Upper Body Kettlebell Workout: Workout of the Week




The Basics: This is an upper-body kettlebell workout. Do this workout after a quick cardio session on a treadmill, elliptical, or rower, OR you can incorporate cardio by doing all exercises below for 12 reps, then 10 minutes on a machine three times in a circuit. 

upper body kettlebell workout with Nikki Veit Seesaw Press with kettlebells


Start with a kettlebell in each hand, starting at your shoulders. Legs shoulder width apart. Press the left arm reaching up to the ceiling, then bring the bell back to your shoulder and press up with the right arm. Do this for 12 reps on each side.

Nikki Veit Kettlebell Row with kettlebells


Start with your kettlebell on the floor just before your right foot. Standing in an easy lunge position with your right leg forward and your left leg back with your leg resting on the ball of your foot, rest your forearm on your right slightly bent thigh.

Reach with your left arm and grab the bell, rowing it to your stomach, keeping your spine straight while retracting your shoulder blade and flexing your elbow. Bring the kettlebell back to the floor without touching it, and then row back up—12 on each side.

Nikki Veit Snatch.png 


Place the kettlebell between your feet. Start with your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart, hinge at your waist, and swing the kettlebell back between your legs with your right arm.

Immediately reverse the direction and drive through with your hips and knees, accelerating the kettlebell upward. As the kettlebell rises to your shoulder, rotate your hand and punch straight up, using momentum to receive the weight locked out overhead—12 reps on each side.

Nikki Veit Press & Extend 1.png

 Nikki Veit Press & Extend 2.png


Start with your legs shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebell with both hands, palms facing in. Start with the bell at chest height, elbows bent. Press both arms up so the kettlebell is above your head. Bend your elbows to lower the bell behind your head, keeping your triceps stable. Raise the bell above your head and fall back to your chest height. Repeat 12 reps.

Why Kettlebells Are Important Exercises 

Kettlebells may be a bit awkward, but they have some fantastic benefits. Here are the top benefits of exercising with kettlebells. 

Cardiovascular Fitness

Kettlebell exercises are known for their ability to provide an effective cardiovascular workout. Movements like kettlebell swings, snatches, and high-intensity intervals can elevate your heart rate, improving cardiovascular endurance.

The dynamic nature of these upper-body kettlebell exercises challenges the cardiovascular system, enhancing oxygen uptake and overall cardiovascular health. Incorporating kettlebell training with continuous and varied movements can be an excellent way to add a cardiovascular component to your fitness regimen while also building strength in multiple muscle groups.

Flexibility and Mobility

Kettlebell workouts often involve exercises that require a wide range of motion, promoting flexibility and range of motion in muscle groups. For instance, the Turkish get-up is a multi-step movement that engages various joints and muscles, enhancing flexibility in the shoulders, hips, and thoracic spine.

The fluid motions in kettlebell exercises contribute to improved mobility, making them valuable for individuals looking to enhance their overall range of motion during kettlebell training.

Functional Strength

Functional movements mimic activities performed in daily life, and kettlebell training is excellent for developing functional strength. Kettlebell exercises, such as upper body kettlebell exercises, often involve compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

This type of training helps improve coordination, balance, and strength in a way that is applicable to real-world activities like lifting laundry, kids, and other household items.

Focusing on functional strength in kettlebell workouts can have practical benefits in performing daily tasks with greater ease and efficiency, especially in an upper-body workout.

Core Stability

Kettlebell exercises are known for their effectiveness in targeting the core muscles. The dynamic nature of movements like Turkish get-ups, windmills, and kettlebell swings engages the core throughout the range of motion.

This not only strengthens the abdominal muscles but also works the stabilizing muscles around the spine. A strong core is essential for maintaining stability and balance, both in everyday activities and more advanced athletic movements, making kettlebell training a comprehensive approach to building strength and core stability.

For additional guidance, check out the complete kettlebell workout video below. You can find everything you need to complete the Workout of the Week at your nearest Chicago Athletic Clubs location. If you want even more workout plans designed by our Chicago fitness experts, consider joining the monthly CAC online training program. This program lets you access a full month's worth of workouts designed to meet any fitness goals. For workouts personalized to your fitness goals, you can also schedule your personal training session with one of our Chicago fitness experts. Contact CAC to learn more today!



Personal Training - Get Started Now!