Loosen Up Stiff Shoulders with the Kettlebell Arm Bar

As I discussed a few weeks back in my face pull video, a lot of clients and athletes struggle with shoulder mobility issues.

As such, we need to constantly be widening our training toolbox if we want to help those people move and feel better!

The kettlebell arm bar is yet another exercise that you can pull out of the toolbox to make sure you keep your shoulders feeling great, but at least initially, it can seem sort of scary due to the position of the kettlebell.

But in this short video, I show you exactly how to perform this exercise!

After you’ve watched the video, here are a few things to remember:

  • “Where do I keep my eyes?” Head position depends on comfort level during the exercise, and how kinesthetically aware someone is of their body in space. If you’re new to the exercise, keep your eyes on the ‘bell at all times. If you’ve done it a bunch and own the movement, feel free to take on a more “neutral neck” alignment.
  • Own the ‘bell. When it comes to any kettlebell movement, you have to think about owning the ‘bell. Don’t allow it to roll back in your wrist, and think about being able to “punch” your knuckles to the ceiling.
  • REACH! The final piece of the puzzle here is reaching. I like to think, again, like I’m punching towards the ceiling to engage serratus and open up the mid-back.

The kettlebell arm bar is an awesome exercise for keeping the shoulders feeling great. And while it definitely needs to be respected, when done well, it could hold a place in many clients and athletes programs.

All the best,

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  1. Hi Mike, just curious what your thoughts are on performing the exercise with the kettlebell bottoms up, as part of a warmup?


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