Functional Rehab of the Shoulder: The Kettlebell Part Deux

Functional strengthening and retraining of the body after an injury can be accomplished using the same equipment you find in most fitness studios. Following up from our previous article, we’ve included three progressions you can use to strengthen and retrain your shoulder using kettlebells.


1.      Eccentric Kettlebell Drops

Eccentric loading is one of the best ways to improve shoulder range of motion in a controlled setting. Kettlebell Drops are an easy and safe method used to reintroduce an overhead load in the rehab setting.

To perform: Start on a bench, holding kettlebell with both hands directly in front of your body. Slowly lower kettlebell until parallel with body.

2.      Kettlebell Corkscrew

The ‘Kettlebell Corckscrew’ is a progression from the ‘Kettlebell Press Up’. It places the focus on centering the shoulder joint within the labrum while challenging scapular stabilizers and proprioceptors.

To perform: Start lying on your side holding kettle bell with straight arm in bottom’s up position. Slowly rotate kettlebell clockwise and then counter clockwise.

3.      Bottom’s Up Kettlebell Press and Walk

A progression from the ‘Bottom’s Up Kettlebell Carry,’ the ‘Kettlebell Press and Carry’ requires more posterior rotator cuff  activation and greater proprioceptive demand.

To perform: Start standing, with shoulder and elbow bent to 90 degrees, holding the kettlebell handle. Balancing the kettlebell upside down (with bottom up), press up and walk forward for a total of 100 m. Switch arms and repeat.







Dedicated to creating strong, smart, and self reliant human beings. Evolve Performance Healthcare is Portland’s premier healthcare clinic-gym hybrid. Achieving long term, sustainable pain relief through the combination of conservative medicine and functional fitness.