The 10 Best Kettlebell Arm Exercises For Women




Let’s make the best of it and start the week off on the right foot with a great workout! What do you say?

It seems that a lot of you are interested in kettlebell training, so this episode is for you! And there will be lots more in the future.

Believe it or not, kettlebell workouts are more than just swings and Turkish Getups! The sky is the limit, and I thought it would be fun to show a few kettlebell exercises demonstrating that.

You know, summer isn’t far off. So it’s important to start working towards that summertime body we all want now.

Let’s start with arms.

The exercises below can help you get the toned arms that you want to show off in sleeveless dresses and tanks. Arms that you are not embarrassed about waving around. Arms that make other ladies stop you and say, “wow, you look amazing!”

Kettlebells can help. Here are a few of my favorite kettlebell arm exercises. Watch the moves, and if you’re comfortable with kb training then give them a go this week… no, today!

10 Kettlebell Arm Exercises


The Moves 

High Pulls

High Pulls can help not only tone the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back but they are great for helping you learn the more advanced snatch (see below).

Make sure to get the elbow up high on the row. The bottom of the kettlebell comes up to be perpendicular to the wall in front of you. Once there, forcefully push the bell back out. Don’t just let gravity pull it down.

Squat With High Pull (Rectilinear High Pull)

An awesome total body move! Complete a squat, then upon standing, pull the kettlebell up while having the elbows go out. Row the weight until it’s at a height right under the chin.

Concentrate on form, keep the chest up, back straight and shoulders packed. Basically, don’t let them curl forward. And of course, engage the core!

Kettlebell Push-Up Renegade Row

These are so much fun, but pretty hard core. You’ll need two kettlebells of equal weight to complete the move.

Place the hands inside of the handles to keep the bells steady. If you’re using competition kettlebells, you might be able to keep your grip on the handles for the entire move because of their larger size and stability.

Complete a push-up (being up allows for great range of motion), at the top, grab the handle and row the weight up to the outside of the chest. Keep the elbow in close to the body and it rows up ward.

Repeat push-up and complete a row with the other arm.

Warning… as you get tired, it’s easy to let your butt drop and back arch. Focus on form and keep the core engaged.

Overhead Tricep Extension

Thought that tricep extensions could only be done with dumbbells and barbells? Nope! The shape of a kettlebell actually lends itself perfectly for doing tricep extensions.

Make sure to stand up straight, squeeze your butt, open your chest and plant yourself firmly to the ground.

When bringing the weight down behind your head, focus on keeping the elbows squeezed in to really make those tricep muscles know they’re working.

Keep the head facing forward, back straight and breath in with each repetition.

Military Press

I prefer a standing press over seated presses because they incorporate the abs and butt more for stabilization.

Start with the kettlebell in rack position (the position with elbow in and the bell right in front of the shoulder). From here, simply push the kettlebell straight up keeping the arm beside your ear. As you push up, rotate the hand forward.

Lower back down and repeat.

Single Arm Chest Press

You don’t need a bench to do bench press!

Lay on the ground, grab your kettlebell, and lift up so your elbow is still on the ground, but the weight is up.

Your elbow should be at around a 45-degree angle from your body. From here, push through your chest and arm to push the weight straight up while extending the arm. Keep the weight by your chest, not over your face.

Lower back and and repeat.

Standing Chest Press

A new twist for an old move! Get up off the floor and stand with feet firmly planted on the ground, shoulder width apart.

Start with the kettlebell right in front of the chest, elbows in by your sides. Breath deep, as you breath out, push the weight straight out in front. Keep the core tight and engaged to make sure the body stays straight and there is no arch in the back.

Return to start and repeat.

Standing Pull-Overs

Start as if doing the chest press above, but instead of pushing out in front, you’ll push the kettlebell up and over your head, keeping the elbows bent. Pull to return to your starting position.


These are so much fun!

Stand in the strong stance from above, holding both sides of a kettlebell. The kettlebell should be upside down. From here, rotation the kettlebell over your shoulder and around your head. As it goes back, the weight is turned over (so that behind your head it should be right side up). Complete a full rotation to return to start.

Just like the previous exercises… keep tight in the core!


A kettlebell staple. What I love about kettlebells is that they are anything but isolation moves. All of the exercises above are much more than just arm exercises… they work the core, the glutes, etc… and the snatch is no different.

Make sure that you have mastered the swing and the clean before attempting to try a snatch. If you aren’t comfortable with kettlebells yet, don’t do this move.

Basically, the moves is this: Complete a high pull, at the top of the pull, you will push through the kettlebell and take it all the way to the top of a press position).

Arms, shoulders, core, legs, glutes… you name it, snatches work it.

Your Arm Workout

If you’re a kettlebell lover like me, I challenge you to try all of these moves this week. Aim for 10-15 reps for 3 sets and see how they feel! More importantly, see how your arms feel.

Don’t have kettlebells?

No biggie, most of the moves can be done with dumbbells!

What’s your favorite arm exercise? 

This or that… Would you rather work arms or legs?


  • I don’t work my arms NEARLY as much as my legs. Now I want to get kettlebells!

    • Kettlebells are so much fun! And it’s important to get the total body balanced!

  • I really need to work on my single arm high pull, but I love snatches and presses. Thanks for the list of exercises, I hadn’t even thought of doing a standing chest press with my kettlebell and look forward to trying it!

    • The high pull is one of my favs. You will love the standing press, it’s a core killer too!

  • Sheena

    Oh man, I was just complaining about my flabby arms the other day 🙂 You read my mind!!

  • Kim

    I can’t wait to try some of these!! I always want to use my KB more but don’t always know what to do! These all look great/hard!

    • Grab that bell! haha, I love it because all KB work is hard but rewarding!

  • Looks difficult. I just started working out. Maybe using the kettle ball more appropriately should be one of my goals.

    • Yes, they are definitely something to work up to. You’ll get there! Be patient, and concentrate on form with your moves before progressing to picking up a kb. Congrats on getting your fitness on!

  • I’ve recently taken my first KB workshop. It definitely won’t be my last! Love the fun element they add to my workouts.
    And love the videos in this post (how did you do it?)

    • Congrats on the workshop! The videos are gifs my husband made, he says they are really easy to put together!

  • i’d rather work legs because they’re stronger for me, but it doesn’t mean i neglect my upper body! 🙂 all great exercises – my arms burn just from reading!!

  • I LOVE kettlebells… even though you are working your arms, you work your core too!

  • By the way, I’ve been LOVING your KB posts and the SF ones! I finally got caught up and just kept reading but didn’t comment. You guys rock! Hope your man is feeling better and back to full health! Keep up the awesome work – one of the best blogs I read concerning fitness and workouts.

    • Thank you so much Bonnie! Right back at you! He is feeling much better and I would say just about at 100% again! The trip was so amazing, we’re already planning our next trip out there.

  • Woo hoo kettlebells. I really like snatches! Halos are fun too I like to do those with a light weight to warm everything up. Love the post.

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  • Mary

    I love this website! You give such great help and info!! 🙂 I started doing these KB exercises about three weeks ago and am seeing some nice results already. I’ve got a ways to go with my fitness goal, but this was a BIG help. Thanks!!

    • Thank you so much Mary! I love that you’re enjoying the KB moves… don’t Kettlebells rock? Seriously, they can do so much for the body, so quickly. Way to go! I’ve got a great new workout coming this week so be on the lookout!

      What’s your favorite KB exercise so far?

      • Mary

        KB swings! So fun and effective!! 🙂

        • Mary

          Silly me! Let me re-phrase! KB swings are my best fav for KB in general. The ones I like best from this post would be Halos–lots of fun! Also the overhead Tricep Extension and Overhead Pullovers. Love how I can feel it in my triceps.
          I can’t wait to see your new workout! Thanks again!! 🙂

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  • Chloe A Rice

    What size kettlebell should I use for these exercises? I’m 5’9 165 lbs fit female.

    • I really can’t say Chloe, it’s all about your strength not about size. For most arm exercises I use a 26-lb kettlebell and for moves like snatches I use either a 35 or 44lb kettlebell. If you are just starting out, definitely start lighter, if you have multiple options, you can always go up if it feels too easy.

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