Kettlebells are a great tool for strengthening the arms and building strength and size in the biceps and tricep muscles. In this guide, we’re going to explain the exact exercises you should be doing with your kettlebells to get rid of those bingo wings!
Bingo wings are fatty deposits that hang from our arm in the tricep area (back of the arm) as such the best choice of exercise using kettlebells would involve triceps pressing exercises. Our choice of exercise would be the overhead tricep press using the kettlebell. The overhead press is one of the best arm exercises for growing the tricep muscle.It should be noted a diet formed around a calorie deficit that helps lose overall body fat would be the best way to get rid of bingo wings. However, a strength training regime using kettlebells can help build muscle (hypertrophy) which will give the look of a ‘toned’ arm.
Read on to find out how to do this exercise and why…
How to do an overhead tricep press with kettlebells
- Take a seated or standing position and hold the kettlebell over your head. Take a tight grip of the kettlebell to ensure you don’t drop it on your head!
- Slowly bend the arms at the elbows so the kettlebell is lowered slightly behind the head. (in line with the neck/back of the head), pause briefly in this position.
- Slowly extend the shoulder and arms so the kettlebell is back above the head. The arms shouldn’t lockout but be pretty much straight.
- Repeat for 10-12 reputations. (This is known as the working set).
- Take a minute’s rest or until the heart rate lowers. You can place the kettlebell on your lap or on the floor. Once you feel rested you are ready to go again.
- Repeat the working set again, do this for 3-5 sets total.
Why is the tricep press our choice of exercise for getting rid of bingo wings with kettlebells?
Bingo wings are essentially fatty deposits therefore the best method for decreasing the size of the bingo wing is a calorie-controlled diet to lose fat all over the body. Using kettlebells to help grow the tricep muscle of the arm will complement a calorie-controlled diet well.
The overhead tricep push/press shortens and lengthens the tricep muscle this creates stress in the triceps and as a result, the body will, will adapt and grow stronger and increase the size of the muscle, as such this will create the look of a toned arm.
What weight of kettlebell should you choose?
In order to create toned arms, the weight of the kettlebell needs to be heavy enough to cause stress in the muscle. The weight of the kettlebell helps add to the intensity of the workout and intensity is one of the biggest factors which dictates muscle growth.
As such we recommend using a kettlebell weight that is heavy enough so that you can just do your 10-12 reps. If you find that you can do 10-12 overhead push reps (short for reputations) with ease then the weight may be too light for you, if you can only manage 5-8 reps then this weight may be too heavy for you.
If you have no weights at all then you can check our guide to the best exercise for bingo wings without weights.
Why do we recommend doing 10-12 reputations for getting rid of bingo wings ?
When it comes to reputation range (amount of lifts we do), the number of reputations can determine the reaction by the body. A lower rep range with a heavier such as 1-3 reps will be mainly focused on strength, whilst a higher rep range such as 15-20 will be primarily be focused on endurance. The rep range of 10-12 has been shown by numerous studies to be optimal for building muscle (toning) which is what we are trying to achieve with the kettlebell to improve the appearance of our bingo wings.
Other arm exercises with kettlebells for getting rid of bingo wings?
Exercises that help improve the appearance of bingo wings are all upper body exercises involving the arms. Below we will list our top five kettlebell exercises you can do with the arms.
Kettlebell Bicep Curls
Grab a weight that you can perform 10-12 reputations with. Slowly lower the weight, before contracting the bicep and curling back up to the starting position. Top Tip: Slowly lower the weight down to the starting position this will stress the triceps more and help tone those bingo wings!
Repeat for 3-5 sets.
Again, use a weight that’s suitable for 10-12 repetitions. Bend at the waist so your chest is facing the floor. With your arm outstretched to grab the kettlebell and bring your elbow backward towards your midriff. Before slowly lowering the arms and the weight back to its starting position.
Repeat for 3-5 sets.
Are kettlebells better than dumbbells for bingo wings?
When it comes to getting rid of bingo wings the most important factor is the diet, and more importantly, a calorie deficit. This will reduce fat across the body. However, when building muscle or ‘toning’ the arms then we can use heavy resistance such as kettlebells or dumbbells. It doesn’t really matter which one we use, both are equally as good. Choose the one you feel is most optimal for grip, or whatever you have available.
How to get rid of bingo wings without kettlebells?
You don’t need kettlebells to get rid of bingo wings they simply allow us to build muscle to create a toned look. A better option would be simply to focus on diet and losing body fat. We can lose body fat by making sure we’re creating a calorie deficit over time. This will allow us to lose fat all over the body and as a result, the bingo wings will slowly disappear. Although it’s not nice to hear, bingo wings are essentially fat that has stored itself on the back of our arms. We cannot ‘spot target’ fat loss, there for the correct strategy is to lose body fat across the body as a whole, this will reduce the size of the bingo wings and help create an arm that looks leaner. However, adding in a few tricep and arm exercises into your upper body workout will certainly improve the appearance of your arms.
We can also perform various bodyweight exercises without kettlebells, to stress the muscles and improve the appearance. Below, we will list our favorite bodyweight exercises that can be performed by complete beginners.
Lying face down with the hands shoulder-width apart. Whilst keeping the core braced, bend the elbows and lower the chest to the floor before extending the arms and pressing away from the floor. This exercise works many muscles such as the chest, the triceps, the shoulders and even the core.
If you want an alternative that is easier to perform you can try our beginner’s alternative. Place your knees on the floor and perform the steps above. By placing your knees on the floor you are pressing less of your body weight this will make the exercise a lot easier.
Place your hands on the edge of a surface such as a table, chair, or even your sofa, Bend your elbows, and lower your body down before pushing yourself back up. This exercise will work the arms, mainly the tricep muscle as well as the chest.
What can I do in the gym for bingo wings?
There are many exercises you can do in the gym that will help with targetting the arms. But like we have said before, it’s always best to focus on diet and fat loss to improve the appearance of the arms. For this reason, we recommend joining in with a fitness class, such as body pump, or a HIIT class, or even running on the treadmill, this will burn calories and help towards your dieting goals.
However, if you prefer to lift weights, then it may be a good idea to base your workout around a structured gym program that targets the upper body. There are things in the gym you can use to help tone the arms such as resistance machines, weights (dumbbells and barbells), and even matted areas where you can go do some of our bodyweight exercises mentioned above.
Some gyms will also have swimming facilities. We’ve wrote a step by step guide breaking down the pros and cons on can swimming help bingo wings?
Will kettlebells help tone my arms?
Kettlebells will help grow the muscles in your arms, however, the majority of the toned appearance will come from having a lean looking arm. In order to achieve this, you will need to diet. If you want to ‘tone’ your arms always focus on diet first.
Are kettlebells good for women?
Kettlebells are good for both men and women. However, they are often associated with women because they can be a great tool for improving the appearance of the bum (the glutes), which is highly desired by some women. You will often see women’s fitness workouts focusing on the glutes and abs.