The Kettlebell Press – 3 Huge Benefits From This Great Shoulder Exercise!

Shoulder muscle exercises have to be dynamic in nature in order to be effective. As a strength and conditioning professional I can think of no better exercise than the overhead kettlebell press as the lift to give you superior shoulders. This exercise looks simpler than it really is. You see pressing the kettlebell feels drastically more different than trying to press a dumbell or barbell. The reason for this is because of the design of the kettlebell and this is also the reason for all of the benefits.

To begin, pressing the kettlebell involves a total body effort. In order to properly press any weight overhead you must learn how to push from behind your lats and properly tension your core. This is what protects your shoulders and gives you greater power by utilizing larger muscle groups to control the heavier loads overhead. In order to push from behind your lats when you press overhead you must suck your shoulder into the socket. Retract your shoulder and lock out your elbow overhead whenever you are pressing a weight overhead. This is especially important when using the kettlebell for this drill because of the awkward design of the weight. You see the spherical design of the kettlebell causes it to constantly pull away from your body causing you to counter-react to the pulling away of the resistance. This is what makes you stronger along with just handling the resistance. So strength is the first big benefit.

The second big benefit from the kettlebell press is the improvement of mobility. You see when you press the kettlebell overhead it lies over the back of your forearm, unlike a dumbell which fits closely into the angle of your hand. With the bell draped over the back of your forearm it makes it easy for your joints to “pull away” from your body. This “pulling away” doesn’t only make you stronger, but it improves your shoulder range of motion as well. The press for mobility is the second benefit of this awesome ancient exercise.

The third biggest benefit is flexibility. If you are going to improve your mobility then you are more than likely going to improve your flexibility. The press also allows you to stretch your shoulder when you are “locked out” with the weight overhead. You see as you properly “lock out” you can simply lean your body into the bell and further assist the bell in the pulling away from your body by pulling it at an angle back away from your head. This will give you a great stretch through your shoulder, lat, and abdominal wall. As you start to truly master the press you can attempt the same lift with a pair of bells in each hand to get the same stretch. If you haven’t taken the time to include this great shoulder exercise into your equation for a great shoulder workout then you are missing out. Remember that anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend!