Have biceps curls burned you out? Tired of them already? Try curling with kettlebells.
There are several good reasons.
Whether you’re a novice or veteran of strength training, you’ll like using a kettlebell for biceps exercises.
A Different and Inviting Feel
Yes, kettlebells provide a new kind of feel to the hand and fingers.
The handles are usually thicker than those of dumbbells and pre-weighted barbells, as well as thicker than the diameter of straight bars and other fixtures that are used with cable equipment.
Many people will find this thicker feel more comfortable and appealing.
Different Lifting Dynamics
Curling a kettlebell is not the same as curling a dumbbell of the same weight.
When a person curls a dumbbell, the resistance is on either side of the hand.
In the case of a kettlebell, the resistance is situated below the hand and forces you to be more aware of exactly what is happening during the lift.
Kettlebells can be used when the dumbbells you want to work with are in use.
Rather than wait, go ahead and start working with the kettlebells.
Simply stand, feet about shoulder width apart, arms straight at your sides holding the kettlebells. Begin curling.
There is no need to try to bring the weight up as high as possible. Keep the upper arm vertical and move only the elbow joint.
Don’t move the shoulder joint if you want to thoroughly target the biceps muscles.
Maintain a tight grip on the handles for extra tension and flex the elbows to work the biceps.
Squeeze the handles at the top of the movement (even if the top has the forearm only parallel with the floor rather than above parallel), then lower with control.
At the bottom of the movement, the weights should be on either side of the body, rather than hanging in front of the body.
This means that the elbows should be on either side of the body, rather than digging into the front of the body, like some people (especially beginners) mistakenly do with dumbbells.
Concentration Curls with a Kettlebell
To do a concentration curl, have a seat, with the weight between the feet on the floor.
Legs are open, and the elbow of the lifting arm is against the inner thigh of the same side.
Pick up the weight and curl, keeping the elbow anchored against the inner area of the thigh, while the other hand is usually on the other thigh.
Release with control, letting the arm hang a second before flexing the elbow for the next repetition.
The higher a person raises their arm during biceps curls with kettlebells, the more awkward it will feel, due to the design of this instrument.
However, as already mentioned, it is not necessary to lift the arm (bringing hand to face) as much as possible.
A curl of just a 90 degree bend in the elbow is sufficient for an excellent training effect, as long as enough resistance is used and the release is controlled.
So if you begin feeling burned out or just plain bored with biceps curls, put a new and unique spin on them by picking up a kettlebell.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.