, push your shoulder blades together and lift your right elbow until the kettle bell is in line with your chest Return the kettle bell to its original position Row the opposite kettle bell whilst maintaining good form, and then return it to its original position Repeat the exercise!
Primary Movers: Biceps, triceps, deltoid, pectoralis major, latissimus Doris, trapezium, rhomboids The kettle bell can actually fall sideways and trap your fingers if you don’t have a stable body alignment.
Make sure you practice a consistent, solid frame during proper push-ups before you introduce any weights to these kettle bell arms exercises. During the push-up phase, you place a lot of pressure on your biceps and triceps as well as your shoulders and upper back, making it a brilliant compound exercise to try if the renegade row has become less of a challenge.
Grip the kettle bell in an overhead position, but with your palm facing inwards Stand with your feet at around shoulder width apart With a slight bend in your knee and your back straight (and your head in line with your spine), lean forwards slightly so that your back is at a 45-degree angle in relation to the ground Extend the arm holding the kettle bell so that it is almost (not not fully) locked out Ensure that your core and glutes are engaged Using a neutral grip, row the kettle bell upwards until your elbow is in line with your chest.
Your elbow should be at a 45-degree angle at the top of the movement Your shoulders should be tight at the top of the movement Hold this position for two seconds Carefully return the kettle bell to the starting position Continue with the desired number of repetitions on one side before swapping! Your arm should move in an ‘arc motion i.e. forward and back rather than up and down, otherwise you risk losing the benefits of the exercise (or even injury)
It’s essentially a more concentrated version of the renegade row, as it doesn’t rely as much on the stabilizing muscles and arguably targets the arms further. It improves balance during pushing and pulling movements through regular practice, which is incredibly handy for those involved in sports or athletics that require this.
It’s also good for those looking to build strength and muscle mass in the upper back and arms. Bend at the knee to lower yourself, and grip the kettle bell so that your palm is facing inwards Keeping your back straight, lift yourself and the kettle bell up so that you’re standing tall, your back is straight, and your shoulders are tight
Once you are gripping the kettle bell tightly and your posture is correct, begin walking your desired distance (it may be helpful to place a marker) Around 5-10 meters is a good starting point for beginners Walk just like you are holding a suitcase in one hand. Keep the arm holding the bell still, straight, and away from the body Ensure that your shoulders stay tight throughout the movement, and that you keep your head up (facing forwards) Once you complete the distance, turn and return to the original position Hold the kettle bell in the other hand and repeat the same steps
You should keep your steps slow and small to really feel the weight, otherwise you could sacrifice many of the benefits of this exercise. You should keep your core muscles engaged during the exercise to protect your back from injury.
If you have trouble maintaining good posture and form in other exercises, you should use the suitcase carry to improve this alongside the farmer’s walk. The fact that it forces you to concentrate on training one side of your body (and one arm) at a time makes it a useful variation.
Now that you’ve got a good collection of kettle bell arms exercises to try out, it’s time to decide how you’re going to optimize your workout so that it will be effective in helping you to reach your goals. We’ll keep it nice and simple to avoid overcomplicating things, and so that you can get straight to your kettle bell arms workout with confidence!
You should stay within the range of 8-12 reps for 3-5 sets per session, whilst using a heavy kettle bell. You should perform 12 or more reps for 2-3 sets with a lighter kettle bell that you consider to be pretty easy to manage, if you wish to train for muscular endurance and tone.
Now that you know of the best kettle bell exercises for arms and how you should be performing them to achieve your desired results, there’s absolutely nothing standing in your way. After all, a kettle bell arms workout should be varied to keep you motivated; feel free to switch it up a bit each week!
This is the best way to promote muscle growth or improvement in strength, and will help you to steer clear of plateauing.