Kettlebell Single Arm Push Press
by Sam Franklin
How to Master The Kettlebell Single Arm Push Press: A Sure-Fire Shoulder Maximiser
An upper body favourite among weight lifters, body-builders, and cross-trainers alike, the kettlebell push press is a compact kettlebell exercise designed to develop muscle strength.
This powerful move may look simple enough—but to enjoy any real body-boosting benefits, getting your form and execution just right is a must.
Here’s everything you need to know to get started with the kettlebell push press.
How to do a kettlebell single arm push press: video tutorial
Before we dive into the benefits of kettlebell single arm push press, watch our quick tutorial video by Luke Baden, Kettlebell Master Trainer.
Luke will take you step by step through the entire movement, ensuring your form is correct and you get the absolute maximum out of the exercise.
The body-boosting benefits of the kettlebell single arm push press
As one of the most effective upper body strength and fitness exercises around, the kettlebell push press boasts an amazing mix of body-boosting benefits—which include:
- Overhead strength & stability: As a direct and powerful shoulder and upper arm booster, performing frequent kettlebell push presses will optimise your overhead strength and stability. In turn, this will improve your ability to perform other upper body kettlebell exercises while protecting you from injury.
- Increased athletic prowess: This fact is often overlooked, but the kettlebell push press is also effective for boost core, hip, and thigh strength. As a result, weaving kettlebell presses into your workout routine will improve your fitness in a way that will make you physically fitter, stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to perform well at a range of other sports or activities.
- Muscle growth: As the kettlebell push press is a very compact, targeted movement, it’s possible to lift fairly heavy loads while performing large sets of repetitions (once you’ve mastered the movement). As a result, this most popular of kettlebell moves will accelerate muscle growth in your arms and shoulders.
What muscle groups does the kettlebell single arm push press work?
The kettlebell push press targets a balanced mix of muscle groups, particularly in the back and the upper section of the body. Here are the main muscle groups the push press works on:
- Deltoids: your deltoids are thick triangular muscles covering the shoulder joints. Working these out frequently will protect you from injury while boosting your overall shoulder strength no end.
- Triceps: Another triangular muscle, your triceps are located at the upper rear of your arm. Strengthening these muscles will enhance your limb movement, make you more stable, and give your arms more definition.
- Erector spinae: A collection of muscles and tendons that run along the spine, looking after your erector spinae area will strengthen your core while making you more flexible, and protecting your back for improved stability and posture.
- Quads: Commonly known as ‘the thigh muscles’, your quadriceps are integral to your overall leg health, flexibility, and strength. So, giving them a regular workout is important.
Kettlebell push press form tips
What to do
Now that you know the perks of adding the kettlebell push press into your workout routine, let’s look at how to get your form just right:
- Starting position: Pick your kettlebell up with care, making sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and your toes are facing forward. Bend your knees with your back straight until you reach your kettlebell. Clasp your kettlebell and push yourself into a standing position, holding it in your hand of choice. Lift the kettlebell to your shoulder so that your palm is facing forwards.
- Gaining momentum: Remaining in position, bend your knees slightly with your back and torso held straight to gain momentum and start the movement. Dip down to around mid-squat position, and once you have, change direction, driving your heels to the floor for maximum leverage.
- The push: As you propel your force upwards and move back towards a standing position, push your kettlebell overhead to full extension and lock your arm.
- The finish: As you fully extend and lock the weight in place, make sure you flex your knees slightly to absorb the impact. Bring the weight back down to starting position with care, and repeat.
What to avoid
While the kettlebell push press makes an essential part of any good upper body-based kettlebell workout, getting it wrong could result in unnecessary twinges and injury. To prevent this from happening, here’s what you should avoid when performing the movement:
- Don’t get too cocky when picking up or putting down your kettlebell. Always make sure you bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible.
- Don’t dip too far in your knee bend. Doing so will make the exercise less efficient while placing unwanted strain on your muscles and joints.