The Kettlebell Press

The Kettlebell Press (single & doubles) is an outstanding total body exercise that can build tremendous strength.  Notice we said, total body.  In order to get stronger, obviously, you need to press more weight.  To press more weight, there definitely is some techniques that needs to be in place for this to happen. 

First of all, you need to have a good clean.  If you missed our blog last week on the clean, here it is: 

If your kettlebell clean and RACK POSITION is off, your press is going to suffer.

Second, the wrist position needs to be neutral.  We have seen people struggle and have  pain with the press because their wrists are either flexed or extended.  To be honest, I have a pretty good kettlebell press and it actually hurts me if my wrist is in extension.  Keep the wrist neutral throughout the whole movement.

One of the most overlooked skills of the kettlebell press that gets overlooked is the foot work and tension.  When people start out learning to clean and press, there foot work after the clean is usually a problem.  After you clean the bell, especially a heavy one, you want your stance already in place.  When you clean the bell, there should be a slight pause, produce lots of tension and then press. Speaking of tension, that’s probably the most important.  The more tension you build, the heavier the press.  It’s really that simple.  Glutes, abs, and legs should all be tight.

I’m not a math major but a good kettlebell equation looks like this:

Good clean + wrist neutral + foot work + tension = good press

One more thing, when you’re locked out at the top of your press, the arm should be overhead.  From a side view, we don’t want to see the ear.  So if your shoulder mobility is off, work on that before pressing overhead.

Check out what a good press looks like here: 

If you have any questions on the kettlebell press or any of our programs, please contact us at