Double Kettlebell Exercises – The Basics

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that one kettlebell is all you need to improve your conditioning, lose fat and gain lean muscle …

However, double kettlebell training can take your workouts to a whole new level. As I mentioned in this post on Return of the Kettlebell by Pavel, double kettlebell training gives you a whole lot more ‘metabolic whallop’ for your buck. It’s also great for putting on muscle – moving more weight stimulates more muscle.

In this article, I’m going to give a quick overview of five ‘basic’ double kettlebell exercises:  The Double Swing, the Double Clean, the Double Press, the Double Squat, and the Double Snatch.  Next time, I’ll give you a couple of double kettlebell sample workouts you can try.

Hopefully this goes without saying, but mastering the basic kettlebell exercises with one kettlebell should come before trying to learn them using two.  Make sure to read through the archives of this blog for technique and workout tips if you’re still looking to get the basic exercises down.

The Double Swing

The mechanics of the Double Swing are identical to the single kettlebell Swing, with a couple of exceptions:

1. You’ll have to take a slightly wider stance than you would with a ‘normal’ Swing to get the kettlebells to clear your legs.

2. Turn the handles in slightly as you bring the kettlebells down and back to pre-load the external rotators

Here’s a video demo of the standard Swing to review:

The Double Clean

The Double Clean is, like the Double Swing, very similar to its single-kettlebell counterpart.  You’ll simply clean both kettlebells at the same time up to the shoulder.  Also, same as the Double Swing, make sure to internally rotate the kettlebell handles to pre-load the external rotators as they come down and are hike-passed between the legs.

The Double Press

Same mechanics as the single-arm Press.  Here you’ll just be working with more weight total, and actually be more balanced during the press.

Here’s a good video demonstration of the Double Kettlebell Clean and Press:

The Double Squat

The Double Squat is actually a good sub for a traditional Barbell Front Squat. It’s a lot easier on the wrists and is pretty darn challenging – a double front squat with a pair of 32k’s will challenge even a strong man.

Here’s what the Double Kettlebell Squat looks like:

The Double Snatch

This one is a little tricky, largely because of the weight of two kettlebells is going to have the tendency to pull you down.  In many instances, you’ll be snatching upwards of half your entire body weight.  So, what you want to do is snatch the kettlebells up above your head, and then bring them down to your shoulders before you snatch them back up.

Here’s a video that does a good job of explaining the Double Swing to Double Snatch progression:

There you have the basic five double kettlebell exercises: The Swing, Clean, Press, Squat and Snatch.  Next time, I’ll outline a couple of sample double kettlebell workouts for you.  Keep training hard!!

P.S.  If anything is unclear, I explain all of these double kettlebell exercises in greater detail in my Quick Start Guide

P.S.S. One thing about double kettlebell training: You’ll probably need to order more kettlebells 🙂  As you know, I personally use and highly recommend Dragon Door kettlebells – check out this post if you want to know why

P.S.S.S. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on all the latest from (and to get first word of the next post in this series) – just drop your name and email into the box at the upper right of the page

3 thoughts on “Double Kettlebell Exercises – The Basics

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