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Kettlebell Arm Workout: Exercises For Building Strong Arms

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Kettlebell workouts that target arms is great for running form and endurance. Kettlebell Arm Workout: Exercises For Building Strong Arms www.runnerclick.com

Runners, get ready to work out those arms. While we often focus on strengthening our legs, building strong arm muscles is also important. And one of the best ways to do so is by a good kettlebell arm workout.

A kettlebell workout is just what we need when looking to increase strength without always using various machines at the gym.

The kettlebell is ideal because the runner doesn’t need a gym membership or even various dumbbells at home. It’s one weight that does so much for the arms.

What Is A Kettlebell And Why Should Runners Use It?

Kettlebell workouts are great for building endurance in runners.
Photo by Mateo Vrbnjak on Unsplash

A kettlebell consists of a cast steel or iron ball that has a handle attached on top.

It could look intimidating but is easy to use once the runner knows exercises to do and proper form.

Make sure that the weight isn’t too heavy. With some exercises the runner can really feel the burn, so know what you can handle.

The main use of a kettlebell is for weight lifting. It’s used instead of dumbbells or other weighted machines.

While great for arm muscles, it can also be used to strengthen the legs and lower back.

Runners benefit from a kettlebell workout in multiple ways. One study found that after just 12 sessions of kettlebell workouts, female soccer players had an improved oxygen intake by six percent compared to those who did a circuit training program.

For runners, not only does a kettlebell workout increase oxygen intake but it also helps build endurance. It’s also a great cardiovascular workout that is all about explosive movements which in turn makes runners faster over time.

So think of it as a great way to tone muscles, but also a workout for the heart and lungs.

Kettlebell And Strong Arms For Running

A good kettlebell workout is important to build strong arms. And strong arms is important for running.

More specifically, a strong upper body means being a more efficient runner. This is because there is a more efficient transfer of energy from the legs to the rest of the body. The swing of the arms helps support form and the legs.

Even more, is the importance of strong shoulders. Strong shoulders provide the ability to propel forward.

As a result, the runner can run faster and without using as much energy.

The Best Arm Exercises For Runners: Kettlebell Edition

Try this kettlebell arm workout for runners which helps to strengthen muscles, focusing on the arms but including other key muscle groups as well.

Arm Row Plank

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

This is the type of exercise runners need. For starters, it’s a modification of a plank. And runners know just how beneficial planks are.

This exercise is great for strengthening the core, but it also does wonders for balance.

Get into a plank position, hand on the floor and on the toes with back straight and butt tucked in. Work the deltoid muscles (the shoulder muscles) by lifting the kettlebell in one hand to the side of the ribs, bending the elbow. Then lower back down and repeat on the other side. This is one rep.

Overhead Press

This is a simple yet extremely effective kettlebell arm exercise.

Start with the kettlebell in one hand and raise the palm to the chest, bending the elbow so that the ball part is against the upper arm.

Then raise the arm straight over the head. Lower back down to the start. Repeat a few times then switch arms.

Kettlebell Arm Workout For Runners

Tricep Extension

This is a classic move, but this kettlebell workout works on posture. This is because it helps to straighten the spine and rotate the shoulders.

But at its core, it’s all about the triceps.

Do this kettlebell move by holding its bar with each hand and raising overhead with arms straight. Bend the knees a little and inhale, bending the elbows so that the kettlebell is lowered behind the head.

Slowly bring it back up on the exhale.

Kettlebell Front Raise

Front raises are great for strengthening deltoids, specifically the anterior (front) delts.

Do this kettlebell workout move by holding it in both hands, raising it to reach eye level. Do this slowly and feel the muscles working to lift the weight.

Then slowly reverse and bring it back down.

Kettlebell Bicep Curl

This exercise replaces dumbbells for the kettlebell. If there is only access to one kettlebell, complete a set with one arm then switch to the other. If at the gym with access to two of the same weight, then put one in each hand.

With palms up and arms fully extended down, but not completely straight. There would be a slight bend. Slowly raise the kettlebell as the elbow bends. Don’t raise too high, just at about 90-degrees.

Move slowly to prevent the kettlebell from slamming against the forearm.

Hammer Curl

This is another bicep kettlebell workout, but it also works the forearms and the muscles in the hands. It requires strong wrists.

A word of the wise is to go lighter for this exercise. Also, keep sets low.

It’s done by holding the kettlebell sideways, one in each hand. The ball part should be away from the body and fists are closed and tight around the top rounded corner of the handle.

Start with arms down with a slight bend. Raise the kettlebells, bending at the blow to form a 90-degree angle. Then lower back down.

Make sure there is a slight bend at the knees and chest it up.

Image by Corrie Miracle from Pixabay


These are just some of the various kettlebell arm workouts runner can do. Other popular moves include front squats using the kettlebell, kettlebell swings, deadlift with the weight, windmill and even kettlebell Russian twists.

These all work various muscles like glutes, quads, and core.

Incorporate a kettlebell workout on strength training days concisely to see changes to running power, efficiency, stamina and speed.

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