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10 Kettlebell Exercises For Bigger Biceps

Kettlebell workouts can offer you impressive benefits for many muscles but what are some kettlebell bicep exercises you can do?

A kettlebell is a metal ball with a handle on top, usually made of cast iron or cast steel. It is a versatile piece of fitness equipment that you can use in many exercises.

Even though kettlebells are not the first thing most people think of when looking into bicep exercises, you can use this gym equipment to build bigger biceps if you choose the right exercises.

There are typical kettlebell exercises like the bottoms up clean and the kettlebell clean that do engage your biceps to some extent. However, more traditional bicep exercises with the extra resistance from kettlebells are in general more effective for building bigger bicep muscles in the shortest amount of time.

Keep in mind that even though there are upsides, your injury risk is generally also higher when you do exercises with more weight/resistance. You may want to talk to your primary care provider before starting a new workout routine.

1. Standing kettlebell bicep curls

To do a standing kettlebell bicep curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a kettlebell with a supinated grip which means with your hand palms facing forward in starting position. You can also hold the ball in your hand palms.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise. You can hold the kettlebells with a looser grip so that the heavy ball part keeps hanging down throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebells back into starting position in a controlled motion.

Standing bicep curls are likely the first exercise that comes to mind if you think about exercises to train your biceps. Most people use dumbbells for this exercise but you can certainly use kettlebells too.

2. Kettlebell hammer curls

To do a kettlebell hammer curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a kettlebell with a neutral grip which means with your hand palms facing each other in starting position.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebells back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By changing your grip compared to the regular curl you target your brachialis muscle more. This muscle helps your arms achieve more power and look bigger.

3. Kettlebell reverse curls

To do a kettlebell reverse curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a kettlebell with a pronated grip which means with your hand palms facing backward in starting position.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebells back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By changing your grip even more compared to the hammer curl you target your brachialis muscle even more.

4. Kettlebell preacher bicep curls

For kettlebell preacher bicep curls, you will also need a bench specifically made for this exercise or a regular incline bench. You basically want a slanted surface. To do a kettlebell preacher bicep curl with the gym machine take the following steps:

  1. Take a seat behind the preacher bench with the back of your upper arm resting on the slanted surface. Each of your hands holds a kettlebell with your hand palms facing upward in starting position. You can also hold the ball in your hand palms.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise. You can hold the kettlebells with a looser grip so that the heavy ball part keeps hanging down throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebells back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By doing bicep curls on a preacher bench you avoid using the rest of your body and momentum for the motion. This makes your bicep muscles work harder which in turn can lead to more and faster muscle gain.

5. Kettlebell crossbody curls

To do a kettlebell crossbody curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a kettlebell with your hand palms facing forward in starting position.
  2. Slowly bring the kettlebell of one side to the shoulder of the opposite side as far as possible by folding your arms at the elbow. Keep your upper arm as much in the same position as possible but it will inevitably have to move to be able to do the movement. You can hold the kettlebells with a looser grip so that the heavy ball part keeps hanging down throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebell back into starting position in a controlled motion.
  4. Repeat with the kettlebell on the other side.

Crossbody curls change the upward angle compared to regular bicep curls. This leads to more focus on the long head of the brachii bicep muscle, the outer of the two brachii muscle heads.

6. Kettlebell drag curls

To do a kettlebell drag curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Each hand holds a kettlebell with your hand palms facing forward in starting position.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Throughout the movement, you move your elbows back. The kettlebells basically follow the same line as your body. You can hold the kettlebells with a looser grip so that the heavy ball part keeps hanging down throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebells back into starting position in a controlled motion.

By moving your elbows back this exercise focuses more on the biceps brachii which are the muscles most people think of when hearing the word bicep.

7. Kettlebell waiter curls

To do a kettlebell waiter curl take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging beside you. Hold one kettlebell by the heavy ball with both hands. Keep the kettlebell as low as possible in starting position.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebell back into starting position in a controlled motion.

Waiter curls shift the upward angle slightly more inward which leads to more focus on the outer of the two brachii muscle heads.

8. Kettlebell spider curls

For kettlebell spider curls, you need an incline bench at about a 45-degree angle. Once you have that, to do a kettlebell spider curl take the following steps:

  1. Lie on the bench on your front, your chest should just reach the top of the bench. Let your arms hang down with a kettlebell in each hand with your hand palms facing forward in starting position.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise. You can hold the kettlebells with a looser grip so that the heavy ball part keeps hanging down throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebells back into starting position in a controlled motion.

9. Kettlebell concentration curls

For kettlebell concentration curls, you need something to sit on at about knee height. A regular weight lifting bench is great. Once you have that, to do a kettlebell concentration curl take the following steps:

  1. Sit on the object with your upper legs making about a 90-degree angle. Hold a kettlebell in one hand, slightly tilt your upper body forward while keeping a good posture, and place the lower back of your upper arm on the inside of your leg of the same side.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise. You can hold the kettlebell with a looser grip so that the heavy ball part keeps hanging down throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebell back into starting position in a controlled motion.
  4. Repeat the same number of repetitions with the other arm.

Similar to preacher curls you make your biceps work harder by avoiding momentum and using the rest of your body with concentration curls.

10. Kettlebell incline curls

For kettlebell incline curls, you need an incline bench at about a 45-degree angle. Once you have that, to do a kettlebell incline curl take the following steps:

  1. Lie on the bench on your back. Let your arms hang down with a kettlebell in each hand with your hand palms facing forward in starting position.
  2. Slowly fold your arms at the elbows as far as you can. Keep your upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise. You can hold the kettlebells with a looser grip so that the heavy ball part keeps hanging down throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower the kettlebells back into starting position in a controlled motion.

Incline curls are basically an easier way to do drag curls. Because of the gravity working on your arms, your elbows will automatically stay behind your body. You are also not able to use your legs to move the kettlebell which can result in engaging your bicep muscles more.