The kettlebell overhead press is one of the most transformative upper body exercises that will completely improve the aesthetic and functionality of your back.
This exercise has a good rep, but most people have reduced it to merely pressing the kettlebell over your head repeatedly. If you care for your upper body, then this exercise can offer more than just that, but only if you pay attention to how to do it correctly.
Whether you go with the single arm or double arm kettlebell is entirely left to your preference. Here is how to go about it.
HOW TO DO KETTLEBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
- Start off with your feet shoulder width apart. Using both hands, grab the kettlebell and lift until it gets to shoulder level on one side.
- Shift the weight to one hand. At this point you should engage your core and squeeze your glutes.
- Tuck your elbow close to your side so that your forearm is vertical and the weight is in front of your chest.
- Your wrist should be aligned with your forearm and facing the midline of your body. This is called the rack position, and it marks the beginning of every rep. If you feel out of balance, stretch out your opposite arm
- Press the kettlebell overhead, then lower it back down.
KETTLEBELL OVERHEAD PRESS MUSCLES WORKED
This is a compound exercise, thus a repetition lights up a flurry of muscles in its wake. The muscles that do most of the heavy lifting, quite literally, are the shoulders, arms and the back.
These areas are otherwise known as the deltoids, the lats, traps and the triceps.
However, the main muscles that do most of the heavy lifting are the shoulders (deltoids) and the back (latissimus dorsi & trapezius) and the arms (triceps).
The core gets a working almost similar to these muscles because you engage it almost throughout the entire exercise. Since you squeeze your glutes ever so often in the course of this exercise, it also gets worked.
If you follow the steps lined out to a T, you may find that even your legs and the toes are worked.
BENEFITS OF KETTLEBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
This exercise involves taking the weight from the racked position and getting it to a point that is over your head.
If you focus less on the reps that you can complete at one go and focus more on the right form, you will end up working almost all the muscles in your body.
STRENGTHENS THE UPPER BODY
Given that it involves lifting the weight overhead, this exercise does wonders to the upper body. This means that doing other activities in the course of your day also becomes substantially easier.
While working your upper body, this exercise puts your internal organs to the task too, Your heart and lungs have to work more to sustain the overhead press.
Your heart, for instance, will have to figure out a way to pump blood all the way to the lifted hand with every rep.
If you round your shoulders, try this exercise because it accepts nothing but the perfect alignment from you. With frequent repetition, it will get you in great posture in no time.
GOOD UPPER BODY
A perfectly-shaped upper body is a joy to look at, whether you are the one looking at it in the mirror or its the other people are looking at it.
KETTLEBELL OVERHEAD PRESS ALTERNATIVES
KETTLEBELL HALF KNEELING
This variation adds an element of core exercise to your routine.
- Get one knee as you lift the kettlebell above your head
- Engage your core and squeeze your glutes
- Maintain an upright posture at all times
- Balance both sides as you press
- Do as many reps as you want.
KETTLEBELL TALL KNEELING
This exercise is a progression from the standing variation. You can graduate to it once you have mastered the technique because it tends to be more challenging.
Just like the other variations, you will have to keep your glutes squeezed as you do the exercise.
KETTLEBELL OVERHEAD PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID
Do not rush the movements when doing this exercise, choose proper form over the number of reps. Do not forget to breathe through the exercise.
Make sure you do not lean in front, backwards or to either side when you are exercising. The weight should literally end up above the head, not in front or behind the head.
Do not push your shoulder up, it should remain down and away from the ear. Try hard not to unlock the arm. If you are doing this exercise to correct imbalances, take care not to overwork the weaker side. Maintain a reasonable balance throughout the exercise.
The kettlebell overhead press is one of the best exercises we have as far as upper body strength is concerned. You want to be confident when the shirt comes off. You want to be able to do more daily activities efficiently.
Most importantly, you want to be healthy and keep yourself fit and happy. The answer to all these lie with this exercise, but it is an intricate exercise that demands different things from your body at every step.
Pay attention to its demands and the rewards will be great. It is not about how much weight you carry when doing this exercise, but it is more about what you do with the weight.