Exercises I Love Doing and You Should Be Doing Too! – Single Arm Kettle Bell Overhead Presses

The Kettle Bell is an incredible tool that offers many benefits that the Dumbell does not offer.  But like I just said the Kettle Bell is One of Many tools to give you the best possible workout, and should be treated as such.

That being said Overhead Presses are one of my favorite upper body exercises.  This exercise should be done just as much (if not more often) as your Bench Press! (Yes I said it).  There is one catch though, ALL overhead presses should be done standing, NONE should be done sitting.  I would consider the seated shoulder press to be on the same level as benching in the Smith Machine.  It gives little or no benefit to the rest of your body and isolates the shoulders.  The truth of the matter is your body does not move in isolation in real life, your body moves as a unit and you should train it that way.  

Standing during the overhead press doesn’t just target the shoulders, think of all of the hip/core stability you need to posses to keep your body upright during the press.  

Now onto my variation (not really mine, just the one I like using):

The Kettle Bell starts in the rack position (see picture)


Notice how he holds the kettle bell in the picture.  Keeping it close to his chest with his forearm vertical.  Another little trick is your hand/wrist position.  First notice that his wrist is perfectly straight (not flexed or extended) and that his hand placement is so that his fist is facing his opposite shoulder (approx.).

This perfectly balances the kettle bell, it might take some practice for you to get used to the position.  

Next up is the press, here just imagine that you are punching the sky.  Your hand will rotate externally as you press up so that your palm is facing away from you at full extension.  Also ensure that the kettle bell is straight over your head, not in front of your head.

As you can see I keep my arm tight and close to my body in the Rack Position.  Then proceed to “punch” the sky with the kettle bell.  Make sure you stabilize your hips to prevent any movement in your lower body and get the kettle bell straight up over your head.

This can also be done with 2 kettle bells, but does not offer the same stabilization that the single arm does.  It works the stabilizers a little differently.


Hope everyone has a good weekend! 




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