Get Strong Pecs, Back & Arms With These 9 Kettlebell Chest Workout Ideas

Woman outside kettlebell workout

Kettlebells are among the handiest and most versatile pieces of exercise equipment to work out your upper body. Yet, many people may not know how to make the most out of them.

To help you with that, here are 9 of the best kettlebell chest workout ideas that will help you improve not only your pecs but your back and arms as well!

There has been many studies on the benefits of training with kettlebells and the history the kettlebell design has been around since the 1700s.

Let’s dive in to check each one of these brilliant kettlebell chest workout exercises!

1. Kettlebell Halo

Let’s start with one of the easiest kettlebell workouts that are suitable for all age groups, whether they’re teens, adults, or even seniors.

We like that the kettlebell halo doesn’t include sitting on the floor and can even be done while sitting on a chair.

The exercise involves a rotary motion that targets a variety of muscle groups, including the pecs, deltoid, triceps, and some core.

How to Do It

  1. Ideally, you should begin the workout by standing up with your feet apart by a natural distance. However, you can also do it while sitting on a low-back chair or while kneeling on one knee.
  2. Hold a light to medium weight kettlebell up with both your hands on the handle, and lift it at eye level.
  3. Slowly orbit your head with the kettlebells by moving them behind your head. Make sure to keep the elbows close to the body to keep the triceps engaged.
  4. Reverse the direction and return back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the steps but in the opposite direction
  6. Each rep of this exercise includes going in one direction, then returning back to the original position, then going in the opposite direction. 

2. Kettlebell Floor Press

There aren’t many kettlebell exercises that work the chest as well as the standard kettlebell floor press does.

In fact, this exercise doesn’t only target pectoralis major, but it also works the pectoralis minor, giving you a balanced-looking chest. In addition to pecs, the exercise is also great for working out your deltoids and triceps.

How to Do It

  1. Start by lying down with your knees bent on the floor or on an exercise mat. Both your feet and your back should be flat on the floor.
  2. Hold the kettlebell in each hand so that each kettlebell is hanging to the outside of your forearms and your palms are facing each other, which is known as “underhand grip”.
  3. Rest your arms in that position so that your elbows are touching the floor, then press both bells up while stretching your arms completely.
  4. While your arms are hanging up towards the ceiling (or the sky, depending on where you workout), pause for 1 to 3 seconds, then slowly return the weights back down by bending your elbows while retracting them.
  5. You complete one rep each time you press the kettlebells up and return them back down in a 90-degree position.

3. Kettlebell Single-Arm Floor Press

The single-arm kettlebell floor press is quite similar to the previous one, except that it focuses on each arm separately. Similar to the previous one, this one targets the pectoralis muscle (major and minor) as well as the deltoids and the triceps.

The focus on one arm is ideal for beginners, seniors, and those with a weaker grip and need to perfect the movement of the workout.

How to Do It

  1. Start by lying down with your knees bent on the floor or on an exercise mat. Both your feet and your back should be flat on the floor.
  2. Hold one kettlebell in a single hand with an underhand grip like the previous exercise.
  3. Press the arm holding the bell up while stretching it completely, then pause for 1 to 3 seconds.
  4. Bend back your elbow on its way to the ground.
  5. Repeat the same step with the other arm.
  6. You complete one rep each time you press the kettlebell up and return it back down in a 90-degree position, then repeat with the other arm

4. Kettlebell Bent-Over Row

The bent-over row is a medium-difficulty exercise that is excellent for training your lats, triceps, biceps, deltoids, core, and glutes to a lesser extent.

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your feet at a hip-width distance from each other and hold a kettlebell normally in each hand.
  2. Bend your knees forward and push your butt back while keeping your back and neck straight all the way.
  3. Do a row motion with both of your arms at the same time, so that your elbows are higher than your back, and keep them close to the body to engage the triceps.
  4. Pause and squeeze your shoulders, then return back slowly to the initial position by extending both of your arms back to that position
  5. Repeat for more reps.

5. Kettlebell Single-Arm Bent-Over Row

A less difficult variation of the bent-over row to help you focus on each arm separately. The single-arm bent-over row works similar muscle groups to the original row, which are lats, triceps biceps, deltoids, core, and glutes.

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your feet at a hip-width distance from each other and hold a kettlebell normally in one of your hands.
  2. Bend your knees forward and push your butt back while keeping your back and neck straight all the way.
  3. Do a row motion with the kettlebell-holding arm, so that your elbow is higher than your back, and keep it close to your core to engage the triceps. 
  4. Pause and squeeze your shoulder, then return your arm back slowly to the initial position
  5. Repeat for as many reps as you should on each arm before switching to the other side.

6. Kettlebell Overhead Press

The overhead press is another popular exercise that is very easy to do and works the traps, shoulder, deltoids, and triceps.

How to Do It

  1. Start by holding a kettlebell in each hand and keeping your feet at a natural distance.
  2. Rest the kettlebells on your shoulder while bending your elbow.
  3. While maintaining your knees stretched, press both bells overhead at the same time, stretching both arms completely.
  4. Without pausing, return the kettlebell back in the starting position, ready for another rep.

7. Kettlebell Russian (Single-Arm) Push Press

The single-arm push press is a more challenging and rewarding single-arm press because you do it while standing up to workout deltoids, triceps, and traps, as well as lower body muscle groups, such as glutes and quads.

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your feet at a shoulder-width distance from each other, holding a kettlebell in a single hand like you’re holding a bag over your shoulder.
  2. To initiate the exercise, bend your knees a little and push your kettlebell-holding hand up to stretch your elbow. Make sure that you straighten your legs as you push up in an explosive motion.
  3. Without pausing, return the kettlebell back in position while bending your knee again in preparation for the following rep.
  4. After completing all reps with one arm, switch the kettlebell to the other arm and do the same number of reps.

8. Double Kettlebell Push Press

The double kettlebell push press is pretty similar to the single-arm push press, but you do it with both arms. It targets the glutes, quads in addition to triceps, traps, and deltoids.

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your feet at a shoulder-width distance from each other, holding a kettlebell in each hand so that both elbows are pointed and completely bent.
  2. To initiate the exercise, bend your knees a little and push both hands up to stretch your elbows. Make sure that you straighten your legs as you push up in an explosive motion.
  3. Without pausing, return the kettlebell back in position while bending your knees back again in preparation for the following rep.

9. Kettlebell Renegade Row

A challenging exercise that uses a single kettlebell and targets the lats, core, and deltoids primarily along with the arms.

How to Do It

  1. Start in a natural plank position with your elbows fully stretched and holding a single kettlebell in one hand. The feet should be a bit wide to maintain stability.
  2. Pull the hand that holds the kettlebell up in a rowing motion (or as if you’re yanking a chainsaw motor) while maintaining the elbow close to your shoulders and your core tight.
  3. Slowly lower the arm back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat all the reps with one arm before switching to the other side.

A Few Words on Using Kettlebells

It’s important to understand the weights of kettlebells in relation to the exercises you want to use them for. We have covered more on choosing the right kettlebell weight here.

For older adults or seniors swinging great lumps of metal around might seem daunting but after an initial air of caution there is no doubt about the benefits of using kettlebells in midlife or beyond. Just keep a grip on your grip.

And for beginners or midlifers looking to stay fit or get fitter – yes you can with kettlebells – check out our article on using kettlebells for older adults.

group of older adults doing kettlebell chest workout outdoors

Kettlebell Chest Workout Conclusion

This wraps it up for today’s guide that walks you through 9 of the best kettlebell chest workouts to improve your pecs, back, and arms!

Keep in mind that you can use one specific workout on the list or combine these exercises for variation and even better results!

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with your friends and let us know about your favorite kettlebell exercises in the comments below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.