Two kettlebells, two dumbbells, one workout guaranteed to create defined upper-body muscle.

GIANT SET 1

  • Complete 15 reps of each exercise in the giant set.
  • Complete the exercises back to back with minimal rest.
  • Rest for 1 min at the end of the giant set.
  • Repeat for a total of 4 sets.

The Kettlebell & Dumbbell Workout for Upper Body Muscle | Men's Fitness

1a. KB Bent-over Row

  • Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from the hips, keeping your back slightly concave and your shoulder blades retracted throughout.
  • Hold the kettlebells just outside your legs, pull the weights up to your lower sternum, then lower with control.

1b. KB Upright Row

  • Stand holding the kettlebells at waist height.
  • Allow your elbows to flare out to the side and raise them as high as possible while keeping the kettlebells close to  your body. 
  • The focus on this exercise is to isolate the shoulders with a slow, controlled movement, and to keep elbows higher than the wrists at the top. 

1c. KB Single-Arm Snatch

  • Start with the bell on the floor, swing it back between your legs, hinge at the hips, then snap your hips forwards to put some momentum into the kettlebell.
  • As it passes chest height, pull your elbow back and ‘slide’ your hand around and under the bell to catch it on the back of your wrist.
  • Return to the start and repeat.

1d. KB Renegade Row

  • Start in a press-up position with your hands on the kettlebell handles.
  • Perform a press-up, taking advantage of the increased range of motion, then row one kettlebell up to your side, leading with your elbow and minimising torso rotation.
  • Lower the weight back to the floor and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
  • Perform as many reps as you can in the 40 secs.

GIANT SET 2

  • Complete 15 reps of each exercise in the giant set.
  • Complete the exercises back to back with minimal rest.
  • Rest for 1 min at the end of the giant set.
  • Repeat for a total of 5 sets.

The Kettlebell & Dumbbell Workout for Upper Body Muscle | Men's Fitness

2a. KB Press-Up

  • Assume a press-up position with hands on the kettlebell handles, holding your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Brace your core and lower with control, keeping your elbows pointing back rather than to the sides.
  • Press back up and repeat.

2b. DB Triceps Kickback

  • Bend forwards at the hips and keep your back in its natural arch
  • Start with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
  • Straighten your arms behind you, while keeping your upper arms as still as possible.
  • Keep your core braced throughout the move to maintain a neutral arch in your spine.

2c. DB Lateral Raise

  • Stand tall with a light dumbbell in each hand with palms facing.
  • Keeping your chest up and a bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to shoulder height, then lower back to the start.

2d. DB Biceps Curl

  • Hold dumbbells by your sides with straight arms, palms facing forwards.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top.
  • Lower them back to the start.


Baz Gouldsbury is a personal trainer and Les Mils instructor. Find out more at bg-fit.com.

Photography: @davestokesphoto

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