How to Do Kettlebell Curls Properly

Kettlebell curls is a standard weight training drill that targets the bicep muscles and works the tricep muscles to a lesser degree.

With kettlebells, you can do slightly advanced bicep curls. Kettlebell curls are technically bicep curls performed using kettlebells as additional weight.

Still, since you will be holding the kettlebell, most of the weight is below your hand, there will be more tension on the lower part of your biceps.

Also known as:

Targeted Muscles: Bicep Muscles

Requirements: Kettlebells

Level: Beginner


  • Grip two kettlebells and hold them by your sides with your palms facing inward.
  • Stretch down your arms and let them fall naturally, and remember to keep them perpendicular to the ground.
  • Lift the kettlebells in the direction of your shoulders. Hold them at the top and not in the middle. This way, the kettlebells will apply less pressure on your wrists and isolate the bicep muscles better.
  • Curl your elbows and ensure your forearm undersides press against your biceps. Ensure your shoulders are relaxed, your thumbs are up close to your shoulders and avoid swaying your hips and arms.
  • Maintain the contraction for a few seconds before you lower the kettlebells gently. When lowering the kettlebells, ensure you extend your hands full.
  • Repeat the process for 3-3 sets of the desired reps.

Even though the execution procedure of this drill matches that of other curl exercises, there is a major outstanding difference; positioning of the hands.


For this drill, ensure the kettlebell handles rest in the middle of your palms and not your fingers or your lower palms. This positioning lowers the kettlebells and prevents them from slipping or rotating.


Kettlebell curls define the biceps and tone them to size.

Due to their loading mechanism being sole leverage, the kettlebells retain tension for longer periods in this drill compared to other bicep workouts.

The bicep is rendered strongest when the elbow is at a 90-degree angle. The stretch and curl motion works the bicep muscles at the top and the lower arm muscles to a lesser degree.

Kettlebell curls improve the upper arm strength and maximize bicep hypertrophy and improve the momentum of compound movements.

You can arch your forearms to keep your wrists straight. This approach will apply pressure on your lower arms, but it is advantageous to the biceps since lifting lighter weights.

Kettlebell curls are adaptable and convenient. You can perform this bicep curl while standing to improve your core muscle engagement if you don’t have a bench.

You can alternatively do the exercise while seated to isolate the biceps if you have a bench. If you have only one kettlebell, it is possible to work one arm at a time.


There are variations of the kettlebell curls, including;


This bicep curl drill targets the bicep muscles. It is performed on a slanting bench or with the face facing down.

The inclined posture creates a perpendicular arm bearing that separates the biceps and minimizes shoulder muscle movement. You can use a cable machine if you wish.


  • Choose dumbbells of the desired weight that you can lift comfortably.
  • Lie on an inclined bench with your face facing down and your shoulders near the top part of the bench. Straddle your legs beside the bench.
  • Hang your arms in front of you and ensure they are vertical to the floor.
  • Position your palms forward and keep your elbows to your side.
  • Shrink your biceps and ensure your arms are bent fully. Ensure the upper arms are stationary and it’s only the forearms moving.
  • Bring the dumbbells down and make sure your arms are stretched fully. Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of reps.

This exercise is recommended for everyone fit to perform it. If you feel any pain during the exercise, then terminate the exercise immediately.


Get the best results out of kettlebell curls by avoiding the following mistakes:


Focus on the good process rather than rushing the process. Fast movement reduces the time under tension hinders your ability to gain strength and build the size of your muscles.

And limits you from getting the maximum benefits out of this drill. Lift and lower the weights gradually and take as much time as possible to execute the process.


Maintain the position of your elbows as you curl your arms. Ensure it’s only your lower arms in motion, and your elbows remain tucked to your side.

When your elbows move away from your upper body, it is an indication that you are lifting a lot of weight.


Avoid using your shoulders and upper body when lifting the kettlebells up because it can result in a swaying heaving motion.

Focus on keeping a straight posture with your shoulders at ease and ensure the movement is not initiated by the shoulders. Use lighter kettlebells to perform the exercise if this occurs.


Anyone can perform this drill unless they feel pain during the movement. You can feel a burning sensation or even fatigue after some lifts.

Take short breaks between the reps.

Do not assume extra reps if you feel tired. Rest for a few minutes before you commence the exercise again.

Do not start by lifting very heavy weights since it can result in elbow and wrist injuries. Start small and advance as you continue your whole workout routine.


Kettlebell curls are effective and an easy bicep drill that can be performed even at home and is convenient since it doesn’t require much equipment.

You can add this drill to your daily routine to achieve maximum benefits. With kettlebell curls, you can achieve the most benefits if your goal is to build your arm muscles.

If you desire many subsequent results, then kettlebell curls are the right option for you since you are familiar with using the training device of your choice.