AML’s Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Hidey Ho, Kettlebellers or wannabe Kettlebellers! Wanna try something challenging but fun? I decided I didn’t want to do my old standard dumbbell upper body workout on Monday, so I decided to make my own KETTLEBELL ONLY upper body workout! I included some example videos so you can see how each move is performed. At the end of the blog there is a compact, downloadable image that you can save and print for yourself if you like.

AML’s Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Kneeling Halos

I did 10 in one direction and then switched instead of alternating like he’s doing. Doing this on your knees makes you need to stabilize your core more and throws your balance off, making this more difficult than your standard halo.

Single Arm Bench Press

These are fairly similar to a dumbbell chest press, but the way the kettlebell weight is distributed is asymmetrical, where as a dumbbell is symmetrical, so you’ll need to focus more on stability.

Single Arm Bottoms Up Press

This move is WAY harder than it looks. If you look closely you can see how wobbly my arm is. You really need to concentrate to keep your grip on the handle tight and keep the weight directly over your elbow. That’s why there’s only 5 per side. The key to this is to tense your entire body and grip the bell moderately. Move slowly and focus on keeping the kettlebell stable as you push it upwards. Try to lower at the same pace as you raise it if you can.

Single Arm Bent Over Row

This is basically the same as your standard bent over row with a dumbbell.

Upright Rows

This is, by far, the easiest exercise to learn. Use as heavy a weight as you possibly can, and try to move slowly and at the same pace in each direction. Always make sure your elbows are higher than your hands.

Half-Kneeling Single Arm Overhead Press

This one is fun because the kneeling increases your instability and requires you are more careful in engaging your core. You want the kettlebell over your kneeling leg, and press from shoulder straight up.

Biceps Curl

The key to this move is planting your elbows firmly against your ribcage. Watch how her upper arms DO NOT MOVE: the entirety of the movement is from the elbow down. Squeeze at the top.

Single Kettlebell Renegade Rows

My form is NOT PERFECT here, but I can’t locate a video of someone else doing this with a single kettlebell. Begin in a high plank with the kettlebell between your hands. Shift your weight to one side (I’m shifting too far) and perform a row with the kettlebell on the opposite side. Alternate sides.

Note: This workout is harder than it appears. I own a 20-, 30- and 40-lb kettlebell, and I didn’t use my 40-lb at all. I did the single arm bench press, bottoms up, overhead press and renegade rows with my 20-lb, and the rest with my 30-lb. Remember, the goal is to be almost at muscle failure at the end of each set, so you want to choose as heavy as you are capable, since this is a strength workout as opposed to a cardio/endurance workout. Have fun!


If you give this workout a try please come back and let me know what you think!



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