Kettlebell High Pull

The kettlebell high pull is an intermediate kettlebell exercise that is very similar to the kettlebell swing. In simple terms the kettlebell high pull combines the kettlebell swing with a motion similar to a cable row or other rowing motion. It is a great intermediate exercise before moving on to the kettlebell snatch.

Learning the Kettlebell High Pull

Before you graduate to the kettlebell high pull, make sure that you are very comfortable with the kettlebell swing. Once you have mastered the swing, the high pull can be accomplished by:

  • Beginning with the standard swing motion.

  • Pulling the kettlebell towards the chest at the top a swing, when the kettlebell reaches the level of the shoulders.

  • Punching the kettlebell back out away from the chest, returning the bell to the top position for a standard swing.

  • Completing the swing motion bringing the kettlebell back between the legs.

  • Repeat for desired repetitions.

Form and Safety Notes for the Kettlebell High Pull

  • The safety precautions for the kettlebell high pull are very similar to those found on our kettlebell swing page.

  • Additionally, the kettlebell high pull can put added pressure on the shoulder, chest and rotator cuff. Make sure to warm these area up before attempting this exercise, see our kettlebell warmup page for details. If you have shoulder issues or injuries, please check out our Shoulder Rehab Kettlebell article for advise.

Kettlebell High Pull Variations

  • Two Hand on One Kettlebell: The kettlebell high pull can be accomplished with two hands on one kettlebell. This version can be difficult on the wrists if you pull the bell too close to the body, and can be challenging with a small kettlebell.

  • Single Hand High Pull: This kettlebell exercise can be accomplished with one kettlebell in one arm, similar to the one arm swing. When performing the single arm kettlebell high pull it important to maintain shoulder and hip alignment during the pull and the punch out portion to protect the back.

  • Double Kettlebell High Pull: The high pull can be performed with two kettlebells, one in each hand. This version eliminates some of the body symmetry issues of the single hand high pull but and also expose issues of asymmetry in shoulder flexibility and mobility. Always start with a light weight when trying a new double kettlbell exercise is the added coordination of managing two bells can be challenging. Also be careful when bringing the kettlebells down between the legs as there is added risk of contacting the knee when you have two kettlebells.

  • Alternating High Pull: A variation on the double high pull is the alternating high pull. This is also done with two kettlebells, however you only swing and pull one bell at a time.

Kettlebell High Pull Videos

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  1. JustinB


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