Watch as Kettle bell Kings trainer Mike Salem and our good friend Justin Andrews from Mind Pump Media break down the essentials for a high-quality kettlebellpress. In their training experience, Mike and Justin have seen a number of people fail to maximize the use of their muscles and put themselves at risk by using the incorrect form.
Justin notes that some bodybuilders perform a “half- press,” in which the arm is only half-extended above the head, in an attempt to better isolate certain muscles, but this variation is not necessary and may even be less effective overall. By utilizing the correct form for your press, you not only work these muscle groups but you also generate a safer movement that reduces the risk of injury.
Although this is the standard position, you also have a range of angles you can place your arm in that isolate different parts of the upper body and allow you to perform more repetitions. The kettle bell clean and press works the legs, hips, back, shoulders, and arms, making it a popular move among competitive weight lifters and casual exercisers alike, although it is not recommended for beginners.
It is thought to have been used for strength, power, endurance, and agility training by Russian police and military as well as athletes and bodybuilders. The kettle bell has historically been made from cast iron, but it is now sold with a vinyl or rubber coating as well as in uncoated form.
As kettle bell workouts have grown in popularity among personal trainers, group fitness instructors, and coaches, they have attracted a following among people looking to lose weight and tone up as well as those looking to develop their muscles and athletic skills. The kettle bell clean and press is used by both populations for its emphasis on dynamic full-body training, which is thought to be useful in expanding athletic abilities such as speed as well as in burning a larger number of calories than traditional strength-training exercises.
A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century. They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century.
The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ). Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb).
The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century. Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements.
Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot. By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.
The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training.
Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.
The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.
Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.
It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.
The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.
Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.
A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.
By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.
One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.
This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.
In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.
Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.
The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.
Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position. An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom.
Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead. Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again.
Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor. The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk.
These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps. The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms. The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms.
Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion. The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception.
Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles. Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts.
With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension. Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance.
Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.
The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well. One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle.
21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04). “The kettle bell way: Focused workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities”.
Blast Fat & Build Strength With Innovative Equipment!” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22).
“Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF). Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”.
^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”. The handheld design and versatility of it has made it one of the most popular tools for strength and conditioning.
Kettle bells are used in a variety of ways for strength, conditioning, athletic performance and rehabilitation. For developing all around strength, endurance, and total body athleticism, the kettle bell is hands down the most effective training tool you can find.
The design of the bell with its off-centered weight also makes it a phenomenal tool for shoulder rehabilitation. Depending on your fitness level and experience in training this can and will vary, but these are great starting points to begin your kettle bell journey.
There are a wide variety of kettle bell exercises that are actually great for strengthening the back. Kettle bells are used in a variety of ways for strength, conditioning, athletic performance and rehabilitation.
For developing all around strength, endurance, and total body athleticism, the kettle bell is hands down the most effective training tool you can find. For many people it's a different type of “cardio' than their used to, make no mistake; the kettle bell will give you conditioning like you've never had before and with far less impact on your body than running or sprinting.
This is why we've put together an in-depth guide on how to do the kettle bell clean and press, so you can practice this fantastic compound exercise without injuring yourself. It works a huge range of muscles once the clean and the press (two separate exercises) are performed together.
The exercise itself involves ‘cleaning’ the kettle bell, which means lifting it from the floor into the ‘rack position’ in a smooth, swift motion. Not only is the kettle bell clean and press great for building muscle and conditioning your strength, but it is also a pretty effective cardiovascular exercise.
Our stabilizing muscles are challenged when we work out with kettle bells, unlike when we use the weight machines at the gym (which usually require us to be seated). The first thing you should know before learning how to do the kettle bell clean and press is that it’s essential to master both sections of the exercise separately before trying to piece them together.
To safely bring the bell down, focus on the controlled movement that you used to press it upwards in the first place. It may sound a little silly, but it’s true that combining the exercises to make the kettle bell clean and press can be no easy task if you’ve only just started out.
This doesn’t require adding anything new to the exercise, but we’ve got some tips for you below to help you along in finding your feet in the kettle bell clean and press world! Practice the movement slowly at first, and really get to grips with the breathing technique as this will ensure that you’re getting the most out of the one-arm clean and press with the kettle bell.
Be sure to pop your hips forward during the swing to help you to drive the kettle bell into the rack position Remember your technique: keep everything just as tight as it is during the regular clean and press ! As you’ll notice in the exercise demo, there is a significant difference between the kettlebellpress and the kettle bell jerk.
Using a slight squat/dipped position, drive the bell upwards whilst hinging your hip simultaneously (to add more power/driving force) Compound exercises are those that challenge multiple joints and muscle groups and therefore maximize the overall energy expenditure of your body.
This means that they’re more useful for shedding excess fat and building more muscle mass than isolation exercises! Whether you’re looking to add this exercise to an existing workout routine or you’re only just starting out, it’s understandable that you want to know the kettle bell clean and press muscles worked.
We know it’s a lot to take in, but hopefully, you can now see that the kettle bell clean and press muscles worked are pretty abundant in comparison to other singular strength training exercises. Now that you no longer have to ask ‘what muscles do the kettle bell clean and press work?’, it’s time to move onto our next section...
Long-duration cardio isn’t always for everyone, and we frequently hear clients tell us that it was the reason why they gave up on exercise in the first place (before wanting to give it another shot). The kettle bell clean and press benefits include the fact that it is a great way of cardiovascular exercise.
Not only is it engaging in terms of being fun and energetic, but it shocks the cardiovascular system into life as well as working multiple muscle groups. This means that you can use it to holistically gain muscle mass and strength in all areas, and improve your cardiovascular fitness simultaneously.
We know that we keep bringing long-duration cardio into the equation, but it’s a well-known fact that weight training is better than low impact exercise for burning calories and excess fat. It is also this process that burns extra calories through the energy that it takes to complete it, and the reparation time can last for around 48 hours.
The fact that it works many muscles is also good to mention here, as it causes damage to them during one singular exercise, and consequently strengthens them in the process. The main reason for this is that you can improve your explosiveness and power production with regular practice, which benefits your performance on the whole.
Last but not least on our list of kettle bell clean and press benefits is the fact that it can easily be performed at home. The great benefit of performing the kettle bell clean and press at home beside the financial side of things is that depending on your lifestyle, you could be more likely to stick to this exercise routine when using it away from the gym.
From this expert quote, we can see that you’ll need willpower and a willingness to push past this initial conflict before you can say that you’ve established a sustainable and effective workout routine. One of the main kettle bell clean and press benefits is that the exercise can certainly help you to reach this point in your fitness journey.
In our opinion, using Conical’s take on psychology and our own experience as exercise experts, the best option for getting into a real routine is to ease yourself into it, and to find something that you enjoy. We hope you’ve got a good idea of how to do the kettle bell clean and press after reading our in-depth guide, as well as how it can be beneficial to your workout routine.
Athletes who are successful at GS sport have perfected their technique to maximize the effectiveness of each lift and to use the least amount of energy possible. Preserving energy with each repetition allows athletes to lift heavier weights at faster paces.
Each point is earned but completing a specific exercise correctly and achieving “lockout”. Lockout is the term used for when the athlete stops the momentum of the kettle bell in the overhead position for a brief moment in time.
If the judge deems that the exercise was not completed properly or the athlete did not fully stop the momentum of the bell in the lockout position, or the knees or elbows were not fully extended, the judge will issue a no-count. Essentially the athlete went through the entire process of a repetition, expended energy that is not rewarded with an increase in score.
Almost all kettle bell athletes have experienced this and it can be heartbreaking, it is definitely something to be avoided with proper training and technique! Points are not awarded or deducted for style or individual lifter differences, only for proper execution of the exercise and achievement of lockout.
While these may vary depending on the federation, gender, and level of competition the lifts are as follows: snatch, half-snatch, double half-snatch, one and two arm long cycles, and biathlon (One set of single or double jerks and a second set of snatch). Some events will also include triathlon, long cycle, jerks and snatch scores all combined for one award.
All competition style kettle bells are the same size but vary in weight based on how hollow or filled the inside with the bell is. In traditional GS Sport (10 minute sets) lifters may only change hands once while longer marathon sets typically allow lifters to change hands as many times as they want.
With home workouts on the rise or upon entry into a brand-new gym, you might ponder which one is better: dumbbells or kettle bells? Dumbbells and kettle bells both offer advantages and benefits, often depending on the exercise you’re performing.
These include the kettle bell swing, the snatch, windmills, the clean and press, and any plyometric movement. Researchers concluded that kettle bells may provide trainers and coaches with an efficient and effective tool to improve cardiorespiratory fitness quickly.
This may provide more comfort when it comes to core moves or jumping movements since you can hug it close to your body. In particular, these may provide the best kettle bells or the best dumbbells for a home gym, helping you save on space.
You also hold the weight in the middle with dumbbells, which offers a bit more balance and support. In contrast, kettle bells can feel a bit less balanced when compared to the simple dumbbell.
Many experts recommend dumbbells to individuals that are new to weight training workouts. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult should include 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity and strength training two times per week for optimal health.
Meanwhile, dumbbells offer various ways to isolate and train different muscle groups throughout the body. If your current goal is weight loss, building muscle is an excellent way to burn fat.
Muscle tones and defines the body, as well as burns more calories at rest than fat does. In addition, kettle bells may eventually provide the challenge you need to break through weight-loss plateaus, as well as offer up that cardio component.
Start hinged forward at the hips with a straight back and the kettle bell in between your legs. At the same time, drive your hips forward by squeezing your glutes and standing up tall.
Holding the kettle bell close to your chest, slowly lower into a squat by sticking your butt back as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keeping your back straight, pull the kettle bell toward your chest while pinching your shoulder blades down and in.
Similar to the normal chest press, lie face up on a comfortable surface. Kettle bells are great in providing an additional challenge, helping you reach your goals much faster.
Much like we went over in the dead lift and squat, the overhead press is a great movement to build strength and it complements well with the kettle bell. Traditionally the overhead press is done with a barbell or dumbbells; however, the kettle bell can provide a different, and even advantageous, way to get the most benefit out of the exercise.
Most overhead pressing variations with the kettle bell start from the rack position which we discussed in our hard style squat series. The kettle bells can be supported neatly and close to the body making it much more comfortable to rest in the rack position.
With the barbell, where the hands and arms are fixed, it is nearly impossible to slightly adjust the path of the weight overhead to compensate for shoulder mobility limitations. For pressing success it’s important to start with a good rack position and ground connection.
Doug Farinelli is the owner of Rise Above Performance Training demonstrates the Overhead Press Set up in an athletic stance with the kettle bell in the racked position where the handle sits low on the hand, wrist is straight and the bell close to the body resting in the pocket. Overhead pressing does require a good amount of shoulder mobility and stability to achieve success in the lift and with our daily lives constantly pulling us forward, this might be a struggle.
A little rotation in the shoulders, hips and even the torso can help the stubborn bell reach the top of the mountain. Moving the two bells simultaneously does not allow for much compensation in the surrounding joints which is why I feel the technique used to carry out this lift is so important to its success.
A fun variation using two bells is to press one while completely resting the other in the rack position and then switching between sides. I have seen the strongest of people traditionally press a lot of weight be completely humbled by this variation.
In the push press use a slight knee dip and drive up with the hips; this will create upward momentum where you can actually bump the kettle upward off the chest to get the bell moving in the desired direction towards the strict lockout at the top where the hips and knees are straight at the finish. In the jerk the initial motion of the knee and hip dip is essentially the same as in the push press however the goal is not the strict lockout immediately following the leg movement.
In the jerk the bell is only moving upward with momentum ever so slightly and the body drops underneath it allowing for a strong squat to complete the repetition. You now have all the tools needed to perform a proper kettle bell overhead press and numerous variations to make your shoulders strong and resilient to injuries.