Kettlebell Complex for Shoulder Strength and Mobility - VAHVA Fitness

Kettlebell Complex for Shoulder Strength and Mobility

Kettlebell complex with 3 exercises to develop the shoulders and add both strength and mobility.


omplex training simply means that you combine multiple exercises into an exercise complex where you do all of the exercises in one set without any rest between the exercises.

You can combine strength exercises, plyometrics and sport-specific drills into one set. The most common way is to do a strength exercise (like a back squat) followed by a plyometric exercise (like box jumps) but there are countless of innovative ways to do complexes with all tools available. 

Complex training will allow you to save plenty of workout time and hit many birds with one stone.​ It's efficient, effective and something athletes have been utilizing for a long time.

You can focus either on one aspect (like strength - pressing here) or do many elements of the body all at once: pulling, pressing, squatting and deadlifting in one complex set.

Complex training is especially beneficial for athletes and martial artists who want to develop strength and power, but not become overly fatigued or sore from the workouts (which could disturb their main practice).

In complex sets you are frequently switching the exercise, the exercises are often big compound exercises and you are not grinding one body part to death, which makes the complex workouts much easier and faster to recover from. 

In this kettlebell complex we are focusing on 3 pressing exercises although there are also front squats and kettlebell swings involved in the transition phases. These 3 pressing exercises will increase the strength and mobility of the shoulders very well.

See also our previous kettlebell workouts:

Kettlebell and Bodyweight Workout

Round 1

Overhead press: 2 x 1 repetition per arm

Bent press: 2 x 1 repetition per arm

Sots press: 2 x 1 repetition per arm

Round 2

Overhead press: 2 x 1-2 repetitions per arm

Bent press: 2 x 1 repetition per arm

Sots press: 2 x 2 repetitions per arm

Round 3

Overhead press: 2 x 2 repetitions per arm

Bent press: 2 x 2 repetitions per arm

Sots press: 2 x 2 repetitions per arm

Rest 1-2 minutes between rounds. No rest between exercises during rounds.

Kettlebell Overhead Press

kettlebell overhead press

Overhead press is a solid shoulder and triceps exercise regardless of the equipment you are using. The exercise will train the anterior and lateral deltoids, triceps, traps, upper chest and core.

The biggest difference with kettlebells and dumbbells is that the center of gravity of the kettlebell pulls the weight behind which works the stabilizer muscles a bit more.

Work on slow and controlled repetitions. Push press is a different exercise to the overhead press and with the strict overhead press you shouldn't have any initial push or twerk when you initiate the lift from the chest.

Kettlebell Bent Press

bent press kettlebell

Kettlebell bent press is a phenomenal old school exercise that works the shoulders, triceps and hips & core. 

You need to have good shoulder and upper back mobility to perform the bent press. Bent press is very different compared to the overhead press and highly recommended for optimal shoulder development.

You press the weight up while lowering the body to the side. After you have pushed the weight up, you straighten your body while holding the weight overhead (this works the core and hips the most). For all bent press variations, see this article and video.

Sots Press

kettlebell complex sots press

Sots press is the weightlifters favorite and a great exercise to develop hip mobility and shoulder mobility at the same time.

If you really want to make the sots press difficult, you can use two kettlebells instead of one. One kettlebell should suffice though and it will allow you to rotate the core to make the press easier.

Similar to the other presses, focus on slow and controlled quality repetitions. You don't need to stay completely upright, instead your core should bend and twist in the sots press.