Steve Cotter Demonstrates Unlimited Kettlebell Press Variations-Kettlebell Kings

Steve Cotter Demonstrates Unlimited Kettlebell Press Variations

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We are really excited to announce the beginning of our partnership with Steve Cotter & IKFF!

Kettlebell Kings and Steve Cotter are now working together to provide amazing content designed to help you get maximum use out of your kettlebell. Steve Cotter is a dynamic force in the world of fitness, sports conditioning, and mind-body practice. A global pioneer in Kettlebell training education, Steve has personally instructed thousands of fitness professionals around the world through his International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation (IKFF) , which he founded in 2008.

Photo credit: Photographer: Taco Fleur,

Also, our personal favorite, Steve is on the Men's Health Magazine 'The 100 Fittest Men of All Time' list . When we started our business in 2012, we obviously were well aware of Steve and we couldn't be more happy to be working with him and providing him another outlet for teaching the greatness of kettlebell to the world. You can read and watch more kettlebell content by Steve Cotter through the links at the bottom of this article.

In our first piece together, Steve will be breaking down The Kettlebell Press . The fascinating thing which Steve will demonstrate in the video below is that even using the same weighted kettlebell you can do quite a number of press variations which will increase the difficulty of the press. So, you do not need to always increase your weight, by practicing some of these you can continue to get a great workout with one kettlebell. But by all means, buy more Kettlebell Kings!




Steve discusses the concept of 'progressive overload', once your body is used to certain stress you have to increase the difficulty to continue to progress. You can do this by adding weight, reps or increase speed. With kettlebells because of the unique design there are other ways to progressively overload by changing the exercise. Any movement can be made more difficult by how you hold the kettlebell. All of these movements are performed with the same weight kettlebell.

1 ) Military Press or Strict Press ( at 1:50)

Bring the bell to your chest, feet together. Press the bell upwards. In this method you are strictly pressing the bell without any momentum from the rest of your body.

2 ) The Push Press (at 2:15)

With your feet shoulder apart, load the legs by dipping like a squat and extending the legs while you press in order to give yourself some momentum pressing the bell upward with the legs.

3 ) The Jerk or The Jerk Press (at 2:35)

Load the legs like in the Push Press, but do an under squat and drop under the bell while pressing before standing completely up. This creates momentum with the legs and you actually get under the bell while pressing it in order to make it easier.


4 ) The Side Press at (at 2:51)

If you are finding the kettlebell too heavy for one of the strict presses, you can utilize the side press. Lever using your hips by pushing your hip under the bell (demonstrated) and push your body away while pressing and then straighten up under the bell after pressing.

5 ) The Bent Press (at 3:25)

Angle your feet about 45 degrees from straight forward, turn and open your hips so that your lat muscle serves as a 'shelf' for your elbow. As you push against the kettlebell you are actually pushing your body away, coming under the bell before standing up.

All of these demonstrations are designed to make pressing weight easier. Read more below to find ways to make the press more difficult!


Did you know we create weekly kettlebell workouts? We have a free email list you can sign up for you receive a new kettlebell workout in your inbox every week. The workouts incorporate movements just like these others are designed to break up the monotony of working out while increasing strength and endurance.

6 ) Open Palm Press (at 4:27)

Bring the kettlebell to your palm (demonstrated) this is more difficult to balance then holding by the handle. Press the bell upward like a strict press (no other movement) and press up.

7 ) Waiters Press (at 4:52)

Challenge yourself further by putting the bottom of the kettlebell on your palm, press the bell upward in a strict press, not using in other muscles for momentum.

8 ) Bottoms Up Press (at 5:20)

Clean the kettlebell so that the bottom of the kettlebell is facing upward while you hold the kettlebell by the handle (demonstrated). This is difficult to balance so you really have to squeeze with the grip, if your grip is not solid it will fall. Press the bell upward while holding the kettlebell in the bottoms up position.

Steve Cotter Breaks Down The Kettlebell Press With His Kettlebell Kings 22 Kg Bell

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One way to increase the difficulty without changing the weight is by changing the lever. So, instead of holding by the handle, bring the kettlebell onto your palm.


If this is your first time reading one of our posts, we create kettlebell workouts in collaboration with kettlebell lifting champions and experts which are designed to give you maximum results and not take up much of your time. We send these to your in box automatically every week! We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettlebell workout every week you can click below. Another way to increase the difficulty is to decrease your base of support.

Also, we recommend you subscribe to our posts so you can be notified when we publish helpful content for kettlebell workouts. We cover topics like technique , how to chalk a kettlebell, breakdown of kettlebell movements , strength building and kettlebell workouts for specific niches like combat sports and fitness competitions . Additionally, you can be notified when we publish new articles about specific kettlebell movements or techniques as well as niche pieces like this designed for specific training.

9 ) Contra Lateral Press (at 6:00)

So, instead of pressing on two legs, shift your weight to one leg and pick the other foot up. Gain your balance in that position and then press upward on the opposite side of the foot which is planted on the ground.

10 ) Ipsilateral (at 6:45)

You will be pressing with the same side that is off the ground. So, pick up the foot on the opposite side the bell is on and press.

11) Kneeling Press (at 7:00)

This movement is further designed to challenge your pressing abilities. It takes the legs out of the equation and forces you to use more core and upper body stability. Get into a kneeling position perform a strict press while in the kneeling position. You can also try the split or half kneeling press in which one knee is off the ground (at 7:20) and you press the bell. You can perform both versions of the split/half kneeling press in the contralateral or ipsilateral manner.

12 ) From The Lunging Position (at 7:50)

Your body needs to stay upright, not folded forward. While you lunge forward and press the bell once you find your base. This is different then kneeling because your back knee should not be touching the ground. You can perform the press from either side, the side forward or back.

13 ) Seated Press (at 8:40)

It is very important to have good technique in this press. Your body needs to be upright and the back of the knee needs to be pushing into the ground. DO NOT lean back. Do a strict press upward from the seated position.

14) The SOTS Press

Clean the kettlebell to your chest and squat all the way down with the bell in the rack position and counter balance by pushing your opposite arm outward and then press upward. To make this even more difficult you can move around while pressing in the SOTS position (demonstrated)


Be creative! You can mix these different presses and positions together to make your workout more challenging and interesting! Steve demonstrates a kneeling press from the waiters press position at 10:30. Be creative!

There is so much you can do with just one kettlebell! Once you have mastered the beginner movements you can create your own variations for unlimited versions of the press. Challenge yourself and be creative, we would love to see any variations you come up with. Tag us on social media with #kettlebellkings to see the variations of the press. How creative can you be?

We hope this has been helpful for you, Steve Cotter demonstrates why the kettlebell is truly one of the most dynamic and absolute best pieces of equipment to own because of its versatility.


Steve Cotter is a dynamic force in the world of fitness, sports conditioning, and mind-body practice. A global pioneer in Kettlebell training education, Steve has personally instructed thousands of fitness professionals around the world through his International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation (IKFF), which he founded in 2008.

In spite of his busy international teaching schedule, Steve finds time to develop and oversee physical conditioning for numerous professional athletes from Major League Baseball, as well as teaching clinics for university strength and conditioning programs.

Combining his expertise in martial arts, mobility, flexibility, and kettlebell training, Steve Cotter is a go-to source for MMA fighters, various military units and elite athletes who need to develop their minds and bodies to their highest potential.

In September, 2012 Men's Health named Steve Cotter one of the 100 Fittest Men of All Time.

Founder and Director of the IKFF-International Kettlebells & Fitness Federation
International lecturer and teacher on 6 continents and over 50 countries
Kettlebell Expert for the online network
One of Men 's Health Magazines 100 Fittest Athletes of All-time
Creator of Steve Cotter 's Kettlebell University online education portal
Nike China Featured Presenter
Consultant to numerous professional and NCAA sport teams, including NFL, MLB, NHL, University of Texas
Subject Matter Expert to US Navy SEALs at Virginia Beach, VA
Strength & Conditioning instructor for US Marines at Quantico Marine Corps Base
Author of Kettlebell Training, by Human Kinetics Publishing
Creator of the Encyclopedia of Kettlebell Lifting and over a dozen DVD 's
Keynote Speaker for CPTN, Canadian Personal Trainers Network
Panel Speaker for Donna Karan 's Urban Zen Initiative, NYC
Featured Presenter for Fitness Industry Conferences IDEA World, AFC, NSCA, CPTN, ECA, IPEX, Perform Better Summit, Body Power Expo , Nike China, FIBO China
Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, San Diego State University 2001

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