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Kettlebell Strict Press

Kettlebell Strict Press

The kettlebell strict press is a dynamic and empowering exercise that has been steadily gaining popularity in the fitness world due to its remarkable benefits. It is an essential movement in the realm of kettlebell training, revered for its ability to build strength, stability, and functional power. In this essay, we will delve into the intricacies of the kettlebell strict press, its technique, and the myriad of advantages it offers for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. 

What this article covers:


The kettlebell strict press is a standing overhead press, performed without any assistance from the lower body, making it a challenging and demanding exercise. When executed correctly, it targets several major muscle groups, including the shoulders, triceps, upper back, and core.

To perform a strict press, you start by cleaning the kettlebell to the racked position, ensuring it rests on your forearm and your elbow is close to your body. Standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, you engage your core for stability and press the kettlebell overhead in a vertical line while keeping your forearm vertical and wrist straight. At the top, fully extend your arm without locking your elbow, and ensure your bicep is next to your ear. Finally, lower the kettlebell back to the racked position under control, avoiding any jerky movements.


Strength Development: The kettle-bell strict press is a highly effective exercise for building upper body strength. It engages the deltoids, triceps, and upper back muscles, promoting balanced muscle development and functional strength.

Core Stability: Performing the strict press requires significant core activation to maintain an upright posture throughout the movement. This helps develop a strong and stable core, which is essential for various athletic activities and daily functional movements.

Shoulder Health: The strict press encourages proper shoulder mechanics and scapular stability. When performed with strict form, it can aid in rehabilitating and preventing shoulder injuries.

Balance and Coordination: As a unilateral exercise, the kettlebell strict press enhances balance and coordination between both sides of the body. It helps identify and address any imbalances or weaknesses that might exist between the left and right sides.

Functional Power: The strict press translates well to real-world movements and sports performance. The ability to generate force from a standing position and transfer it overhead is crucial in activities such as lifting objects, sports involving throwing or overhead movements, and even self-defense.

strict press kettlebell

Progression and Safety

As with any exercise, it is crucial to prioritize safety and proper progression when incorporating the kettlebell strict press into your routine. Beginners should start with a light kettlebell to master the technique and gradually increase the weight as their strength and proficiency improve.

Ensure that you warm up adequately before attempting the strict press to prepare your muscles and joints for the task. Seek guidance from a qualified fitness trainer to learn the correct form and technique, as improper execution can lead to injuries, particularly to the shoulder joint and lower back.

Military Press Kettlebell

The military press kettlebell, also known as the strict press, is the foundational press movement. It is performed in a standing position without using any leg drive or momentum. The strict press targets the shoulders, triceps, and upper back, making it an excellent exercise for developing upper body strength and stability.

To execute the military press kettlebell, clean the kettlebell to the racked position with the elbow close to the body and press the kettlebell overhead in a straight line. Avoid leaning back or using the legs to assist the movement. Lower the kettlebell back to the racked position under control.

Upside-Down Kettlebell Press

The upside-down kettlebell press is an advanced variation that challenges shoulder stability and grip strength. In this exercise, you hold the kettlebell upside down by the handle, with the bell facing the ground. This requires exceptional control and engages the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder and core.

Start by cleaning the kettlebell to the upside-down position with the bell facing the ground. Press the kettlebell overhead, keeping the forearm vertical and the wrist straight. Lower the kettlebell back to the upside-down position with control.

Seated Kettlebell Press

The seated kettlebell press is an effective variation that isolates the shoulders and reduces the involvement of the lower body. This exercise is particularly beneficial for individuals with lower back issues or those who want to focus solely on their upper body strength.

To perform the seated kettlebell press, sit on a bench or chair with back support. Clean the kettlebell to the racked position, and from here, press the kettlebell overhead in a straight line. Lower the kettlebell back to the racked position under control.

Standing Kettlebell Press

The standing kettlebell press is a more dynamic version of the military press. It allows for slight use of the legs to generate momentum, making it a great exercise for building functional power and explosiveness.

To execute the standing kettlebell press, start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Clean the kettlebell to the racked position, and as you press the kettlebell overhead, use a slight leg drive to assist the movement. Lower the kettlebell back to the racked position under control.

Double Kettlebell Press

The double kettlebell press involves pressing two kettlebells simultaneously, one in each hand. This variation significantly increases the challenge on the shoulders, core, and grip strength.

Begin with a kettlebell in each hand, clean them to the racked position, and simultaneously press them overhead. Maintain proper alignment and avoid arching your back. Lower the kettlebells back to the racked position under control.

The kettlebell strict press is a challenging yet rewarding exercise that delivers a plethora of benefits. By incorporating it into your fitness regimen, you can improve upper body strength, core stability, and shoulder health while enhancing functional power and balance. Whether you are an athlete aiming to excel in your sport or an individual seeking overall fitness and strength, the kettlebell strict press is a valuable addition to your workout routine. Embrace the kettlebell and unleash the strength and stability it offers for a healthier, more robust you.

strict press kettlebell exercise

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