15 Chest Workouts with Kettlebells You Need To Build Big, Strong Pecs

chest workouts with kettlebells

Chest workouts with kettlebells are a fantastic alternative. Kettlebells are incredibly versatile, and there are many variations of two-handed and single kettlebell exercises for the chest.

The Best Kettlebell Exercises For the Chest

Table of Contents

There’s a piece of equipment at almost every gym that you might be missing. 

When it comes to workouts, especially the newly popular at-home workouts, most people think of the basics like dumbbells, bands, and treadmills in terms of equipment. 

But, one tool you may be overlooking is the kettlebell. 

Kettlebells are one of the most versatile free weights you can use. Unlike regular dumbbells, they can be used for pressing, pulling, swinging, and carrying. 

Even if you don’t have access to a gym, you can do a ton of exercises at home using kettlebells. 

Here are some of our favourite chest workouts with kettlebells you can do in the comfort of your home or your favorite gym space. 

How To Train Your Chest with Kettlebells

Studies show that kettlebells are excellent for building both muscular strength and aerobic power.

You can add kettlebells to your existing workout routine by substituting dumbbell exercises and even barbell exercises with kettlebells. There are several advantages to this:

  • Switching up your exercises helps you push past plateaus.
  • Kettlebells challenge your core more than other weights, adding more of a full-body element to your training.
  • Kettlebells add variety to your routine, staving off boredom and increasing motivation.
  • Using kettlebells helps build functional strength, mechanical strength, speed, and agility.

If you want to take advantage of the best that chest workouts with kettlebells have to offer, you can add a kettlebell circuit training workout to your current routine.

A kettlebell chest routine that uses circuit training will burn more calories since your heart rate will stay elevated throughout.

This training style will increase your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular efficiency without having to do tedious cardio workouts like running or cycling.

The other way to train your chest with kettlebells is to simply replace your current exercises with any of these following chest exercises with kettlebells.

Below the exercises are some simple kettlebell chest routines to try for beginners or if you want to go heavy.

Related: 25 Surprising Battle Ropes Benefits: Strength, Fat Loss, and More

Chest Workouts with Kettlebells: Two Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebell Chest Press

Tips: Start light and make sure to control the movement by keeping your arms close to your body. Keep your wrists straight and rest the kettlebell near the ball of your thumb. 

  1. Grab a pair of kettlebells and lie on a bench.
  2. Fully extend your arms and with your arms directly above your chest.
  3. Face your palms in with a kettlebell in each hand. 
  4. Lower the kettlebells to the sides of your chest.
  5. Tuck your arms into your body.
  6. Pause and then press the kettlebells back to starting position. 

Kettlebell Fly Press

Tips: Wear shoes, so you do not slide while doing this exercise. Start lighter than you would do dumbbell flys. Do not fully extend your arms; your arms should have a slight bend at the elbow. 

  1. Lie on the floor with a kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Make sure your back is flat, and your feet are grounded. 
  3. Using a neutral grip, start with the kettlebells above your chest.
  4. Slowly lower the kettlebells laterally to the ground making sure you have a slight bend at your elbow.
  5. Once your arms reach the ground, contract your pecs and bring the kettlebells back to the starting position. 
  6. Take a breath and continue your reps without allowing the kettlebells to touch. 

Kettlebell Pushup (hands-on KB)

Tips: Keep a wider stance than you would with regular push-ups. Keep your head in a neutral position and look at the floor to ensure you are not straining your neck. 

  1. Grab the handle of each kettlebell keeping your wrists straight.
  2. Assume a push-up position with your legs either straight or bent at the knee. 
  3. Inhale and brace your core to stabilize your body. 
  4. Lower your body, so your chest is aligned with your hands.
  5. Extend your elbow and drive your palm into the kettlebell to resume the starting position. 
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps. 

Kettlebell Floor Press

Tips: Do not allow the kettlebells to run into one another at the top. Do not let your butt come off of the ground, and keep your wrists straight. 

  1. Start by placing a kettlebell on each side of your body next to your shoulders.
  2. Roll slightly to one side and grab a single kettlebell with both hands.
  3. Slowly roll to the other side and grab the other kettlebell.  
  4. Keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent.
  5. Press the kettlebells until they are straight out in front of your body.
  6. Slowly lower the weight back to your chest until your triceps are touching the floor. 

Incline Kettlebell Press

Tips: Make sure your core is tight. Keeping your core tight will ensure your back is not arched too much and can prevent an injury. 

  1. Sit on an incline bench with kettlebells on your lap
  2. Ground your feet
  3. Press both kettlebells in front of your chest until your arms are almost fully extended
  4. Keep your wrists straight and your palms facing forward
  5. Slowly lower the kettlebells until they are slightly touching your chest. 
  6. Press back up until your arms have resumed the starting position. 

Decline Kettlebell Press

Tips: Make sure your legs are locked into the leg brace. This will help keep you controlled as the exercise gets more challenging. Make sure to relax your neck to ensure you do not strain it. 

  1. Sit on a decline bench with your legs under the leg brace.
  2. Rest the kettlebells on your thighs.
  3. Tighten your core and ensure your legs are locked in place.
  4. Press the dumbbells to lockout above your chest. 
  5. Lower the weight slowly until the kettlebells are at the side of your chest.
  6. Repeat

Chest Workouts with One Kettlebell

If you want to do a chest workout with one kettlebell, there are still plenty of exercise options. Single-arm (unilateral) chest exercises even have some benefits including:

  • Helps balance potential muscle weaknesses/imbalances
  • Adds a challenge for your core as your body works hard to keep stable with an uneven load
  • Can provide a new stimulus to your body to bust through a strength plateau
  • Causes you to slow down and focus more on form

Here are several chest exercises with one kettlebell.

Single Arm Kettlebell Chest Press

Tip: Move the leg on the same side of the body that you are pressing farther out than you usually would. This will help balance your body since you are only using one arm at a time. 

  1. Lie on your back on the floor or a bench.
  2. Grab one kettlebell and extend the single-arm in front of you. 
  3. Keep your palms facing forward and your wrists straight. 
  4. Lower the weight to the side of your chest.
  5. Focus on squeezing your chest, exhaling as you press up.
  6. Repeat with each arm. 

Kettlebell Squeeze Press


Tip: Make sure this movement is slow and controlled. You do not want the kettlebell slamming into your chest as it might cause you to hurt yourself. Start light!

  1. Lie on your back on the floor or a bench.
  2. Pick up a single kettlebell and hold it with both hands.
  3. Wrap your index finger and thumb around the handle and grip the body of the kettlebell on both sides.
  4. Fully extend your arms until they are out in front of you.
  5. Slowly lower the weight until the kettlebell almost touches your chest, and your arms are to your side. 
  6. Press back up to the starting position. 

One Arm Kettlebell Push Up

Tips: Just like any other push-up, ensure your back is straight, and your core is tight. Also, make sure to face down to the ground, so your neck is not strained. If you are advanced, putting the other arm behind your back instead of on the floor is much more challenging. 

  1. Get in the push-up position.
  2. Place a kettlebell beneath your right shoulder.
  3. Open your stance a little wider than shoulder-width apart
  4. With your right hand on the ball of the kettlebell and your left hand on the floor lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. 
  5. Pause, then push yourself back up.
  6. Repeat switching the placement of the kettlebell to the left hand. 

Single Arm Kettlebell Front Raise

Standing kettlebell chest exercises add variety and work your muscles in a uniquely challenging way compared to the usual prone exercises done lying on a bench or the floor. 

The single-arm and two-arm kettlebell front raise and standing kettlebell chest press are both excellent options to add to your chest workouts with kettlebells.

Tips: Keep a slight bend in your elbow while doing the movement. Hone in on only moving your arm and keeping the rest of your body still. 

  1. Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place the kettlebell next to your thigh with your right hand.
  3. Your hand should be facing forward, and your wrist should be straight.
  4. Raise your right arm in front of your body, keeping a slight bend at your elbow.
  5. Pause at the top and lower the weight back to your side. 
  6. Repeat for desired reps and switch arms.

Two-Arm Kettlebell Front Raise

Tips: Keep a soft bend in your elbow but don’t bend them as you raise the kettlebell. Do not swing the kettlebell, but move in a slow and controlled motion. 

  1. Hold a kettlebell with an overhand grip, stand tall with your chest up and core engaged.
  2. Lift the kettlebell in front of your chest. Keep your abdominals tight as you raise the kettlebell. Feel the contraction in the shoulder muscles.
  3. Once the kettlebell reaches shoulder height, pause and slowly lower the kettlebell to the starting position.

Standing Kettlebell Chest Press

Tips: Keep your feet planted and your core tight. Try not to swing the kettlebell at all and keep the movement controlled. 

  1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grab the kettlebell with both hands placing your thumb and index finger around the handle and palm around the weighted part. 
  3. Begin with the kettlebell near your chest. Keep the weight right in the middle of your chest.
  4. Extend your arms out, keeping your body tight. 
  5. Return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps. 

Kettlebell Pullover

Tip: Keep the weight light! Tighten your core and make sure your back is as flat to the floor as possible. If your back starts rounding, stop the movement sooner or lessen the weight. 

  1. Lie on your back on a flat surface.
  2. Bring your knees up and plant your feet on the ground.
  3. Grab your kettlebell by the handles with the weight part facing your head.
  4. Extend your arms. 
  5. Let the kettlebell fall back above your head until it is almost touching the ground. 
  6. Bring the weight back out in front of you in a slow and controlled manner.

Single Kettlebell Push-Up

  1. Kneel on a mat with feet together and toes tucked under. Bend forward, placing your arms on the sides of a kettlebell, bending forward until you are in a plank position with your legs straight out behind you.
  2. Lower your chest towards the kettlebell, keeping your torso tight and body in a straight line. Lower down until your chest touches the kettlebell, keeping your elbows close.
  3. Press upwards to the starting position.

Turkish Get-Up

turkish get up

Tips: The Turkish Get-Up is one of the best full-body exercises. It works the chest muscles as well as your shoulders, abs, legs, back, and triceps. Make sure you stay slow and in control, bracing your core through the whole movement.

  1. From a side-lying position, grab the kettlebell then roll onto your back. Bring your right leg in while the left is extended. Press the kettlebell into the air with the right hand. Place the left hand on the ground.
  2. Come up on your left elbow. Then sit up while keeping the kettlebell in the air. Drive your hips into the air. Sweep your leg into a kneeling position. Rotate the back knee so that your body is in a lunge position. Step forward and stand up straight.
  3. Keep the kettlebell above your head, your arm locked out.
  4. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

How to Build a Kettlebell Chest Routine

To build a solid chest workouts with kettlebells, you’ll need to pay attention to these factors:

  • Full-body versus body part split: are you planning to add kettlebell chest exercises to your full-body routine, or will you have a separate chest day?
  • Hypertrophy versus strength versus muscle endurance: Are you planning to focus on muscle size or strength gains? Or just learning the ropes and want to improve muscular endurance?
  • Are you stuck in a strength or growth plateau?
  • Do you have lagging chest parts? Lower or upper pecs? Do you lack width or thickness?: You’ll want to choose kettlebell chest exercises that focus on your lagging parts.
  • How often will you be training your chest each week?: If it’s fewer than two, you’ll want to do several kettlebell chest exercises each time to fully exhaust the muscles.
  • What other chest exercises are you doing?: Use kettlebell chest exercises as complementary movements on your heavy bench press day, for example.
  • How much rest are you taking between chest workouts?: Don’t train your chest two days in a row, your muscles need time to recover.

To learn more about creating a new workout routine, read this extremely comprehensive guide: How to Build a New Workout Routine According to Your Goals, Personality, and Lifestyle.


Beginner Kettlebell Chest Workout (PDF)

This beginner chest workout with kettlebells assumes you have one pair of kettlebells of a medium-heavy weight. A sample beginner kettlebell chest workout might look like this:


Kettlebell Flat Bench Press

Kettlebell Incline Fly

Kettlebell Squeeze Press

Kettlebell Front Raise (single kettlebell)

Kettlebell Standing Chest Press

Kettlebell Pullover


3 / 10-12

3 / 6-8

3 / 8-10

2 / 10-12

2 / 10-12

1 / 8-10

You can print the Beginner Chest Workout with Kettlebells in PDF format by heading to the Free Resource Library (sign-up form). You’ll get an email with access to the library which contains free workouts, workout planners, calendars, and more.

Heavy Kettlebell Chest Workout (PDF)

If you need a chest workout with a kettlebell that is heavy and more advanced, try this:


Kettlebell One-Arm Chest Press

One-Arm Kettlebell Push-Up

Two-Arm Kettlebell Front Raise

Kettlebell Pullover

Single Kettlebell Push-Up

Turkish Get-Up


3 / 6-8

4 / 10-15

4 / 10-12

3 / 10-12

2 / 10-12

5 / 1

You can print the Heavy Chest Workout with Single Kettlebell in PDF format by heading to the Free Resource Library (sign-up form). You’ll get an email with access to the library which contains free workouts, workout planners, calendars, and more.

Madison Freeman
Madison Freeman

I am a journalist and freelance writer working towards my personal training certification with a keen eye for good stories. I think strength training is the best form of therapy and I never turn down a good piece of cake.

chest workouts with kettlebells
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