Kettlebells and Arm Wrestling

In Kettlebell Mastery by admin3 Comments

Thought I’d go into another question today. This one is from Olof in Sweden

Hi Logan

I really like your blog and all you put in to your different sites. By occasion the former 5 time world champion master in Arm wrestling com by my small shop ( its so new so we just put it in order for the moment ) looked at our Kettlebells, told us he never heard about KBs before.

But, he was thrilled, and want me to start training the local Arm wrestling club with Kettlebells.

What sort of work out would you suggest for these athletes?

Best regard Olof

Thank you, Olof. This is a good question. And here’s why. It delves into the topic of when you should be using what tool.

If the guy is the 5 time world champion, I think the best advice would be to stick with what he’s knows. It must work!

However much I love kettlebells, in this case, they are not best suited to the job.

This ties into the discussion of functional strength. His function is to put other people’s arms down. To build that function you need stronger arms, wrists and hands.

From what I’ve seen of high level arm wrestlers, in their training they do lots of curls in various positions and lots of hand work.

The kettlebell does not lend itself to being curled. Yes, you can throw a towel around the handle and curl, but that’s not what it‘s best at.

There are ways you could use it to help out, but once again it’s not the best tool.

If you want to use the kettlebell for general fitness and strength just stick with the basics for these athletes. The swings, snatches, presses, etc.

On top of that they could do their specialization work (which should of course include lots of arm wrestling).

Though it may not be what you have wanted to hear, I hope it helps.

In strength,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Remember you can ask your questions here



  1. Hi Logan
    I would have thought the Bottoms up press (BUP) would be a good movement for arm wrestlers. Also from what I know about Arm wrestlers they need all over strength not just arm strength, similar to steel bending, so any core work, stuff that strengthens the shoulders would all be good, so I’m thinking a routine based around some heavy grinds such as Get Ups Bottoms Up Press, Other presses with different grips would work – Cheers Mike Capper RKC
    Cheers Mikework

  2. Yeah Mike. I didn’t mean to say that kettlebells couldn’t help or that arm wrestlers only need strong arms. They do need full body strength because arm wrestling is a full body sport, just the weak link tends to be the arm and hand.

    The drills you mentioned could be very helpful. Plus just holding a kettlebell in the rack and generating tension could undoubtedly help the starting position.


  3. Grand Master Girevoy sport ,coach Filikidis is an incredible strong man with multiple world records in kettlebells ,accomplished being 59 years of age and still strong as very few in the world . He still competes in arm wrestling very successfully and also recommends bottoms ups presses for arm wrestling.

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