Can You Do Bicep Curls With Kettlebells? (Curl Variations & Tips Here)
One of many questions that gets asked when someone who has used dumbbells for a period of time, or who are looking to purchase either dumbbells or a kettlebell ask…
“Can you do bicep curls with kettlebells bro?”
The short and most obvious answer is “Yes”, as you can pretty much curl anything as long as it activates the muscles concerned.
Let’s look at why you would want to and how you can use the kettlebell to do bicep curls, should you need or want to for any reason.
Can You Do Bicep Curls With Kettlebells?
You can absolutely do bicep curls with kettlebells. If you are looking to introduce bicep curls into your fitness regime and you already have kettlebells, you can do that (There are different variations detailed below). If you are thinking of buying a kettlebell specifically for bicep curls I wouldn’t bother, as its worth investing in dumbbells for that. However, if you did purchase a kettlebell, you could do a whole lot more with it other than bicep curls, which would justify the purchase should you do so, as kettlebells are a very versatile piece of equipment.
Why Use A Kettlebell For Bicep Curls?
A hotly debated topic among gym rats is “why would you use a kettlebell for bicep curls?” The answer is simple, if you want to specifically do bicep curls, then dumbbells are going to be a better option.
However, there are many ways in which you can curl a kettlebell (more on this shortly) and it will do as good a job as a dumbbell would.
The thing you have to remember is – weight is weight. Both will provide resistance.
Dumbbells typically come in finer increments, giving you better opportunity to progressively overload the muscle.
With kettlebells, you may only have the option of going from a light Bell to a heavy Bell.
For example, I have 10kg and 16kg bells, but my gym has dumbbells in smaller increments of 2kg.
You could argue the point that kettlebells are actually superior in certain lifts because of the offset weight, so that tension is always needed.
I get there’s two trains of thought, as the design of a kettlebell makes it the best tool for certain exercises such as:
- The swing
- Turkish getup
- Goblet squat
- Single-arm clean
- Overhead press.
For bicep curls or any general exercises for targeted hypertrophy, dumbbells are a little better and are less expensive.
Not that you couldn’t do this kind of training with kettlebells, but there isn’t much reason to specifically choose kettlebells for it.
Kettlebells really shine in ballistic and compound movements more than isolation exercises.
If you do kettlebell training you might wind up having bigger arms but it is not typically the goal, most people use kettlebells for power, strength or conditioning and aesthetic gains.
There are a number of bicep curl variations you can try if you have a kettlebell that will work the muscles the same as a dumbbell would and even some variations work the forearm more than a dumbbell would.
You also have the opportunity to do a bicep curl single handed or with both hands. It really is quite a versatile piece of equipment.
Squat and curl – What you do here is lower yourself down into a goblet squat and have both hands on the side of the kettlebell handle.
When you are in position, your elbows should be resting against the inside of your thighs. From here you can curl the kettlebell with both hands.
Preacher bell – This one is very similar to the goblet variation, but here simply sit down on a chair or bench and hold the kettlebell by its handle, then bend over until your elbow is once again propped up against the inside of your thigh.
You are then in the correct position to do a bicep curl as you would with a dumbbell. The one thing you have to consider here, is that if you are holding the kettlebell by the handle, it may move in your hand as the bell is being curled, which means it may feel uncomfortable or damage your palms.
One way to protect against this would be to wear gloves or you can curl the kettlebell by holding it by the bell itself. Doing the exercise this way means there won’t be any movement while holding and it gives you the same workout. Kind of like curling a cannon ball.
Towel curl – What you do here is thread a towel through the kettlebell handle and grab the towel.
This will look like a pendulum on a grand father clock. Then simply curl using the towel with one hand or you can also hold each end of the towel in each hand.
Hammer curl – Hold the kettlebell by the handle, as you would hold a carrier bag by your side. From here, curl the kettlebell as you would a normal dumbbell hammer curl. The difference with doing this with a kettlebell, is that it will give the forearm a great workout in the process. Just be aware of that, as they will be burning by the end of your workout.
Palm down curl – This bicep curl works the same as a standard bicep curl with a dumbbell, the only difference is that you are holding the kettlebell palm down when you curl.
This will again give the forearms a great workout in the process. Just make sure you don’t yank the kettlebell too hard and fast, which may make the kettlebell swing and bump against the under side of your forearm.
As you can see from the variations above, you can do bicep curls with a kettlebell if you wanted to and it will do just as good a job as its dumbbell counterpart.
If you enjoyed this, then please check out the YouTube channel, with over 50 workouts which include the use of kettlebells, resistance bands, dumbbells and even body weight exercises too.
Don’t forget, I will be adding more workouts weekly to help you stay fit and healthy at home with just the use of a kettlebell.
With workouts of all types, for all fitness levels. You know that we have you covered, so stay tuned for more.