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Known as the “mirror muscle,” men and women alike love to show off a set of toned and muscular biceps. There’s plenty of ways to exercise and strengthen your biceps, but one tool that’s frequently overlooked is the kettlebell. In this post, you’ll discover one of the best kettlebell workouts for your biceps (this works for both men and women). This can be adjusted depending on your experience level – whether they be for strength or toning, a kettlebell workout for biceps is an excellent option.
Kettlebells to Build Strong Biceps
While most people may be familiar with using a bar or dumbbells to build muscle, kettlebells are an effective alternative that offers unique benefits. They’re a versatile tool used for reducing body fat, increasing endurance and power, and of course, building muscle mass.
How well you’re able to get your body into shape with kettlebells will depend on two factors: your training volume and the intensity of your workout. You can use kettlebells, whether you’re a beginner or more experienced with strength training. Kettlebells come in several different weights, but the most common weights are 35lb. to 44lb. for men and 18lb. to 26lb. for women.
Kettlebells for Bicep Growth
Kettlebells can be used in place of dumbbells and barbells for your traditional bicep exercises. There are instances where the regular exercises, such as curl variations, can be limited. It’s hard to keep the tension throughout the curling movement, whereas the kettlebell maintains tension for longer.
Why is that Important?
- Prolonged tension engages the muscle more
- High tension causes metabolic stress
- Tension causes the micro-tears needed within the muscle to drive growth
You want to keep your bicep tight and engaged the entire time you’re doing the movement. This ensures that you’re getting the most out of your workout to build the muscle. Kettlebells are constructed uniquely. The handle is the grip’s location, and the ball underneath is where nearly all of the weight is held. This design places high tension on the biceps and creates metabolic stress, a stimulant for hypertrophy (increase and growth of muscle cells).
Understanding a bit about kettlebells and their use for bicep growth and overall body strength can help you decide the best workout for your individual goals.
Without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff!
The Best Beginner to Intermediate Bicep Workouts Using Kettlebells
The curl is one of the most effective bicep exercises; the following variations will help you build the bicep muscle. Also, if you’ve hit a wall with your dumbbells and barbells, changing up your routine by using a kettlebell may help you get past that plateau. Lastly, remember that you can always decrease the weight and increase the reps for this workout if you’re seeking tone instead of growth.
Pro tip: Always remember not to go overboard when just starting. The key is to build and grow as you get stronger.
Incline Kettlebell Curl
Incline curls, in general, are a great exercise because you can increase the growth and maximize the muscle damage you could incur as a result of the constant stretch and overload that’s placed on your bicep.
With kettlebells, the hanging weight produces an adequate and steady amount of tension and stimulation at the top of the movement on the contracted position. Barbells and dumbbells only provide tension at the mid-range and bottom positions.
For this workout, you’ll want to grab a bench that is set to a 45-degree angle and kettlebells that are ranging in loads from heavy to moderate to light. This workout includes doing various weights and rep ranges to target both strength and toning. Should you choose to focus on the heavier weights, you’ll see sizable gains with this workout.
- Light loads (1-2 sets of 12-15 reps)
- Moderate loads (1-2 sets of 8-10 reps)
- Heavy loads (1-2 sets of 12-15 reps)
Perform this routine 2-3 times a week, depending on your recovery time.
Incline Kettlebell Curl Video
Here is a short video demonstrating the incline kettlebell curl:
Standing Kettlebell Biceps Curl
Standing curls are a staple in any bicep workout simply because they allow for maximum overload. Using a kettlebell for this workout engages your fast-twitch muscle fibers, and the design of the kettlebell ensures that you aren’t over-curling at the top of the movement to compensate for lack of strength. You get that full-motion tension withstanding curls.
Stand with your feet slightly apart and your back straightened. Use the heaviest kettlebells that you can tolerate.
Perform three sets of 5-8 reps at least twice a week for optimal growth. These workouts can be used interchangeably throughout the week for sculpting and growth.
Standing Kettlebell Biceps Video
Here is a short video demonstrating the standing kettlebell biceps curl:
Practice Makes Perfect
The key to sculpted and strong biceps is in the way that you push them to the limit. Kettlebells give you versatility and a distinct design that allows for optimal tension and tearing of the muscles. These particular results are unique to kettlebells; you can’t get them with barbells and dumbbells. A kettlebell workout for biceps should be incorporated into your routine if you’re looking for a way to get your muscle fibers involved during a workout.
There you have it, those are the two most effective exercises to build, strengthen, and tone your biceps with kettlebells.
Where Are Your Biceps?
This quick anatomy lesson may seem obvious to some, but there are a few significant muscles in the arm, so for those who are new to the world of health and fitness, here’s a quick breakdown on the biceps muscle.
Your biceps is a muscle located on the front part of the upper arm. It’s composed of two parts, commonly referred to as the “short head” and the “long head.” These two sections work together as a singular muscle known as the “biceps.” Connective tissues, which are the tendons, are what keep your biceps attached to the bone in your arm.
What Are Your Biceps Used For?
The biceps muscle is responsible for your lifting and pulling movements. This muscle allows the forearm to bend upward toward the upper part of the arm. It also supinates the palm, which is just a technical way of saying it is why you can turn your palm upward or forward.
Weak biceps can hinder your ability to perform several exercises such as curls and chin-ups.