The Kettlebell Push Press
Kettlebell push presses are one of the most popular exercises among weightlifters and bodybuilders. They have been used in Olympic Weightlifting since the early 1900’s and they were introduced into the United States by Bill Starr in 1952. Since then, they have become very popular with power lifters, especially those who compete at international level.
In the modern era, the push press has been adopted by many different types of athletes. Some use them to increase their strength and size while others do so for aesthetic purposes. However, there is no denying that these exercises are extremely effective in increasing muscle mass and strength.
A common misconception is that all push presses involve only one hand being pressed down against the floor or bench. In fact, some push presses require two hands to complete the movement.
The Benefits Of The Kettlebell Push Press
There are several benefits of using the kettlebell push press:
It increases your overall strength and size. It improves your ability to perform multiple repetitions without getting tired. It develops explosive power which allows you to lift heavier weights than if you did not use a heavy object such as a barbell or dumbbells. It is easy to learn, even if you have never performed weight training before. It is a great exercise for developing the triceps muscles as well as the chest, shoulders, and forearm muscles.
The Training Guidelines
There are three main guidelines to follow:
Ensure that your elbows point upwards throughout the entire movement. They should not be allowed to flail out to the side or be pulled behind your body. This will ensure you do not get injured and waste energy. Do not let your wrists bend in an awkward angle otherwise you may hurt them. Always ensure that you keep control of the kettlebell at all times, even when it is not being pressed.
Beginners should start by mastering the basic push press before attempting any other variations. Establish your grip on the handle while standing with your knees bent and core tight. Use one or two hands to grab the kettlebell. Next, extend your legs to come into a rigid position and straighten your back. Press the kettlebell upwards as you bend your knees and lean forward slightly.
Continue by pressing the kettlebell overhead until your arms are straight before bending your elbows and lowering it back down.
The most common faults that occur during the push press are letting the weight slip out of your hands or bending your arms too much. You should also avoid using only your arms to lift the weight.
Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Press
The bottoms-up kettlebell press is another variation of the push press. It requires you to begin with the kettlebell upside down (with the handle pointing downward against the floor). This is so that you can more easily catch it as it moves towards the top of the movement.
Begin by gripping the kettlebell handle with one or two hands. Next, position your legs in a divided stance so that you are balanced on each foot. Then, extend your knees and hips to lift the kettlebell off the floor. As you press it upwards, make sure that your arms remain straight and your elbows do not flail out to the sides. Pause for a moment at the top before lowering it back down to the start position.
If you are using one hand, your opposite hand should grip the kettlebell from the top. This will help to bring it to the correct position and allow you to push it upwards more easily.
Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Push Press
The bottoms-up kettlebell push press is another kettlebell push press variation. Unlike the bottoms-up press, you should not grip it with your opposite hand when you are pressing it upwards.
Begin by gripping the handle with one or two hands. Place your legs in a wide stance so that you can properly balance yourself. Press the kettlebell off the floor while keeping your arms straight and your elbow close to your sides. Continue by pressing it up until your arms are straight before bending your elbows and lowering it back down.
The bottoms-up kettlebell push press is similar to the bottoms-up press and you would use the same guideline of not using your opposite hand to grip the bell.
The jerk is another kettlebell push press variation. It has the same beginning movements as the push press but you bring it even higher so that your arm is fully extended behind your body.
Begin by gripping the kettlebell with one or two hands. Step forward so that the kettlebell is in front of your foot. Place your other foot behind you to provide balance. Extend your knee and hip to press the ball upwards. As you do this, drop your back knee towards the floor to keep your balance.
At the top of the movement, drive your hips forward and use your momentum to bring the kettlebell overhead. As you do this, drop your back leg down and return your foot to a standing position. Finally, bend your knees and hips to lower the kettlebell back to the start position.
The jerk can be a complicated movement for many people so you can start with a lighter weight until you master the movement. Use the same guideline as above and do not let the kettlebell slip out of your hands or let it fall.
The kettlebell swing is a single-arm or double-arm exercise that involves the hips and shoulders. It can be performed in a number of ways depending on your skill level. The most common kettlebell swing types include:
The two hand swing. This is the most common kettlebell swing and involves using two hands to grip the kettlebell. Grasp the kettlebell with two hands and position your legs in a comfortable stance. Hinge at the hips and snap them backwards as you bring the kettlebell forward. Keep your arms straight as you throw the kettlebell between your legs.
Your arm should finish behind you and your forearm should be roughly parallel to the ground. Finally, squeeze your glutes to reverse the movement and return to the start position.
The one hand swing. This is similar to the two-hand swing with the only difference being that you only use one hand to hold the kettlebell. Follow the same steps as the two-hand swing but use one hand to hold the kettlebell instead of two.
Double-arm kettlebell swing. This is another kettlebell swing variation and is most commonly used in Crossfit. Contrary to its name, you do not actually swing the kettlebell. Instead, you hold the kettlebell tightly against your chest and perform a single-arm swing. As one hand pulls the kettlebell back, the other hand pushes it forward.
As one hand pushes the kettlebell forward, the other hand pulls it back. You should not be swinging the kettlebell in a circle and you should keep your elbows tucked into your sides at all times.
Once you have mastered the double-arm swing, you can perform the same movement with one hand as you did in the single-arm swing. This will greatly improve your overall strength and power.
Kettlebell Clean and Jerk
The kettlebell clean and jerk is a relatively advanced kettlebell exercise that is a combination of the clean and snatch. It is great for developing explosive power and strength as well as working your entire body.
To perform the kettlebell clean and jerk, you will need a flat weight floor, plenty of room to move and two kettlebells. Choose weights that are suitable for you as this can be a strenuous exercise.
The first step is to perform a kettlebell swing. Take a wide grip on the kettlebell and pull it back between your legs. Then snap your hips forward and thrust your arm through as you throw the weight up in the air. As the weight reaches its peak, bend your knees and lift the weight into your chest or rack position. The weight should rest against your chest as you stand up straight again.
The second step is to perform a snatch. Take a wide overhand grip. Push your knees backward and bend your legs as you lean forward slightly and pull the weight to chest height. The finish the movement by thrusting your arms and the kettlebell forward. As with the swing, keep your elbows tucked into your sides as you pull and push the weight.
You can perform the snatch as one continuous movement but it is preferable to pause briefly just before the thrust. This involves lifting the weight from the rack position and pausing for 1-2 seconds before pushing the weight forward.
Once you are finished with the snatch, lower the kettlebell back down to the rack position and repeat. Once you reach the bottom of the swing, perform another snatch.
You will want to practice doing a single-arm swing as this is an essential movement for performing a one-arm clean and jerk safely.
When learning the kettlebell clean and jerk, you will need to ensure you are practicing the correct technique. It is essential that you do not rush this exercise as it requires a lot of strength and power.
The clean and jerk is a very technical movement and should only be performed once you are familiar with doing single-arm swings. If you try to perform a clean and jerk before mastering the techniques, you may injure yourself.
The kettlebell clean and jerk is the combination of two movements. The kettlebell snatch and the kettlebell swing. As with any exercise, the benefits are great however you must learn how to do it properly before you start adding weight.
This is one of the most difficult exercises but also one of the most beneficial for your core and legs as well as your upper body strength.
The kettlebell clean and jerk requires two kettlebells, one in each hand. It is essential to use the correct size kettlebells as it is very easy to strain muscles and joints otherwise. You should also learn the technique with a lighter weight before adding more.
Kettlebell is quickly becoming one of the most popular types of weights due to its versatility and wide range of benefits. There are many different types of kettlebell exercises that work different areas of the body.
Kettlebell exercises are a great way to build core strength and muscular endurance in the abdomen as well as the arms, shoulders and legs. They are easy to store and quick to set up so they are a great addition to any home or commercial gym.
The kettlebell clean and jerk is a powerful exercise that requires you to lift a heavy weight from the bottom position of the swing. If you do not have a good base of strength, this can put a lot of strain on your back and shoulders so it is important to build up to this movement slowly and carefully. You should start by just performing the kettlebell swing before you move onto the clean portion of the exercise.
The clean is the portion of the kettlebell clean and jerk where you lift the weight from the bottom of the swing to the top position for a jerk. This involves bending your knees and using your arm and wrist strength to bring the weight up to your shoulders.
The jerk is the portion of the kettlebell clean and jerk where you use your arm, wrist and shoulder strength to push the weight overhead. It involves lifting the weight from the shoulders to a position over your head where you can hold it for a second before lowering it back down.
Sources & references used in this article:
Kettlebells for sport, strength and fitness by S Shetler – 2009 – books.google.com
Effects of kettlebell training on aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, flexibility, and body composition by N Beltz, D Erbes, JP Porcari, R Martinez… – Journal of Fitness …, 2013 – research.usc.edu.au
Kettlebells: Powerful, effective exercise and rehabilitation tools by M Crawford – Journal of the American Chiropractic Association, 2011 – go.gale.com