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The Kettlebell Shoulder Press

September 13, 2014

kblisaBy Lisa Snow, EFT Personal Training

All kettlebell moves help build strength, balance, coordination, and bone density.  The kettlebell shoulder press also helps improve shoulder mobility while toning the shoulder muscles (deltoids) and back of the arm (triceps).  Before trying the kettlebell shoulder press, you want to master the Wall Slide (standing with your back to the wall, keep your wrists glued to the wall while you go through the full range of motion on a shoulder press with NO weights).  If your wrists are a long way away from the wall, you’re not quite ready to do any overhead pressing, whether with dumbbells or with kettlebells.  A month or two of shoulder stretches (and maybe getting a massage) will be time well spent.  But if your shoulder mobility is good (evidenced by a great Wall Slide), you’re all set to press!  Having some basic kettlebell experience (such as with the squat or farmer’s carry) is also a good idea before you try taking kettlebells overhead.

KB-overheadTo perform the kettlebell shoulder press, start in the “rack” position.  (Hold the bell against your forearm, with your palm facing your upper chest.)  The whole move looks almost like a dumbbell shoulder press, but with rotation on the way up.  Grip the kettlebell handle tightly, and slowly turn your hand as you press overhead, so that your palm is facing AWAY from you when you reach the top.  On the way back down, don’t passively let the weight fall.  Really control the kettlebell’s descent by going slowly (it helps to imagine you’re pulling down from the ceiling, like on a “lat pulldown” machine).

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