Kettlebell Push-Ups are yet again a great demonstration of how the popularity of the Kettlebell has grown. The simple Push-Up, sometimes called a press-up (more commonly know as within the United Kingdom) is a popular bodyweight exercise that has been made famous throughout the world through the Rocky films and nearly any training montage in any Hollywood film you can imagine.
Originating in Russia, Kettlebell Push-Ups were created as a way of almost saying ' anything you can do, we can do better'. A challenging and often brutal variation of the traditional Push-Up, using Kettlebells to complete this most basic of movements adds a very difficult element to the movement.......balance!
Athough Kettlebells look steady when placed on the floor, as soon as they are forced to support your bodyweight they move around - a lot! Controlling this movement and the Kettlebells wishes to roll over and move about requires a significant amount of strength which is zapped from your Pecs, and Shoulders leaving not a lot of energy and strength to actually perform the movement, thus making the KB Push-Up far more difficult than the traditional military press-up.
The instability of this Kettlebell exercise adds a great amount of stress to the core muscles and also challenges the Forearms and Rotator Cuffs as each repetition requires a great amount of power, balance and static strength. The most surprising element to most people who try this movement is how Oxygen demanding this exercise is, a lot of Oxygenated blood is required to a lot of large Muscle groups in tandom and the Kettlebell Push-Up can be a lot more tiring than one would imagine.
Plyo Kettlebell Push-Ups
The Kettlebell Push-Up has two main variations that you will see being performed in the gym. The main Kettlebell Push-Up technique is demonstrated above using the Kettlebells as Push-Up handles in effect, replacing common contraptions you can buy in your local Supermarket.
The other common variation you will see is a compound strength exercise which is used by UFC and Boxing coaches in gyms nationwide to build raw and explosive punching power. These are known as Plyo Kettlebell Push-Ups, they are universally considered to be an advanced exercise and one that when performed correctly can have devastating results in shaping your physique.
Performing Kettlebell Push-Ups
Whichever varition of Kettlebell Push-Ups you choose to perform during your Kettlebell Workouts, the principles remain the same and the technique is almost identical apart from the placement of the hands.
To perform the standard Kettlebell Push-Up the athlete is simply required to assume the Push-Up position but instead of placing their hands on the floor they are to grab a hold of the Kettlebells. The key to the movement is keeping the body fully contracted which will stabalize the Kettlebells. Simply lower the body, slightly lower than the handles of the Kettlebells allowing yourself to feel the full stretch in the Pectoral Muscles.
Instructional Video for Plyo Kettlebell Push-Ups
- Place A Kettlebell on the Floor.
- Assume a Push-Up position with one hand on the floor and the other holding the Kettlebell handle with your Toes on the floor also.
- Lower yourself slowly in a controlled manner, at all times keping your back straight and your Abdominal wall tight.
- Powerfully reverse the position, driving upwards through the Palms of the Hands.
- Drive towards the otherside of the Kettlebell and in doing so switching hands so you can lower your body on the other side this time.
*Remeber to drive upwards with real force and intent, this is how you engage the fast twitch muscle fibres which develop explosive power. This explosive power cannot be improved through slow movements*