Kettlebell racking position

10 Steps To Find Your Kettlebell Racking Position Easily

Taco Fleur Kettlebell Trainer“Finding your kettlebell racking position is not always easy, I have heard many different reasons that could be the problem, like; having breasts, not having the right body type, inflexible, being overweight etc. and yes, those could be valid excuses in some cases, but from my experience it’s usually the trainer/teacher that does not know how to provide the proper progressions and cues for the student to find their racking position, or to make them fully understand the position and it’s objectives.” ~ Taco Fleur

Kettlebell World Champion - Master of Sport at Age 51
Kettlebell World Champion – Master of Sport at Age 51

Cavemantraining is big on making people understand the WHY, as we believe that to understand and learn something, you need to understand the WHY first. Thus without further ado.

Why Rack Properly?

The main points why you should rack your kettlebell properly are:

  • Conserve energy
  • Rest when required
  • Proper power transfer
  • Prevent muscle strain

Conserve energy by being able to relax the muscles more when in a proper racking position.

Being able to rest when required, i.e. when doing high-volume reps and not wanting to put the Kettlebells down as this would require more energy and time.

When doing Jerks or Push Presses properly transfer the power from the legs directly into the forearm through the elbow, rather than directing and losing power through the torso, shoulders, and elbow.

Download the free ebook Master Kettlebell Racking as a PDF.

Here are some points and tips that I am able to help my students find their racking position with for the one bell racking position.

The first step is to find the racking position without weight and use the following moves and cues to practice.


  1. Stand straight in a neutral position
  2. Bend one arm to bring the hand to the chest
  3. Keep the elbow tucked in
  4. Loosen the hips
  5. Fill the chest with a deep breath of air
  6. Breath out and release all the air while crunching forward
  7. Crunch to the side
  8. Push the hip slightly towards the side on which you’re racking
  9. Make adjustments if the forearm is not directly vertically aligned with the leg


The upper part of the torso needs to come away from its natural position, which in a neutral standing position would be in line with the hips. Why? Consider two heavy Kettlebells in a racking position with your body being in a normal neutral standing position, all the weight would be pulled forward, this would keep the body under tension and provide you with no rest. See the infographic below.

Kettlebell racking position

Now consider the spine making way for the kettlebells, allowing the weight to be placed above the hips and carried by the legs. See the infographic below.

Spine away vs neutral position


If the kettlebells are not resting directly above the legs they’ll be pulling forward causing strain on the biceps if you experience bicep pain —usually lower bicep— then you should be looking at your racking position, adjusting the base, making sure it’s not pointing forward but to the side or to the back and the bells are resting within the space you made by bringing your chest back.


The following are some racking points and cues you can use to find yourself a proper racking position.

  • The hips are soft, not locked
  • Elbow resting on the hip or as close as possible
  • Straight wrist when the bell is resting on the forearm
  • Slightly bend the wrist when the bell is resting between the forearm and biceps
  • Handle at a 45-degree angle within the palm
  • Loose grip
  • Relax your shoulders and trapezius
  • Round the back
  • Think about creating a side-on S shape with your body
  • The forearm should not hurt with proper weight distribution
  • The space for the kettlebell is not created by bending at the hips

Racking safety grip

Download the free PDF with all kettlebell grips.


The kettlebell can rest on the forearm or between the forearm and biceps, this is determined by the angle between the hand and the chest, if the hand is more towards the chest, the bell will be resting more on the forearm, if the hand comes more away from the chest —increasing the angle— then the bell will be resting more between the forearm and biceps.

Most trainers recommend locking the knees out, which makes sense, let the weight rest on the skeletal system and not the muscles. I find this doesn’t always work for me personally and I can find more comfortable positions with my knees slightly bent.


In the end, it’s about understanding the main concepts of racking, doing what you can to get the maximum benefit from these concepts and you’re doing good.

  • Let the skeletal system take as much of the weight as possible.
  • Let your legs do the work.

Following is a video Marcus Filly created for the Cavemantraining audience.

What if you still can’t find your racking position?

This is possible, and in this case, you’re just going to have to do the best you can do, perhaps keep trying, or get really good at your overhead lockout and rest overhead, when you have a good lockout overhead you’ve got essentially the same concept of the kettlebells resting on the skeletal system rather than your muscular system. However, because the kettlebells are higher off the ground with no support from the chest, there will be a lot more motion to fight against.

Check out our amazing online kettlebell course called Kettlebell Training Fundamentals available for trainers and everyday people who want to get into kettlebell training. Also, read the kettlebell rack position for several illustrations on the kb rack.

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