4 of the Best Kettlebell Shoulder Exercises
Though the shoulders are frequently engaged in many kettlebell exercises, they still need regular work to remain strong and stable. Use these kettlebell shoulder exercises to build bulletproof shoulders.
There are numerous kettlebell shoulder exercises you can do to build massive, strong, functional shoulders. But which ones are the best?
This is a tough question to answer, because with the kettlebell the shoulders are constantly being engaged during so many movements; especially lower body movements like overhead lunges, top position windmills, etc.
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However, though the shoulders are engaged frequently, the shoulders require focused work in order to ensure they are strong and stable enough to handle all of the punishment they receive during those other movements.
If building strong shoulders is a priority for you, make sure you are doing these kettlebell shoulder exercises.
Here are some of our favorite kettlebell shoulder exercises
Kettlebell Shoulder Exercise #1: The Strict Press
The Strict Press is one of the essential kettlebell shoulder exercises for developing upper body pushing/pressing strength. If done properly, this exercise will develop your large latissimus dorsi (lats) muscles allowing you to rapidly increase your pressing maxes.
If you’ve been pressing incorrectly for a while, you will probably find that you can’t lift as much weight using this pressing variation. That’s okay! Eventually you’ll be able to far surpass anything you’ve been able to press in the past. Building your lats will help you accomplish that.
The most common mistake with this kettlebell shoulder exercise is extending the shoulders outside of the shoulder socket at the top of the rep. You may need to develop additional flexibility in order to avoid risking shoulder injury due to over extension.
If you find yourself “reaching,” meaning that you are shrugging your shoulders to accommodate the movement, you may need to work on flexibility and mobility in your upper body.
Kettlebell Shoulder Exercise #2: The Rotational Press
The Rotational Press has the same benefits as the Strict Press with the added component of a rotation. The rotation further engages the core and requires additional body coordination to be performed correctly. Your foot stance should be the same as the Windmill during this drill.
Kettlebell Shoulder Exercise #3: Halos
Halos and Halo variations are an upper body drill that will allow you to flow through a series of movement to build arm and shoulder strength and mobility. When performing halos the kettlebell is moved in a circular motion around the head as if drawing a “halo” around it.
This kettlebell shoulder exercise is great for improving shoulder mobility as well as building strength.
If you are hitting your head a lot, it might mean that your shoulders do not have the flexibility necessary for this exercise. If this is the case, work on your shoulder mobility prior to attempting the exercise.
Kettlebell Shoulder Exercise #4: The Bottoms Up Press
The Bottoms Up Press is similar to the strict press except that you hold the kettlebell upside down (“bottoms up”) and keep a neutral grip throughout the movement. This variation engages the forearm and grip to a much greater degree than a standard press.
Because of the increased difficulty of this pressing variation, you likely won’t be able to use as much weight as you would with a strict press. That is okay; the primary goal of the bottoms up press is to work on stabilization and balance, not strength.
These are just a few of the kettlebell shoulder exercises you can do, but doing these movements regularly will help you to establish a strong foundation that will directly translate to other areas of your training.
Want to learn how to incorporate kettlebell shoulder exercises into your training program? Join the Awake and Alive training portal. Click here to learn more.
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Mikey DiCroce is the founder of Pine Pollen Superfoods. Michael’s mission is to teach people the habits necessary to achieve optimal fitness and success in every area of their lives. Visit PinePollenSuperfoods.com to learn more about their great natural hormonal enhancers and superfoods.