Kettlebell Press Tutorial
The Kettlebell press is a classic test of strength. The video and text below will teach you how to perform it correctly.
Clean the kettlebell into the rack position. Remember your press is only as good as your clean.
By performing a good clean you will be ready to set yourself up into a good wedge position. If you need a reminder on how to perform the kettlebell clean you can click the link to the tutorial here. Kettlebell Clean tutorial
The wedge is a key technique I use with my strong for life program to assist pressing technique. The wedge optimises the joint angles and greatly reduces the risk of injury, cheating and any potentially dangerous technique. The wedge also minimises power leakages and creates a stable pressing base.
To create the wedge, start in the rack position and connect the upper arm holding the kettlebell to the rib cage. The forearm should be straight all the way through to the wrist and knuckles with the handle of the kettlebell as low as possible in the palm. Next think about griping the ground with your toes, squeezing your quads/thigh muscles and pulling up your kneecaps. Clench your glutes and brace your abs. Finally draw your shoulder away from your ear and squeeze your lat muscle under your arm. This should create a feeling of being compact, solid and a little shorter. Your are now wedged in and braced ready for the press.
Once you have the wedge position set up you want to be conscious of the correct trigger to press the kettlebell as effectively as possible. The trigger can be thought of as a turbo boost, helping you to press the weight safely and with real strength. Just before you are ready to press the kettlebell breathe into the sheild (click this link for more information on breathing into the shield) and clench both fists, feel the whole body light up and then press the kettlebell by pushing the elbow through to the wrist, bracing the whole body and letting the breath out in a hisss.
A simple way to remember the correct pressing technique is to push yourself away from the kettlebell and flare the elbow when your fist is passing the top of your head.
After the press pull the kettlebell back down into the wedge position. Pulling the kettlebell back to the wedge should feel like doing a one arm pull up. By keeping the connection through your body it will stay protected from injury and strong.
5. Bottoms up press
A great drill to develop your kettlebell pressing technique is to press the kettlebell upside down or bottoms up as it’s often called. By holding the center of the handle any uneven movement or lack of control will be punished with the kettlebell flipping over. The bottoms up press is a perfect example of a self correcting drill by encouraging you to keep the forearm and wrist straight.