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Top 3 Kettlebell Curl Variations – Generation Iron Fitness & Strength Sports Network

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kettlebells

The best ways to curl a kettlebell

When it comes to arm training, many times gym goers gravitate towards equipment like dumbbells or barbells and even cable machines but overlook another piece of equipment that can help pack on muscle mass, kettlebells. That’s right, they’re not just for kettlebell swings and other functional exercises, you can use these old-school exercise machines, curls included.

It’s no secret that so much equipment exists and is so widely available, that it can be difficult to know what to use for your workouts, whether you’re at the gym or working on building a home gym, what to buy. Regardless of the use case, looking into options for gym equipment can always help you open your eyes to different exercises and variations. And when it comes to kettlebells, we can’t ignore what they bring to the table.

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Dorian Yates kettlebell training
Image courtesy of Envato

Kettlebells are attractive pieces of equipment, as they offer a unique grip that is perfect for strength development and high intensity exercise, while the grips on dumbbells and barbells are not as welcoming to such exercises. Kettlebells are great, as they give us the ability to improve all areas of our gains, both strength and looks, with one versatile and affordable piece of equipment.

We’ll dive into the benefits of kettlebells and explore how they can be used for different bicep curl variations.

Benefits of kettlebells

When it comes to kettlebells, it’s important to take note of the many benefits associated with this fitness equipment option. Knowing exactly what they can do can help you use them to their full potential.

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Promote strength and power: Kettlebells are great for improving power, which can be transferred to other lifts. They force the user to focus on stability, balance, and the mind-muscle connection, which really tenses the muscles and forces the body to adapt in both strength and aesthetics.

Better balance, stability and coordinationWeight distribution on kettlebells is very different than on a dumbbell or barbell, forcing you to focus on the mind-muscle connection and really work on improving your technique and form for greater coordination and stability.

This not only affects our training and performance, but also everyday life.

Simple and convenient tools: Kettlebells are pretty simple in that they don’t involve changing weight. They’re also easy to use, making them great for workouts as they offer more versatility to boost your results. As you build strength and stability, you can start acquiring more dumbbells to add to your rack and increase the intensity of your workouts, resulting in better results.

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Kettlebell Curl Variations

Kettlebell chalk powder
Image courtesy of Envato

When it comes to doing kettlebell curls, there is no right way to do it. You can do multiple variations that will incorporate different parts of your muscles, let’s break down the different variations of bicep curls you can do with kettlebells.

Kettlebell hammer curls

First on the list, it’s almost guaranteed to make your forearms explode as much as your biceps. Kettlebell hammer curls will require you to drop the weight by about half of what you would normally use for hammer curls as these are incredibly demanding. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, as the lighter weight combined with constant tension on the muscles, will leave your biceps absolutely sore by the end of each set. Kettlebell hammer curls are something that guarantees you a sensation you are not used to.

To complete the movement:

  • Grab the kettlebell as you normally would
  • Bend your elbows and curl the weights until your forearms are just above parallel to the floor with your knuckles and the bottom of the kettlebell is pointing towards what’s in front of you
  • Lower and repeat

The movement ends with the kettlebells in an extended lever arm position, and is very difficult but effective for putting constant tension on the biceps and forearms throughout the entire movement.

Standing kettlebell biceps curl

This is a pretty simple movement, as it’s the same as a regular standing bicep curl that you would do with a barbell or dumbbells. You can do them alternating or together, and the kettlebell forces you to focus on the stabilizing aspect of things.

To complete the movement:

  • Grab the kettlebell as you normally would
  • Bend elbows and curl weights until forearms are just above parallel to floor with palm facing up and bottom of kettlebell is facing the ground
  • Lower and repeat

Incline Kettlebell Curl

Just like incline dumbbell curls, you’ll need an incline bench for this movement, and they can be done simultaneously or one at a time. Incline curls in general are a movement that will isolate the biceps and really tense them, but now with the use of a kettlebell it pushes you to focus on stabilization and the mind-muscle connection.

  • Sit on an incline bench at about 60 degrees
  • Grab the kettlebell as you normally would
  • Bend elbows and curl weights until forearms are just above parallel to floor with palm facing up and bottom of kettlebell is facing the ground
  • Lower and repeat

You’ll also need to drop the weight a bit on this one to really get a good squeeze throughout the movement. Another thing you might want to try is incline dumbbell hammer curls, these will be even harder!

Our recommendation

If you happen to be in the kettlebell market, whether you’re stocking a home gym or adding to inventory at a real gym, it can be difficult to know which ones to buy.

ONNIT Kettlebells

ONNIT Kettlebells

ONNIT Kettlebells are high quality and versatile to optimize workouts and meet your training needs.


ONNIT Kettlebells offer versatility and help optimize your workouts. They serve as a premium quality product for all your training needs as they are gravity cast for durability and consistency of weight plus a powder coat finish allows for great grip.

Finishing kettlebell curls

kettlebell workouts
Image courtesy of Envato

Overall, kettlebells are such an underutilized piece of equipment. They bring a variety of benefits to the table with their incredible versatility and ability to stress muscle groups that you typically may not get with standard dumbbells or barbells or even cables. Muscle recruiting with kettlebells is very different and opens the door to even greater gains. When it comes to choosing what you want to use for your workouts, don’t forget to add these great elements.

Will you try kettlebell curls?

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