Want bigger and stronger biceps but only have 10 minutes and a kettlebell available? Here’s a workout you can do in ten minutes which targets all the different heads of the biceps as well as some other related muscles.
A 10 minute biceps kettlebell workout is enough for beginners and intermediate exercisers to make their biceps bigger/stronger. A combination of reverse curls, bicep curls and hammer curls done with kettlebells targets all the different heads for optimal growth.
Below you can find an example workout that targets all the muscles in the biceps and can be done in 10 minutes.
10 Minute Kettlebell Biceps Workout
Here is an example for a biceps workout that takes 10 minutes. It’s good for beginners or a quick touch up workout for a little more advanced exercisers. Mind you, it’s not easy. You do one set of each of the three exercises after each other and only rest after that. This is tough but good for muscle growth, endurance and to save time.
|Bicep Hammer Curl||3×12||160|
|Rest||1 minute after every superset||120|
You might notice the word ‘superset’ in the chart above. This means you do one set of each of the different exercises in the superset (three sets in total) before resting. For clarity, you do one set of overhead extension and then a set of Tate presses without resting in between. Then rest after finishing both sets. After resting, repeat two more times.
3×12 means 3 sets of 12 repetitions. Repetitions are the amount of times you do the movement. Sets are an amount of repetitions you do without rest in between. You might have to adjust the amount of repetitions for the weight kettlebell you have available. You should do enough repetitions where it is challenging. Stop when you can only do 1-3 more.
If 12 repetitions is too much, try to get a lighter kettlebell or reduce the amount of repetitions. However, if you can do less than 8 reps, you really need a lighter weight.
Supersetting these exercises will mean you get a really strong burn. It’s not easy to get through this, especially in the beginning. If you’ve got a bit more time, you can increase the amount of rest time between supersets or add 1 minute of rest between all sets.
Kettlebell Biceps Exercises
You can see three different exercises in the workout above;
- Reverse Curl
- Kettlebell Curl
- Kettlebell Hammer Curl
You can find the explanations of how to perform the three biceps exercises in this post (click). They target the different parts of the biceps for complete development. The reverse curl targets the Brachii and Brachialis which lay under the lower part of the biceps and on the lower arm. They don’t directly target the biceps but help build bigger, stronger arms.
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The normal curl targets the long head of the biceps and the hammer curl targets the short head which means these three exercises work all the muscles in the front of the upper arm.
That’s why these three exercises are the best combination in my opinion. You target all the muscles in the front of the upper arm which means the most strength and muscle gains.
TIP: If you have an adjustable bench, do the seated incline version of the curl and hammer curl. It’s a bit more effective. You do need an extra piece of equipment (the bench). It’s not necessary to buy one but if you already have one, use it.
How Quickly Can You See Results From This Workout?
Let’s say you do this workout two or three times a week, how quickly can you start seeing results? It depends on if you’ve already been training biceps or not. Complete beginners will see good results within a few (3-4) weeks.
If you’ve already been training the biceps, it depends. In case you’ve been training them consistently and recently, you’ll have a similar progression as before, maybe a bit faster if the workout above is better than what you’re doing now. Still in 4-6 weeks you should see some results.
People that have trained their biceps a while ago and had bigger arms but not at the moment will see pretty good results quite quickly. Muscle memory is an interesting thing that allows you to get back to strength and size that you had before much quicker than someone that never had it before.
Of course all these are just guesstimates and they can differ depend on your specific situation, current training level, your diet, recovery and genetics. Getting the resistance, sets and reps right is also very important.
Biceps Programming And Progression
How often should you do this and how can you progress? Progression is very important, it allows you to continuously overload your muscles the right amount so you keep getting bigger and stronger.
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Especially when starting out, getting the right weight is important. You should use a weight that is just heavy enough so you can finish all the reps and sets in the workout. Yes, that will take a bit to figure out how heavy that is exactly. The first time, use a weight you think is two steps lighter than you can do. If that is easy, next workout, take the next step up. Do this until you run into a weight that is challenging.
Don’t worry about starting a bit lighter. Especially when working out for the first time, starting light is not a bad thing. Just get used to the movements and working out and build a solid base. Starting too heavy means you probably won’t do the exercise the right way and you learn it the wrong way from the beginning. You’ll likely also get very sore and skip the next workout. Starting slow is going to lead to more consistency down the line and consistency is they key. Big muscles aren’t grown from one workout session.
A big part of getting bigger and stronger is slightly increasing the load over time. Just enough so it stays a challenge for your body but you can still properly finish the workout. If you’ve successfully finished the workout twice with the same weight, see if you can move up one weight the next workout.
Kettlebells usually go up in at least 1 kg increments which is quite a big increase for the biceps but in the beginning stages of training the biceps, this should be possible.
Training Volume and rest periods
However, if increasing the weight isn’t so easy anymore, there are other buttons you can turn. Those buttons are amount of reps and sets and the rest periods in between. However, all these things will lengthen your workout so if the 10 minutes is a hard limit for you, this gets difficult. However, if a 2-3 minutes more, this is a good option.
First, lengthen your rest periods by 30 seconds each. That allows your muscles more time for recovery and thus more force production. This does skew the workout a bit more towards strength instead of size but it’ll be a very minor change.
When increasing the rest periods is not enough, don’t keep increasing it. Go back to the shorter rest periods AND the lower weight. But, increase the amount of repetitions per set up to 15. Adding an extra set is also an option or both.
More total repetitions at a lighter weight tends to be better for muscle growth but not as good for strength increases and vice versa. However, switching up training methods towards one side can help you break a plateau on the other side as well. Strength and muscle size aren’t completely correlated but bigger muscles don’t hurt when you want to be stronger.