The 10 Best Kettlebell Bicep Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

The 10 Best Kettlebell Bicep Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

Dec 27, 2023

woman holding kettlebell in bicep curl

The 10 Best Kettlebell Bicep Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

Want to blast your biceps and take your arm workout to the next level? Look no further than the mighty kettlebell. Kettlebells provide a powerful way to target the biceps and build impressive guns.

In this article, we'll cover the 10 best kettlebell bicep exercises to incorporate into your fitness routine. Whether you're a beginner looking to develop foundational arm strength or a seasoned lifter chasing bigger, peak biceps, these functional moves will challenge your muscles in new ways.

Read on to discover killer bicep-focused kettlebell exercises, plus tips on rep schemes, volume, and programming for optimal biceps growth!

strengthen arms with kettlebells

Why Use Kettlebells for Biceps?

Kettlebell workouts beautifully combine strength and conditioning for unbeatable arm results. The offset handle forces your body to stabilize in unique positions, recruiting extra core and shoulder stability not challenged in regular curls. This leads to greater muscle activation overall.

Additionally, the cast iron construction allows for heavy loads not always possible with dumbbells. Heavier resistance overloads the biceps and prompts increased muscle fiber recruitment for growth.

Kettlebells also lend themselves to fluid, dynamic movements that mimic real-world functionality. This builds usable arm and grip strength beyond just aesthetics.

10 Best Kettlebell Bicep Exercises

Incorporate these top kettlebell bicep moves into your current kettlebell workout routine or focus on your biceps per workout to really hammer arm growth.

Kettlebell Bicep Curl

This fundamental curl builds a rock-solid foundation while blasting the long head of the biceps brachii.

  • Hold one kettlebell in front of thighs, palms facing up and elbows glued to sides. Keep core braced.
  • Initiate the move by lifting the kettlebell towards your shoulder, keeping upper arm stationary. Focus on using the bicep muscle only.
  • Squeeze the bicep hard at the top of the movement. Slowly lower the kettlebell back to start.
  • Repeat for 6-10 reps per arm. Complete 2-4 sets.

Incline Kettlebell Curl

Hitting the biceps at varied angles elicits greater muscle fiber recruitment. The incline kettlebell curl allows a deeper stretch and contraction.

  • Grab a heavy kettlebell and lie back on an incline bench set to 30-45 degrees.
  • Keeping upper arms pinned to sides, initiate the curl by bringing the kettlebell towards shoulder while keeping elbow stationary.
  • Squeeze biceps hard before slowly lowering kettlebell back to starting position.
  • Complete 8-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

Kettlebell Hammer Curl

This unique curl variation emphasizes the brachialis muscle located underneath the biceps brachii. Developing this often-neglected area creates thicker, more balanced arm growth.

  • Grip a kettlebell by the handle with palm facing inward, arms extended by sides.
  • Initiate the move by lifting the kettlebell towards shoulder while keeping upper arm fixed.
  • Squeeze biceps at the top of the motion before slowly lowering back down.
  • Aim for 10-15 reps for 3 sets.

Kettlebell Drag Curl

The drag curl introduces a powerful eccentric emphasis, placing the biceps under constant tension to prompt muscle breakdown and rebuilding.

  • Assume a standing position holding the kettlebell by the handle at arm's length.
  • Initiate movement by curling kettlebell up bringing elbow behind.
  • Slowly lower the kettlebell back down. Drag out the negative.
  • Complete 8-10 reps on each arm for 2-3 sets.

Kettlebell Concentration Curl

This isolation exercise eliminates momentum, forcing the biceps to do all the work. The result is incredible peak contraction and muscle fatigue!

  • Sit on edge of bench or chair. Grab a heavy kettlebell by the handle and rest working elbow on inner thigh.
  • Keep upper arm stationary. Contract biceps to lift kettlebell straight up and slightly back.
  • Emphasize squeezing biceps at the top. Take 3-4 seconds to lower weight.
  • Shoot for 6-10 reps per arm for 2-3 sets.

Kettlebell Preacher Curl

The preacher curl allows a strong peak contraction while building impressive wrist and shoulder stability.

  • Grip a kettlebell with arms extended.
  • Initiate curl by contracting biceps to raise kettlebell towards shoulders while keeping upper arm fixed on pad or knees.
  • Squeeze biceps hard at peak contraction before controlling kettlebell back down.
  • Aim for 6-10 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

Seated Kettlebell Bicep Curl

This rigorous curl variation removes lower body drive, forcing biceps to work extra hard. The result is incredible fatigue and muscle overload.

  • Sit on bench holding a heavy kettlebell by your side, arm extended.
  • Initiate movement by contracting biceps to lift kettlebell straight towards shoulder.
  • Slowly lower kettlebell back to starting position.
  • Shoot for 8-12 reps per arm for 3 total sets.

Kettlebell Spider Curl

This multi-plane exercise hits the biceps through various angles in one fluid motion. The result is incredible peak contraction!

  • Lean chest against a 45-degree incline bench, feet planted behind you.
  • Grip dumbbells with palms facing back, arms hanging down with slight bend.
  • Engage core, tuck chin, rotate shoulders outward. Initiating from this position, keep upper arms fixed as you squeeze biceps, bending elbows to lift weights straight up towards shoulders without contact.
  • Pause and squeeze biceps at the top. Slowly lower weights until arms fully straighten. Come to complete stop before repeating.
  • Use moderate weight for 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps.

Kettlebell Zottman Curl

This forgotten classic uses a unique supinated to pronated grip change to light up the biceps in fresh ways.

  • Grip a kettlebell in one hand with palm facing up, arm extended.
  • Initiate movement by curling kettlebell up while rotating hand backwards. Finish with palm facing down.
  • Slowly lower kettlebell back down while rotating hand to supinated position.
  • Complete 6-10 reps per arm for 2-3 total sets.

Kettlebell 21 Curl

This high rep burnout finisher pre-exhausts the biceps to prompt maximal growth hormone release.

  • Grab a lighter kettlebell to use for high reps. Curl kettlebell halfway up and hold for 7 seconds. Continue holding kettlebell in midway position as you complete 7 full reps.
  • After 7 reps, continue holding kettlebell halfway up as you pump out another 7 reps.
  • On the final set, hold kettlebell halfway up and grind out 7 final agonizing reps.
  • Use a challenging weight that allows you to complete all 21 reps per arm.

Program Kettlebell Biceps Work

When programming kettlebell bicep training, utilize these principles:

  • Train biceps 2x per week, allowing at least 48 hours rest between sessions
  • Complete 2-4 exercises per workout for 3-4 sets each
  • Use a challenging weight that allows 6-15 reps
  • Increase load over time to continually overload muscles
  • Emphasize eccentric tempo for max time under tension
  • Incorporate high rep burnout techniques regularly

By sticking to these protocols and incorporating several kettlebell bicep exercises each session, you'll be well on your way to bigger, stronger guns!

woman holding kettlebell ripl fitness

Kettlebell Bicep Exercise Technique Tips

While kettlebells provide countless benefits for blasting biceps, technique is critical to prevent injury. Keep these form tips in mind:

  • Brace core throughout movements to protect lower back
  • Avoid excessive swinging or using momentum
  • Keep elbows tight to sides during curls
  • Go through full range of motion on each rep
  • Use controlled eccentrics focusing on the negative
  • Keep wrists straight and neutral

Commit to consistent, intelligent kettlebell bicep training and it won't be long until shirtsleeves feel a bit more snug! So dust off those kettlebells and get to curling. Your future jacked arms will thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best kettlebell arm workout?

Kettlebells enable versatile bicep and arm training, prompting muscle growth through unique angles.

A comprehensive kettlebell arm workout hits biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms for complete functional results.

Try multi-plane moves like the kettlebell spider curl alongside arm blasters like drag curls. Program in high volume circuits or supersets to maximize efficiency.

How should I structure my kettlebell bicep workout?

Focus on controlled, squeezed reps and sufficient volume by incorporating 2-4 targeted kettlebell bicep exercises for 3-4 sets each.

Shoot for 6-15 reps using a challenging weight that maximally fatigues muscles in the 8-12 rep range.

Emphasize tempo concentration curls along with dynamic total arm movers like the kettlebell clean and press. This enables both isolation and compound bicep activation.

What are the best kettlebell exercises for arms?

Top kettlebell moves for complete arms development include: kettlebell curls, hammer curls, overhead tricep extensions, bottoms-up cleans, snatches, renegade rows, and presses.

Using one arm at a time increases demand. Program these into supersets or circuits for enhanced efficiency. Further overload comes from using a heavier kettlebell.

Should I use kettlebells to develop my biceps?

Yes! Kettlebell curls are a potent biceps workout. Kettlebells challenge stability muscles, prompt greater muscle fiber recruitment via heavy loads, and enable functional multi-plane movements.

Variations of bicep curls with kettlebells hit the muscles in new ways, eliciting renewed growth. Follow basic principles of progressive overload and watch your bicep strength soar!

How do kettlebell curls build bigger biceps?

The offset handle construction forces additional stabilizer recruitment, prompting greater overall arm activation compared to fixed dumbbells.

Kettlebell curls also enable peak contraction squeezes through a full range of motion when executed strictly without torso movement. This prompts maximum muscle fiber stimulation.

Use high volume and focused concentration to spur new biceps development.

Should I use one or two kettlebells for curls?

Both single and double kettlebell work elicits benefits. One kettlebell increases demand on the contracted limb while two kettlebells enable more external load to be used. Alternate between both approaches.

Single arm work hammers stabilizers while two kettlebells prompt greater overload via more resistance moved. Use varieties of lighter and heavier kettlebell curls.

Follow this balanced programming and your biceps will have no choice but to expand!

lifting kettlebell for biceps ripl fitness

Why Kettlebells Are the Best for Biceps

When it comes to kettlebell training for peak biceps development, kettlebells enable several distinct advantages over other equipment. Here's why they reign supreme:

Unmatched Functional Movements

Kettlebell exercises like bicep curls incorporate whole-body stabilization in standing postures. This engages secondary muscle groups like the shoulders and core that drive greater biceps activation compared to seated isolation moves. Variations like the spider curl and overhead preacher attack the biceps from unique angles not possible with fixed dumbbells. The result is well-rounded, functional arm strength.

Increased Resistance Capacity

The cast iron material allows larger load capacity than standard dumbbells. This permits heavier loads to be moved, prompting greater mechanical tension across the biceps muscle fibers to spur growth. Overload is a key stimulus for biceps hypertrophy. Heavier kettlebell curls provide just that.

Dynamic Power Development

Explosive kettlebell moves like ballistic curls incorporate stretch-shortening cycles. This converts elastic energy into kinetic power, increasing force output capabilities of the biceps. Training biceps power translates to real-world strength gains.

Unilateral Focus Options

Unlike barbells or machines, kettlebells conveniently allow single-arm isolation training. Moves like the single arm incline curl place all tension directly on one bicep at a time. This prevents limbs from compensating and addresses asymmetry. Unilateral kettlebell work leads to proportionate arm development.

Grip Strength Enhancement

Variations like the bottoms-up curl force the hands and forearms to fatigue, increasing grip ruggedness. Carrying heavy kettlebell loads also builds strong, capable hands. Grip strength transfers positively to bigger deadlifts, pulls, and rows too. Tough hands help on the toughest back exercises.

So whether you want popcorn peak contraction or rugged real-world power, kettlebells build balanced, bulging biceps unlike any other implement. Their versatility enables beginners to advanced lifters to elicit newfound arm growth through hundreds of movements. Pick up those kettlebells with conviction!

My Experience Building Biceps with Kettlebells

When it comes to kettlebell training, I'll admit I was skeptical at first. As a long-time bodybuilder focused on biceps hypertrophy, I prioritized strict form on isolated dumbbell curls and barbell preacher curls session after session. These targeted exercises built my biceps nicely over the years. However, I eventually hit a frustrating plateau. My bi's just weren't growing anymore despite upping volume and intensity.

That's when I decided to throw some kettlebell exercises into my program. Integrating these full-body moves felt awkward initially given their dynamic nature. But I quickly noticed they lit up my biceps unlike anything I’d experienced before! After just one kettlebell arm workout, I achieved ridiculous pumps and soreness in my biceps brachialis. I realized these tools hit the guns from new angles that traditional bicep exercises simply couldn’t replicate.

Over 12 weeks, I programmed kettlebell curls 3x per week using a challenging 16kg bell for 3 to 4 sets of 10-12 reps each workout. I emphasized peak squeezes while also experimenting with explosive moves like bottoms-up cleans to increase time under tension. This quickly increased my mind-muscle connection. Within 6 weeks, holding a kettlebell brought insane biceps activation compared to holding plain dumbbells.

By committing to this targeted kettlebell routine alongside my usual bodybuilding program, I added 0.5 inches to my arms while improving peak shape. My biceps now pop more impressively through t-shirts. These results showed me the value of diversifying my training with multi-plane kettlebell work.

Now I aim to focus on my biceps per workout by finishing with dynamic moves like the kettlebell spider curl. This fires the guns up unlike anything else! Consistently hitting biceps from various angles is key for continued growth. So whether you’re looking to develop your biceps or break through plateaus, be sure to grab a kettlebell and try these killer exercises. Your future bulging biceps will thank you!

For More Training Advice + Diet and Lifestyle visit us RIPL Fitness

PS: Make sure you check out the rest of our Bicep Training Guides:

12 Best Bicep Tendonitis Exercises | Biceps Tendon Treatment

The 14 Best Resistance Band Bicep Exercises

The 14 Best Short Head Biceps Exercises

17 Best Long Head Bicep Exercises

The 20 Best Bicep Exercises

Get Stronger Biceps with a Bicep Curl Machine