Kettlebell Exercises (Upper Body)

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Kettlebell > Kettlebell Exercises (Upper Body)

The following Kettlebell exercises are designed to improve the strength of the muscles of the upper body. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain. Begin with the basic Kettlebell exercises. Once these are too easy, progress to the advanced and other Kettlebell exercises.


Basic Kettlebell Exercises – Upper Body

The following basic Kettlebell exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. Generally you should begin with one or two exercises, and gradually add additional exercises over a period of days to weeks provided they are pain free. As your strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets, number of exercises or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Kettlebell Pull Backs

Begin this exercise standing in a lunge position with your left elbow resting on your left knee and holding a light Kettlebell in your right hand as demonstrated (figure 1). Keeping your back and neck straight and your arm by your side, slowly pull the Kettlebell straight up leading with your elbow. Pause briefly at the top of the movement and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side provided the exercise is pain free.

Kettlebell Pull Backs

Figure 1 – Kettlebell Pull Backs

Kettlebell Floor Press

Begin this exercise lying on your back, with your feet flat on the floor, your elbows straight and holding a light Kettlebell in each hand directly above your shoulders as demonstrated (figure 2). Slowly lower the Kettlebells, allowing your elbows to move to the side until they touch the floor momentarily, then slowly return to the starting position. Ensure the Kettlebells remain directly above your elbows throughout the exercise. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Kettlebell Floor Press

Figure 2 – Kettlebell Floor Press

Kettlebell Shoulder Press

Begin this exercise sitting on a Swiss Ball and holding a light Kettlebell in each hand as demonstrated (figure 3). Keeping your back and neck straight and the Swiss Ball still, slowly straighten your arms pushing the Kettlebells overhead and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Kettlebell Shoulder Press

Figure 3 – Kettlebell Shoulder Press




   Physiotherapy Products for Exercises

To purchase physiotherapy products to assist with exercises click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.


More Information


Find a Physio to assist with Kettlebell Exercises

Find a Physio

Find a physiotherapist in your local area who can assist with Kettlebell exercises and injury rehabilitation.


PhysioAdvisor Exercises’ iPhone App

'PhysioAdvisor Exercises' iPhone App Download the ‘PhysioAdvisor Exercises’ iPhone App to your iPhone.


Become A Member 1

   Become a Member

Become a PhysioAdvisor Member and gain full access to our complete Exercise, Injury and Health Database. Our experienced physiotherapists are updating PhysioAdvisor’s articles to include the most important information to help users take control of their injury and hasten their recovery.

For more information see Become a Member.


Return to the top of Kettlebell Exercises (Upper Body).