If you’re solely training with kettlebells, chances are you’re not giving the anterior compartment of your upper arms the attention they deserve. I’m going to show you several exercises to work and challenge the anterior compartment of your upper arm from different angles with a kettlebell.
I’ve written about this topic before, it’s because it’s a taboo to curl with a kettlebell, and like a true Caveman, if it’s taboo, we want to be doing it right? Well, if it’s awesome and makes sense, yes! And it so happens that curling with a kettlebell—when done right—might even be more awesome and results producing than dumbbells. Don’t start looking at my biceps now, as they need some major work, I don’t curl enough, I drink too much, and eat crap to be expecting any guns. I’m only human, going through a phase, I’m working on it, ok.
In my first article about kettlebells and curling I wrote
Most gireviks will give you the look and grunt if you mention bicep curl and kettlebell in one sentence. If you’re real lucky, you’ll be able to walk away without getting a kettle ball thrown at you!
and it’s true, but maybe they’re slightly changing, if not now, they will after reading this article and watching the video.
If you normally curl a 25kg dumbbell, don’t expect to be curling the same weight with a kettlebell, the weight distribution is so different and challenges your muscles differently. But seriously, if you’re not convinced, grab a kettlebell half the weight of what you normally curl and try all the angles I showed at a slow and controlled pace, go for 12 reps for each variation and then tell me if you don’t feel a difference between a dumbbell and kettlebell. It’s almost as if a truck hit you and all your anterior upper arm muscles got a beating at places you didn’t know existed.
Did you know that the prime mover of elbow flexion—curling—is not your biceps? Seriously! It’s the Brachialis, which is not the same as the Bicep Brachii. The Brachialis is the prime mover for elbow flexion and is positioned deeper under the biceps.
Did you know that you have 3 muscles where most people think you only have your biceps?
- Biceps brachii long head (AKA biceps)
- Biceps brachii short head (AKA biceps)
- Brachialis – prime mover for elbow flexion
If you missed the video at the top of the page, here it is again. Don’t forget to like and share, leave a comment or ask your question below. How you hold the kettlebell and control the movement is key for all these exercises.
Check the old article about kettlebells and bicep curls here.