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The Best Kettlebell Chest Workouts for Beginner and Advanced Lifters

Doing one of the best kettlebell chest workouts

If you’re looking to do some exercise at home, and you’re wondering what’s good and simple gym equipment that you can use, then you can do no wrong with a kettlebell. So, you might ask what are the benefits of using a kettlebell over let’s say a dumbbell? Is there even a difference? And what type of exercises I can do with it?

We get these questions quite often since we expanded our site to include fitness and fashion tips. Personally, I prefer kettlebells over dumbbells, especially since I heard of the benefits of the farmer’s walk which many experts call the single most effective, full-body exercise for mass and endurance. Every morning, I carry a pair of heavy kettlebells for 100 steps the same way farmers used to carry water and food hundreds of years ago.

But, that’s not our topic for today.

In this article, I will share with you the best kettlebell chest workout a man can do be it at home or in the gym. I listed 11 exercises that you can do using only one or two kettlebells and divided them into two sections: beginners and advanced.

You can skip the intro and go straight ahead to the exercises. But for those who want to keep reading, I’m listing the three main benefits of exercising with a kettlebell. Here they are:

Reasons to Do Kettlebell Chest Workouts

Kettlebells are quite popular among strength nerds and cross-fitters who use them only to look different at the gym. In fact it's one of the top workout must-haves, for those who prefer to work out at home. But there are many reasons why you should incorporate kettlebells in your chest workout other than showing off on Instagram. Here they are:

Kettlebells are practical

In a crowded gym where every machine is busy, a kettlebell exercise can be a time saver. Kettlebells are pretty portable. They take up very little space and can be used almost anywhere whether it’s at home, in the gym, in a nearby park, or at work between lunch breaks. You don’t need a large room or an expensive machine to use them and they’re pretty affordable compared to their benefits.

And can spice up your workout

Doing the same exercises over and over can be boring after a while. If you’re tired of the same old barbell and dumbbell presses, then a kettlebell can offer a proper alternative to spice up your workout while getting the same benefits.

They train a wide range of muscles

The first time I discovered the kettlebell was after reading Time Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week. The way he used a kettlebell-only workout to transform his body was amazing. Later, as I began to use kettlebells in my routines, I discovered that there’s no limit to how much you can use them. One of those metal jars can work out your entire body and give you a model-like physique. Whether you’re training your glutes, chest, or even calves and traps, there’s always a way to incorporate a kettlebell into your exercise.

Kettlebell Chest Exercises for Beginners

Even if you’re a gym newbie or you haven’t exercised with a kettlebell before, don’t worry. In this section, I will cover six great exercises for beginners who are new to a kettlebell workout. You can do these exercises either at home or the gym or even without a weight bench. All you need is at least one kettlebell and you’re all set. Here they are:

Lateral step push-up

The best thing about push-ups is that you can literally do them anywhere. When we first started to learn about pick-up and how to talk to girls, I and my boys used to dare each other to do push-ups in public places in front of other people just as a way to reduce social anxiety and the fear of rejection.

To perform a lateral step push-up, all you need is a single kettlebell and you’re all set. Next, put your hand on the kettlebell as you perform the regular push up then step sideways so that the other hand is leaning on the kettlebell, then switch back and forth until you complete at least 10 reps.

Kettlebell close grip push-up

The close grip push-up is a harder version of the regular push-up since it activates more chest and arm muscles. It’s also perfect for training your inner chest and will give it a nice squeeze.

Step #1: Take up the high plank position, keep your back straight, and place your hands on the kettlebell less than shoulders apart

Step #2: Push your arms and body down towards the floor and squeeze your arms against your pecs and rib cage

Step #3: Get up slowly to the starting position to engage your chest and arm muscles and repeat for 12 reps

Kettlebell bench press

Bench press is the Big Daddy of all chest workouts. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell, you must include it in your routine to strengthen your chest. I personally prefer dumbbell presses since it gives me more control over how much I lift, but here’s how you can do it using a pair of kettlebells:

Step #1: Lay on the weight bench, wrap your hands around the kettlebells’ handles, and hold the weight/kettlebells close to your chest

Step #2: Take a deep breath, and exhale as you push the weight away from your body then squeeze your chest to feel the mind-body connection

Step #3: Slowly bring the weight back to the starting position while breathing in

Single-arm chest press

If you have an injury or just don’t like benching with both kettlebells in hand then you can do the single-arm chest press. This can be a bit more difficult than the normal press and will require extra balance, so either use a relatively lightweight or make sure your feet stand firmly on the ground and both your glutes and quads are tightened.

Kettlebell floor press

What if the bench is busy at the gym or if you don’t have a weight bench at home?

In this case, this exercise is better than nothing.

Here’s how:

Step #1: Lay down on the floor with your full upper body. Keep your head and back touching the floor and don’t raise them, then bend your knees and make sure your feet sit flat and firm on the ground.

Step #2: Similar to the kettlebell bench press. Tuck in your elbows and push the kettlebells away as you breathe out, then slowly bring them back while you breathe in.

Kettlebell Pullover

Experts call this exercise the “squat of the upper body” for a reason. It increases shoulder mobility all while working the entire upper body including the chest, lats, and rib cage muscles.

Step #1: Hold one kettlebell with both hands either from the handles or the lower part and lie on a bench (preferably a decline bench)

Step #2: Extend your arms behind your head as much as possible

Step #3: Contract your chest as you bring the kettlebell back toward it

Kettlebell Chest Exercises for Experts

Now, let’s assume you’re a serious lifter who wants to do something challenging, what is the best kettlebell chest workout for you, and how to design it?

Here are five great advanced exercises that will test your muscles and strength like never before:

Kneeling single-arm chest fly

The fact that you can do this exercise with just one kettlebell and no weight bench makes it a real gem, especially if you’re traveling on can’t go to the gym for any reason. If you want to build strength and definition in your chest muscles, then these are the steps you should follow:

Step #1: Go down on one knee and keep the other at a 90-degree angle

Step #2: With the kettlebell in your hand and your palm facing upwards, bend your elbow and bring the kettlebell towards your inner chest and squeeze at the top until you feel a slight burn in your inner chest

Step #3: Slowly bring back to the starting position then repeat for 12 reps

Single-arm glute bridge chest press

If you don’t have much time in the gym, want to improve your balance and spinal stability, or just want to try something new, then this compound movement will do the job as it combines the glute bridge and the normal chest press and thus work both your upper and lower body.

Step #1: Hold the kettlebells in both hands then rest your head and shoulders on the bench

Step #2: Spread your feet hip-apart and keep them flat and firm on the ground

Step #3: Push your glutes up toward the ceiling and squeeze them tightly until you feel the burn

Step #4: Push the kettlebells up (either by pushing both arms together or alternating between them)

Step#5: Keep your elbows close to your body and slowly bring the kettlebells back toward your chest

Kettlebell Reclining Chest Press

This is a great exercise for those who want to work their upper chest without loading too much on their shoulders. To perform the kettlebell reclining chest press, all you need to do is:

Step #1: Sit on a flat or declined bench, and hold a kettlebell in one hand while firmly planting your feet on the ground

Step #2: Tighten your back as you lean it backward into a reclining position

Step #3: Extend the kettlebell towards the ceiling then slowly lower it down towards your chest while tucking in your elbows close to your body to perform one rep

Goblet Squat and Press

This exercise is designed mainly to strengthen your core, but with the right form and weight, you can use it to work your chest as well. Here’s how it works:

Step #1: Begin by holding a light to medium-weight kettlebell with both hands at chest level all while keeping your elbows close to your body

Step #2: lower yourself into a squat position while keeping your back straight and chest up

Step #3: Extend your arms and press the weights straight in front of you. Keep your core engaged and your back straight

Step #4: Slowly bend your elbows and bring the kettlebell back to your shoulder chest to complete one rep

Step #5: Push through your heels and stand up again to complete one rep

Bent Over Kettlebell Rear Delt Flyes

The bent-over kettlebell rear delt fly will strengthen your rear delts and improves your overall shoulder stability. To perform this exercise, here’s what you should do:

Step #1: Grab a pair of lightweight kettlebells that allows you to do 10-15 reps with medium effort.

Step #2: Stand firmly and keep your feet shoulder-width apart t

Step #3: Slightly bend your knees then hinge forward at the hips while keeping a straight back

Step #4: Slightly bend your elbows and, while your palms facing each other, raise out the kettlebells to the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. For a better squeeze, keep your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement

Step #5: Slowly bring the weight back to the starting position and repeat for three sets of 12

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