Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press & How I Program My Workouts

Good morning! I hope everyone’s having a great week so far. Thankfully, the weather over the weekend was sunny and warm for our friends who were visiting, but now it’s back to snow.


I swear, it changes seasons here on a weekly basis!

I’ve mentioned in the past couple of my posts, than I’ve switched gears and focus when it comes to training, and am scaling back, doing a lot of bodyweight stuff, and working on form and a couple muscular imbalances that have crept their way through the cracks.

Right now in my training I have two goals:

  • maintain muscle mass and weight
  • work on any muscular imbalances

I prefer full body workouts, and have had only full body workouts for the past year. Since I’m already switching things up, I figured I’d switch up that aspect of my program, too. So here’s what I’m doing:

Day 1=Upper Body

Day 2=Lower Body

Day 3=Full Body

That’s about as much of a split as you’ll see me do right now.

From there, I just break it down by movement patterns, to make sure I have 2-4 of each movement pattern in my upper body day:

  • pull
  • push
  • mid-back/shoulder stability
  • core stability/anti-rotation
  • and if I have extra time, energy, and a wild hair, some arm work

And for my lower body days, I make sure I have 2-4 exercises each of the following movement patterns:

  • hip dominant
  • knee/quad dominant
  • straight leg hip dominant
  • core rotation

Really, if you think about it, there’s only a few basic movement patters – push, pull, hinge, squat, and rotation. But from those five movements, there are hundreds upon hundreds of exercises, variations of those exercises, and progressions of exercises. It’s really pretty fascinating. In fact, just the other day I had a client ask me how in the world are there so many different exercises?!

I told her that really there’s only a few basic movement patterns and exercises, and just ways to progress them from there. (Although I use a lot of different exercises with my clients, I’m pretty basic in my training.

So having an upper body day is going to be a little weird, but I love the flexibility it gives me in terms of variations of lifts I have time for. My favorite right now? bottoms up kettlebell press


It really challenges not only shoulder strength and stability, but it’s also an awesome exercise to improve grip. You’ll feel it in your forearms! And it’s not one to do quickly Winking smile

What’s your favorite upper body exercise right now?

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  1. For me, I am so into stability ball training that I am loving the chest flyes on the stability ball because it works the core as well :)
    blackhuff recently posted..High Knees with stability ball trainingMy Profile

  2. Love this! I bet you could even stand up after pressing to turn it into a regressed turkish get up.
    Kate recently posted..Fitness GoalsMy Profile

  3. this is so awesome. i learn so much about fitness from your blog. thank you!

  4. Ohh fun! My favorite right now is a tricep killer my friend gave me that he calls “The Monster” – starts with a skullcrusher, into an OH tricep extension (if that’s right-basically over my head and end of bench) and then a close grip bench press. It. Is. A. Beast. I feel it for days!
    Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..Face The Music Friday #18My Profile

  5. I don’t necessarily do anything that isolates upper body but I’ve been working on pull-ups a ton, as well as thrusters. I hate them both since they’re so hard, so I guess that means I need to focus on them, right? :)
    Colorado Gal recently posted..Winter Camping in the Snowy’s with Sierra Trading PostMy Profile

  6. I prefer a full body workout versus a split too. I do tend to have a focus for each workout though. I might work my entire body to some degree but I’ll focus on hammies + glutes, or lats + biceps, etc
    Patrick Smarz recently posted..Workouts To Build Muscle Without WeightsMy Profile

  7. thanks for this video, we are trying to play around more with kettlebells
    purelytwins recently posted..BBQ Plantain ChipsMy Profile

  8. I’ve been working on my pull-ups lately. Using the assisted pull-up machine and varying my grip. I find it an incredibly different movement pattern to master; probably because I have a little extra weight in my lower extremities to haul up 😉
    Tamara recently posted..Ultimate Booty Workouts |How my approach to fitness helped me write a bookMy Profile

  9. Awesome move – love this one and need to bring it back…thanks! :) I almost always do full body workouts – for my goals being mainly general health and fitness, it works for me! Plus I love the burn of compound movements, increased heart rate and feel of those kind of workouts. Sometimes I’ll do some glute specific or back specific work, but that’s about it.
    Bonnie recently posted..Lately: TrendsMy Profile

  10. I’ve never seen this! I’m always looking for new moves to try with kettlebells. Thanks Paige!
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog recently posted..Easy Quinoa Dinner RecipeMy Profile

  11. Cool move! I need some kettlebells, I’m having kettlebell envy for sure.

  12. I have trained full body for the last 5 years and have also worked a few more upper or lower workouts. Love this move and can’t wait to try it.
    Ashley recently posted..Sunday Sentiments: What did God make your heart beat for?My Profile

  13. Upper body days aren’t always my favorite.. my weakest muscles. I prefer leg days. 😉
    I like doing pull ups right now. They make me feel so.. empowered. 😀
    Natalie recently posted..WIAW – Home Cooked is Always BetterMy Profile

  14. This looks like a fun move! I can’t wait to try it! I love kettlebells so I say bring on more of these workouts. The video is great too.
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  1. […] while I am focusing more on bodyweight exercises right now, I’m still getting stronger each week. And little did he know, just a month ago, I was […]

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