Who struggles with pressing bells? especially when moving up in weight! I certainly do and there are hundreds of people out there who have the same problem. We will cover a couple of things that will assist in getting that heavier bell above the head and into the lockout. From personal experience I know that pressing kettlebells requires quite a high level of skill strength also. Take a 16kg bell and a man with 20in biceps and he will press that 1pood like it was nothing, give that same man a 32,40 or even a 45kg bell and that same man will both struggle to get the bell above the head and risk injury also. The main reason behind this is that he has not acquired the skill strength to move the bell through the correct planes, with or without leverage points.
With Kettlebells the progression to heavier weight can be a long one, unless you train smart. The tips and tricks that are about to follow should be used when trying to improve the numbers and certain techniques can be applied to many aspects of training.
Just recently I have had some time off the bells and have really struggled with the heavier weights which to me is very frustrating. What follows is a list of things I tend to do in order for me to get up to heavier weights in no particular order.
1. Swing. Swinging a heavier bell than the one you intend to press good, if you do not have one then use two if you do not have two then use you imagination and improvise (sandbags etc are cheap and effective - use them). This works the whole body but has great emphasis on the back and legs which will be used as the base for you to press from (full body tension.)
2. Deadlifting. Using a barbell we can even at the lightest body weights get up to some respectful numbers pulling strength and leg and back strength have a positive affect when pressing so use it and note the results for future reference.
3. Grind. Take a bell which you can press and go up in steps until you reach full lockout and then come down in steps. up 6in return to start up 12in return to start etc. This is an example of ramping up the volume or intensity to reach a goal. It is useful but make sure you don't go to failure or it will be detrimental to progress.
4. Tension techniques. Learn how to create tension throughout the body be tensing different body parts at a time and then learning how to create a full body of high tension. It is extremely important that we learn to engage the lats and bring them up to optimal tension you can practice this by squeezing a tennis ball between the lat and the upper biceps on the outer line of the armpit if you don't have a tennis ball use a towel. This is a really good technique for overcoming the sticking point and is sure to assist in blasting through any pressing plateau.
These are just a few things to help, look out for part two in which I will present some more tips and techniques and plan a routine to get to that next step.
Hope this helps.