Want to get big arms and improve grip? This 3-move kettlebell arm workout is what you need

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3-move kettlebell workout for big arms
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you want to get big arms there are plenty of ways to do so. Improving grip – a common health metric that could theoretically have beneficial effects on everything from lifting weights to living longer – is more difficult. But if you have a kettlebell ready, this simple, three-move kettlebell workout  can help with both getting big arms and having better grip strength.

• The best kettlebell exercises you are NOT doing

You don't need the the best dumbbells or best barbells to get big arms. In fact, for this fast 3-move kettlebell arm workout, you'll only need a pair of the best kettlebells or just the one if that's all the best home gym equipment you've got. Arm workouts won't get much faster, simpler or more efficient than this one; as long as you put the effort in yourself. 

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The best kettlebell workouts build functional muscles as well as improve flexibility and agility. The mighty 'bell is also great for losing weight and following a regular kettlebell workout regime – any type of resistance training, for that matter – can effectively help you boost metabolism too.

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How to perform this 3-move kettlebell workout for big arms

Kettlebell workouts come in many shapes and sizes: we already wrote about a 2-move full body kettlebell workout as well as a 4-week, 10,000 swing kettlebell workout that build muscles and melts fat before. In this workout, however, we'll focus on sculpting big guns and we'll try to do it as simple as effective as humanly possible.

We'll use three compound exercises, each focusing on the three big parts of your arm: biceps, triceps and delts (or shoulders). We didn't include a separate exercise for the forearm: holding the kettlebell will improve grip strength and therefore increase forearm girth as it is. If you want to enhance the forearms even further, try the aforementioned 10,000 swings kettlebell workout.

After a few minutes of warm up, perform each exercise continuously for 30-40 seconds with 15-20 seconds break in between exercises. At the end of the 3-exercise cluster, give yourself a 30-60-second break and repeat. For best results, do 3-4 clusters per workout.

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3-move kettlebell workout for big arms

Double kettlebell overhead press

In depth: Overhead press how to

Much like the standard overhead press, double kettlebell overhead press will strengthen your delts the most but also the triceps, the pecs (chest muscles) and the traps too. Standing overhead press will also strengthen your frame and especially the core which you will use quite a lot for stabilisation.

When performing kettlebell overhead presses – or any 'push' kettlebell moves – make sure your wrist is in line with your forearm, just like in the video above. If you can't hold the 'bells without dropping your wrist, you might want to consider using a lighter kettlebell until you build up the strength.

If you only have one kettlebell, do single kettlebell overhead presses: do one side for 30-40 seconds then switch over to the other side without a break.

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Kettlebell upright row

In depth: how to do upright rows

Upright row is the perfect pull move for shoulders – as long as you do it right. Kettlebells are especially well-suited for upright rows as you can shift the position of the hand in the highest position, reducing the strain on the wrists.

One important thing to keep in mind when doing upright rows is not to pull up the kettlebell too high. You won't gain anything from pulling the weight up until it's in line with your forehead; instead, try to lift it up to a level where it feels comfortable to your wrist and use a slow, controlled movement.

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Double kettlebell bent over row

In depth: how to do bent over rows

Finishing of the cluster we have the double kettlebell bent over row. If you only have one kettlebell, much like in the case of the overhead press, feel free to perform this exercise unilaterally, doing one side first then moving onto the other side without a break.

Bent over row works the biceps and the back of the shoulders as well as the upper back, not only helping you sculpting big arms but a broad back too. When using kettlebells, use mainly neutral grip (palms facing 'in') or if you prefer some extra bicep activation, switch to underhand grip (palms facing 'up').

Keep your back straight (neutral spine) and bend over as far as your hamstrings let you. Really squeeze the shoulder blades as you lift the kettlebells but don't drop your shoulders even in the lowermost position. Chest should be open and shoulders wide all the way through. Feel free to bend the knees a bit too, no need to lock the them.