Kettlebell Series: Upper Body

Kylie from Rich Souls Co. demonstrates an upper body kettlebell routine that can be done anywhere.

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January 3, 2018

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 Not sure which kettlebell to start with? Choosing the right kettlebell (here’s one we like) depends on both your fitness level and the type of workout movement you’re planning to do.

For accelerated moves, such as swings, active beginners should start with 18 to 26 pounds, whereas those who are intermediate to advanced should start with 26 to 35 pounds.

For slower, more controlled movements, start with 13 to 18 pounds—or 18 to 26 pounds if that’s not enough of a challenge.

For overhead movements, you should be able to complete 8 to 10 controlled reps. Do what feels comfortable for you, but be sure to safely challenge yourself.

The exercises featured in this video are:

Single-Arm Bicep Curl into a Push Press

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back, and core engaged.
  • Holding kettlebell in one hand, elbow pinned tight to your side, curl your hand toward your chest, palm facing in.
  • From there, rotate the palm to face outward and press up to fully extend the arm overhead.
  • Slowly lower back down, and curl arm down to the beginning position.
  • Repeat 12 times on each side.

Standing Chest Press

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back, and core engaged.
  • Holding kettlebell with both hands at chest level, extend arms forward.
  • Hold for 2 seconds, then pull kettlebell back into your chest.
  • Repeat 12 times.

Bent-Over Single-Arm Row

  • With feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and maintaining a neutral spine, hinge forward at the hips. Hold this position.
  • With kettlebell in one hand and arm extended straight down to the floor, simultaneously bend at the elbow and pull shoulder back, pulling the kettlebell up toward the torso.
  • Keep shoulder pinned close to the body.
  • Slowly release arm back to full extension toward the floor.
  • Repeat 12 times on each side.

Single-Arm Press from the Floor

  • Lie flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
  • Holding the kettlebell in one hand, arm directly out to the side, elbow bent, and palm facing toward the legs, press kettlebell directly upward, fully extending the arm.
  • Slowly lower arm back to the floor.
  • Repeat 12 times on each side.

Kettlebell Skull Crunchers

  • Lie flat on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold the kettlebell in both hands, arms extended upward directly over the chest.
  • Move arms slightly over your head, and bend at the elbows to bring kettlebell toward the ground.
  • Move arms back over the chest and extend fully at the elbows.
  • Repeat 12 times.

Kettlebell Exercises: Are They The Missing Staple In Your Workout Routine?