One Quick Way To Improve Your Kettlebell Press

by Kilo on June 16, 2011


Kettlebell Press - Nothing to it

The kettlebell press is a simple movement. You pick up a bell and put it over your head. What could be complicated about that?

If you answered “nothing,” good for you.

If you answered “wrong, there’s a whole lot to it,” my guess is that you sell kettlebell programs and methods.

When I teach my classes, the first thing I do for the majority of the movements is to demonstrate it and say “Do that.” This tends to help people gravitate towards a stance, grip, and range of motion that feels best to them. It puts them in a position their tissue can handle.

Then I simply see if there is anything that can be made better. Not better re: textbook form, but better for each individual person and what they’re capable of.

How do you improve a kettlebell press? Don’t overthink it. Overthinking usually involves getting distracted from the goal. The goal is to put the bell overhead.

But here’s how I was taught to press.

  • Your feet go here
  • Your hands go here
  • Here is how you breath while lifting the bell to the rack
  • Here is how you breath while pressing
  • Here’s what you do with your abs
  • Here’s what you do with your toes
  • Here is how you breath while lowering the bell

If I got any of these steps “wrong” I chalked it up as a bad press, despite having moved the bell overhead, which is the goal of pressing. The goal is not to stand a certain way, or breathe a certain way. The goal is to move from point A to point B safely and painlessly.

If you learned the way I did, I would suggest this one simple adjustment:

Try not to think about it and see if it helps. No hype, no preparation or ritual, just pick it up and move it from point A to point B. No forcing it.

Kenneth Jay, a former Master RKC and a formidable physical specimen, posted something very interesting on Facebook recently.

“If you have to force it, do you really own it?”

Results first, cues and effort later if needed.


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