Single Arm Kettlebell Workout – Improve Stability and Strength with the Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press

Having shoulder pain is an incredibly common occurrence among individuals that work out frequently, used to be active, or do lots of repetitive activities with their shoulders. Unfortunately for these individuals, the pain that accompanies this can be debilitating. One of the things that we can do to hopefully reduce shoulder pain and improve strength and stability is through the use of targeted exercise to the muscle and joint. Today we will talk about a single arm kettle bell workout called the bottoms up kettle bell press to help improve stability and decrease pain.


Before you begin the exercise, you will need a kettlebell for yourself. The kettlebell should be very light and probably will not be a weight you’ve typically used. Here is a list of light kettlebells that you can purchase if you don’t already have one.

5 lb kettlebell:

10 lb kettlebell:

15 lb kettlebell


After you have a kettlebell for yourself, you will now be able to perform the exercise. For the single arm kettlebell workout, you will need to start with the kettlebell in the “bottoms up” position. This can be done with the following steps:

  • Start with the kettlebell handle in your hand.
  • With your other hand, grab the kettlebell itself, and gently “flip” the kettlebell so it is now facing up, and the handle is facing down.
  • Tightly grip the handle, keeping the kettlebell pointing up towards the sky.


This in itself is already a great exercise. You will likely feel a difficulty in just holding this position itself. If this is the case, practice just holding the kettlebell like this. If not, we can make it harder by adding in a little movement. To add difficulty to the exercise I like to start with a static hold overhead, and then make it more dynamic.

  • While holding the kettlebell in the bottoms up position, slowly press the kettlebell overhead until your arm is straight.
  • Hold this position with your arm locked out as long as possible, ideally 30 seconds to a minute.
  • If you are able to hold this overhead with no issues, you can slowly lower the kettlebell down towards your shoulder, and slowly press up overhead again multiple times.

Adding in the dynamic movement challenges your grip and stabilizing muscles quite a bit more. Another point to note is to make sure you keep your kettlebell as close as you can towards the middle of your body as possible, when going overhead.

The last variation of this will entail holding a heavier kettlebell on the opposite side of the kettlebell in the bottoms up position. This version of the single arm kettlebell workout will add extra core work and grip strength to your body, on top of the shoulder stabilizing exercise on the bottoms up kettlebell side. For this exercise:

  • Grab a heavier kettlebell, 3-4x the weight of the lighter one.
  • Simply hold this heavier kettlebell next to your side, with your arm straight.
  • Complete the same single arm kettlebell workout on the side with the kettlebell in the bottoms up position.

This is a great exercise that as we can see starts with the simple hold of the bottoms up position, and can then lead to more of a dynamic movement. We hope you enjoy this exercise. Let us know how it helps with your shoulder stability, and remember to check out the video above it you need it!

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