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Upper Body Kettle Bell Workout - Beginner/Intermediate

by Sárka-Jonae Miller
See more articles by Sárka-Jonae Miller

(The Best Years in Life) Kettle bells are a great way to work the upper body with little equipment or space requirements. Using simple moves and a wide range of motion you can easily target your biceps, triceps, shoulders, back and chest with a short workout. Start with a kettle bell heavy enough to require some effort to lift, but light enough you can make it through a minimum of 12 reps per set.

Kettle Bell
Floor Press

Lie flat on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor in line with your hips. Holding a kettle bell in your right hand, raise your right arm straight up towards the ceiling. Slowly lower your elbow to the floor, keeping it in line with your shoulder. Reverse the move and raise the weight back to the starting position for one rep. Repeat on the left side after you complete a set.

If this move feels too easy, try a seesaw floor press. With kettle bells in both hands, complete the move on each side using a seesaw motion, so one elbow is on the ground while the other hand is fully extended in the air. Alternate until you hit 12 reps per arm.

Kettle Bell
Clean and Press

Stand with a kettle bell in one hand and your arms in neutral position hanging at your sides. Bend your knees slightly as you clean the kettle bell by curling your bicep and raising the weight to shoulder height. Next, press the kettle bell towards the ceiling until your arm is fully extended above your shoulder. Reverse the move by first lowering the kettle bell to your shoulder and then returning to your starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Make the move a total-body toner by starting with the kettle bell on the floor and adding a squat to pick it up and set it back down at the beginning and end of each rep.

To find out more or to order, click the above image or click HERE.

Kettle Bell Plank Row

You may want a lighter kettle bell for the kettle bell plank row, especially if you are not used to holding a plank position. Holding a plank works your core, arms, and chest.

Begin in an uneven plank position on the floor, with one hand flat on the ground and the other grasping the handle of a kettle bell. Using your back and rear shoulder muscles, complete a row by drawing the elbow of the arm holding the kettle bell straight back towards the ceiling. Lower the weight back to the floor to complete one rep. Repeat on the other side.

If the move is too difficult, use a half plank position with the knee opposite the kettle bell on the ground for stability. This move can also be done using an aerobic step without risers to allow you to hold the kettle bell lower to begin and assume a flat, even plank position to start.

Aim to complete 12 to 20 reps per move for two complete sets. As your strength builds and you can easily perform two sets of 20 reps, add more weight. Then, raise the weight, go back to 12 reps, and add a third set. Make sure to check with your doctor before beginning a new routine.

See also:

Full-body Kettle Bell Workout in 3 Moves

Having a Ball with a Bosu Series – Cardio Workout

Having a Ball with a Bosu Series – Core Workout


Kettle bell Floor Press from
Kettle bell Clean and Press from
Muscle and Fitness Magazine
Kettle bell Plank Row from
Men’s Health Magazine


Berkey Water

About the Author

Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.



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