How to develop upper body mass using kettlebells

Trifocus Fitness Academy - kettlebells
Personal/Fitness Training Blog

People who cycle, run and use their legs for sports are often looking for a way to balance the strength in their legs with their upper body strength. A very efficient way to do this is to incorporate workouts using kettlebells into their routine to build their upper-body mass.

Because of their shape, kettlebells are a great way to work your arms, shoulders, back and core. Here are some exercises which you can include in your workout in order to reap the benefits of kettlebells:

Warming up – Slingshot

Kettlebell slingshots warm up your shoulders, forearms and upper body. It also helps you get used to the kettlebell weight before going into a more intense workout.

Keeping your chest up and hips still, rotate the kettlebell around your body. Your arms should be kept straight to avoid overloading your biceps.

Change direction every 10 reps and do about 50 reps in each direction.


Kettlebell windmills challenge your shoulder stability and work your core muscles.

With a kettlebell firmly gripped in your right hand, raise your right arm over your head. Keep your arm locked and your wrist straight.

Make sure that you take a step, with your left foot, out to the side of your body so that it is slightly ahead of your right foot. Your rear leg should be straight and take most of the weight.

Reach down with your left hand towards the front foot, while keeping it straight.

Alternate sides and repeat about 15 reps on each side.

Regular Row

Kettlebell regular rows build muscle and strength in your back and core.

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, lean your upper body forward.

Make sure you lean far enough forward so that you are not rowing upwards and not too far forward that you place too much strain on your lower back. Keep your mid-back muscles activated and your weight back on your heels so you feel the tension in your hamstrings and glutes. Ensure that your shoulders stay away from your ears and down towards your hips.

With a kettlebell in hand and your arms hanging straight down, pull your arm back and up as if your elbow is being pulled towards the ceiling. The kettlebell should end up tucked in between your thigh and hip.

Return the kettlebell to your starting position and repeat 15 times. Alternate and do another 15 reps.

Half-Kneeling Press

The kettlebell half-kneeling press exercise develop your shoulders, triceps and core muscles.

In a half-kneeling position with your butt tight, upper body upright and abs engaged, bring your right hand with the kettlebell to shoulder level. Keep your elbow close to your body. Then push the kettlebell overhead.

Lower the kettlebell back to your starting position and repeat 15 reps. Alternate and do another 15 reps.

These four kettlebell exercises are guaranteed to assist with building your upper body strength by engaging your arms, shoulders, back and core. Work them into your normal routine to balance the strength of your upper and lower body. This will help stabilise your entire body.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

To find out more about exercising with kettlebells, you really need to do our kettlebell course. For more information, please follow this link.

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