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Kettlebell Exercises for Pectoral Muscles

author image Eric Bach
Eric Bach is a personal trainer, author of The Power Primer, and fitness business consultant in Denver, Colorado. His passion is simplifying fitness, helping clients get great results through the ruthless execution of the basics. Find out more on his website Bach Performance, or hang out on Facebook.
Kettlebell Exercises for Pectoral Muscles
The kettlebell offers multiple ways to train your shoulders. Photo Credit: stocksnapper/iStock/Getty Images

Kettlebells are an alternative to the classic dumbbell or barbell that offer an effective way to increase strength, power, and lean muscle mass. They're commonly used for power movements like the kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch, or kettlebell cleans.

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Typically used as a device for teaching the beginning steps to the Olympic Lifts, kettlebells are often overlooked when it comes to developing a stronger and more defined chest. But that doesn't mean there aren't efficient ways to train your chest with kettlebells.

Kettlebell Pushup

Performing push-ups with your hands on the handles of kettlebells take your push-ups to the next level. It allows for a greater range of motion and thus a greater challenge.

Increasing your range of motion allows you to use more of the desired muscle you're trying to work. And the more of the muscle you use, the more calories you burn and the more muscle you can build.

Step 1

Place the kettlebells around 12 to 16 inches apart on the floor.

Step 2

Grab the handles, keep your arms straight and use your toes for support. Squeeze your abs and maintain a straight, neutral spine just as you would during a plank.

Step 3

Bend your elbows, and lower yourself toward the kettlebells, letting your chest fall as close to the ground as you can. Feel the stretch in your pecs.

Step 4

Push yourself back up to the starting position and begin your next rep.

Dipping your chest below the handles allows for great range of motion
Dipping your chest below the handles allows for great range of motion Photo Credit: shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

Read More: Kettlebell Exercises for Arms, Back and Abs

One-Arm Kettlebell Push-up

Challenge yourself even further by using only one kettlebell at a time to perform push-ups.

Instead of having both arms on a kettlebell handle, one arm will be flat on the ground as if you were doing a regular push-up, while the other is on the handle of the kettlebell. You then bend and extend both elbows to perform the push-up.

With only one arm extending its range of motion, you'll force that side to work harder to push your body weight back up.

Alternating Kettlebell Floor Presses

Dumbbell and barbell floor presses are an excellent way to train your chest when you don’t have a bench. But you can also use kettlebells for these. Floor presses isolate and strengthen your pecs as well as your triceps.

Step 1

Lie down on the ground with two kettlebells beside you.

Step 2

Grab a kettlebell with each hand. Make sure that your palms are facing each other.

Step 3

Press the kettlebell straight up toward the ceiling and rotate your wrist away from your body, facing the wall.

Step 4

Lower the kettlebell back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Step 5

Start with a moderate weight and increase as needed. Perform three to four sets of eight to 12 reps.

Read More: Kettlebell Exercises for Biceps

Kettlebell Squeeze Press

The dumbbell squeeze press is one of the best ways to make your pec muscles work and grow your chest. But if holding two dumbbells together and squeezing them isn’t easy for you, use a kettlebell and reap the same benefits.

Step 1

Grab a kettlebell of moderate weight.

Step 2

Lie down on a bench with the bell sitting comfortably on your belly.

Step 3

Place both hands around the bell; keep your elbows tight to your body while you perform this.

Step 4

Lift the bell off your chest, maintaining the tight elbow position to the body. As you do this, you should feel a squeeze in your chest.

Step 5

Lower the weight back down. During each rep, m liake sure you keep squeezing your chest together. Perform three sets of 10 to12 reps

Kettlebell Chest Flyes

Dumbbell chest flyes are one of the best ways to build a bigger chest. But, you can also use kettlebells for this movement as well.

Step 1

Grab a pair of light kettlebells and lie down on a flat bench. Hold the kettlebells like the photo below with the bell resting against your wrist; your palms facing each inward.

The kettlebell should rest on your wrist and fit comfortably in your palm.
The kettlebell should rest on your wrist and fit comfortably in your palm. Photo Credit: MeikePetri/iStock/Getty Images

Step 2

Maintain a slight bend in your elbows and lower your arms out to the side, creating a wide arc. When you feel a stretch in your chest, stop and pause for one second.

Step 3

Return your arms back to the starting position and squeeze your chest muscles together.

Step 4

Perform two to three sets of 12 to 15 reps to get the most out of chest flyes.

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