The Big “NO NO” When Pressing A Kettlebell - Strong As Hec

The Big “NO NO” When Pressing A Kettlebell

One of the most common mistakes I see kettlebell users make when pressing a kettlebell is downward movement of the kettlebell and not only a downward movement but, an extreme downward movement.

But I'm Trying to engage my lats...

Oh I get it, I know what you're doing, trust me, I made the same mistake for a long time until...

I was called out on it.

Remember what our goal is in all lifts... "Linkage, not leakage"

When we start to drop the shoulder, we begin to "break our cylinder", Chief SFG Instructor Brett Jones refers to it as "spilling the pelvis".

The cylinder (your mid-section) should remain over the pelvis during each lift from deadlift to swings to presses.

Now, there will be a slight lean when the press gets heavy enough but, this is the natural reaction of your body, innately trying to maintain your center of mass as close to the load as possible.

With that said...

There still should not be a downward movement of the bell before the initiation of the press. The skill is, to clean to the optimal position in which you will need to press from.

Strength is a skill

I know you've heard me say this before. This ^^ is our motto in the SFG community.


... the skill in this situation is, to clean to the exact position in which you will press from. Aside from the slight shift in bodyweight to maintain leverage, there should be no downward movement when pressing a kettlebell.

The Drill

I've put together a small drill you can use when practicing the kettlebell military press using...

Use a pair of asymmetrical bells. 

Why asymmetrical bells?

I''ll explain...

When pressing a kettlebell using an asymmetrical load will ensure that you maintain tension and postural alignment on the non working side.

(I explain in the video above)

Kettlebell Size Recommendations

I recommend your main training weight and one bell 1-2 sizes below the main training weight to round out your pair.

And like I said...

This will help you maintain "linkage" throughout the midsection by keeping you loaded on the non-working side.

This drill kills two birds with one stone.

How so?

  1. Since the bells are asymmetrical in size. You now have to focus on getting the bells to move and arrive in the rack position at the same time (skill practice).
  2. Assists in maintaining "linkage" through the midsection by keeping you loaded on the non-working side.

At the end of the day, our training should ALWAYS give more to us than it takes away.

And there you have it...

How to maintain tension and postural alignment when pressing a kettlebell.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.