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The Best Four-Move Kettlebell Workout to Build Upper Body Muscles

Want to get a perfect upper body? Follow this four-move kettlebell workout to build upper body muscles, increase muscular endurance and core stability, and burn calories.

Daniel Murphy
The Best Four-Move Kettlebell Workout to Build Upper Body Muscles
Table Of Contents

Want to tone and strengthen your muscles and torch calories with minimal equipment? Try this 10-minute killer kettlebell workout using just four exercises!

Kettlebells are incredibly versatile—you don't need a full home gym set up for them. You can add them to cardio workouts or use them during strength training to gain muscle mass and power without breaking the bank. Make sure you have one of the best kettlebells available today to get the most out of your workout session.

If you're looking to target and strengthen your weaker muscles, unilateral training with a single kettlebell is the perfect solution. Not only can it help activate those inactive muscles, but it will also challenge your core strength while improving balance.

This article outlines the benefits of a four-move kettlebell workout and how it can help you build upper body muscles.

Benefits of Kettlebell Workout in Building Upper Body Muscles

The kettlebell workouts are great for building upper body muscles, enhancing power and muscle mass along with the other benefits listed below:

Increased Strength

Kettlebell exercises can significantly improve muscular strength, as the weight used for each exercise is usually more than what would be used with traditional dumbbells and barbells. This helps increase your muscles' resistance, leading tso improved upper body strength.

Improved Core Stability

Kettlebell workouts also help to improve core stability, as they require you to maintain your balance while performing the movements constantly. You can build strong abdominal muscles and a well-rounded physique by engaging all of your core muscles during kettlebell exercises.

Enhanced Endurance

Using heavier weights in kettlebell exercises also increases endurance levels over time. As these workouts are typically performed in a continuous flow, they are also great for increasing cardiovascular fitness and improving overall health.

Increased Range of Motion

Kettlebell workouts involve a wide range of motion that help strengthen the muscles in your upper body and increase flexibility. This is especially beneficial for those with limited mobility or recovering from an injury.

Improved Joint Health

The full range of motion involved with kettlebell exercises helps keep joints healthy by increasing blood circulation and reducing stress. In addition, using heavier weights can help improve bone density, reducing developing arthritis or other joint conditions.

Enhanced Posture

Regularly performing kettlebell exercises can help improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. When these muscles are weak, it can cause the spine to become misaligned and lead to back pain. However, strengthening these muscles through kettlebell workouts can help to improve posture and reduce discomfort.

Increased Calorie Burn

Because kettlebell exercises involve compound movements, they can help burn more calories and increase metabolic rate. This makes them an effective way to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, the intensity of these workouts can also be adjusted depending on your fitness level, making them suitable for both beginner and advanced athletes.

The Four-Move Kettlebell Workout

The four-move kettlebell workout is formulated as two couplets:

The First Pair: The Press-Up & Gorilla Row:


The press-up is a kettlebell exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and core. Maintaining proper form is important to ensure maximum benefit from this move.

How to Do It?

  • Start by getting into a standard press-up position with your hands holding two kettlebells (one in each hand).
  • Lower yourself down until your chest almost touches the ground.
  • Push back up using only your upper body strength until you are at the top of the push-up position again.
  • Keep your torso straight and avoid arching or sinking your hips too much as you lift and lower.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides throughout the movement.
  • As you press up, drive the kettlebells straight up toward the ceiling.

Gorilla Row

Gorilla rows are an ideal way to build your back muscles and an excellent substitute for the traditional bent-over, T bar, single-arm dumbbell, and single-arm dumbbell row exercises.

If you're looking for something new to jumpstart your strength training while helping you increase size, this is definitely the perfect option. With gorilla rows, it's time to go beyond what most exercisers rely upon - reach silverback level!

How to Do It?

  • Position two kettlebells on the ground, roughly hip-distance apart, with parallel handles.
  • Align them directly in line with your feet and take a slight bend at the knee as you hinge forward at the hips for an effective hold of both weights.
  • Move your knees to create space for each bell before clenching up your core to maintain a flat lower back throughout this exercise.
  • Grab one weight firmly and use it as leverage while rowing its partner towards your hips; keep that wrist locked while letting the arm guide you through this movement by leading from the elbow joint.
  • Lower the kettlebell to the ground, and then repeat on your other side.
  • When you have finished one set, continue alternating arms for each repetition.
  • Experiment with your head position when lifting weights to discover which option (looking forward vs. tucking the neck) is more comfortable for you.
  • Maintain abdominal tension as you bring the kettlebells close to your body so your spine does not excessively arch.
  • Ensure momentum isn't controlling the movement, and keep control of the kettlebells throughout each repetition.
  • If it feels like biceps muscles dominate while back muscles remain dormant, contemplate using a false grip where thumbs do not wrap around the handle of the kettlebells during exercises.
  • Do not let your head protrude too far in front when pulling weights above shoulder height; ensure proper posture at all times!

The Second Pair is the Kettlebell Clean & Strict Kettlebell Press

Kettlebell Clean

The kettlebell clean is a great way to build power and explosiveness in your upper body. The muscles worked in this exercise include the quads, hamstrings, shoulders, back, and core.

How to Do It?

  • Start with two kettlebells on the ground in front of you. stand with feet placed shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down, reaching out to grasp each handle.
  • Keep your elbows tight to your sides, press through your feet as you stand up, and 'clean' the bells by swinging them up to chest level while keeping them close to your body.
  • Lower the bells back down with control and repeat for desired reps.
  • Always keep the kettlebell close and protected from your wrists to stay safe. Additionally, ensure that your bicep is always near the ear during presses.
  • To ensure an effective and powerful lift, point your thumb backward while loading the rear of your body by driving from the heels. Keep the kettlebell close to you as if facing a wall, snap those hips with intent, and don't rely on your arm strength. Lastly, make sure not to lean back but keep that core tight!
  • To get the most out of this exercise, rotate your arm around the bell and keep it in a vertical path.
  • As you reach the top of its movement, engage your lat muscle by squeezing beneath your armpit for extra support.
  • Move with grace rather than forcefully banging against one another for optimal results to ensure a continuous flow throughout each rep.

Strict Kettlebell Press

The strict kettlebell press is excellent for building shoulder strength and size. Depending on your proficiency in the movement and range of motion, the exact muscles utilized for kettlebell strict press may vary. Generally speaking. However, this exercise requires strength from the deltoids (front, rear, and side) and the triceps.

How to Do It?

  • Start by standing upright with one kettlebell held at shoulder height (palms facing away from you).
  • Pushing through your shoulder, pressing the bell overhead in a controlled manner.
  • Lower them back down with control and repeat for desired reps.

The Bottom Line

Kettlebells are incredibly versatile equipment that can be used to build upper body strength and muscularity. The Best Four-Move Kettlebell Workout is a quick, effective routine for developing significant muscles in the arms, shoulders, and back. This routine consists of four exercises that use kettlebells to target specific muscles in the upper body.

Each exercise will challenge your core while working on other muscle groups like the chest, triceps, biceps, lats, and traps. With this full-body workout, you’ll experience greater overall strength gains and targeted benefits in the targeted areas. To get the most out of this workout, it’s essential to focus on proper form, practice controlled motion, and challenge yourself with progressively heavier kettlebell weights.

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Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy is a fitness enthusiast who has been exploring the fitness world for many years and is combining his passion for writing to create well-researched, engaging, and unique content

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