The Complete Double Kettlebell Workout
The biggest difference between using one kettlebell and using two is that you can’t cheat on your form when you’re working with double kettlebells. When doing a double kettlebell workout, you have to be sure your form is spot on or you will almost certainly injure yourself.
Those who want to graduate to double kettlebell workouts are those who already feel solid in their technique and are now looking to gain as much strength as they can.
Your Complete Double Kettlebell Workout
Single kettlebells are typically used for high rep/high intensity, or ballistic, workouts. Double kettlebells are more often used for the low rep/high weight, or grind, workouts. These grind style workouts put a lot of tension on your muscles. This is what allows some serious muscle growth to show.
Here is a double kettlebell workout that is designed for strengthening. Do this workout once with two kettlebells. Rest at least 30 seconds between sets. If you plan on increasing your weight amounts as time goes on, you might want to look into an adjustable kettlebell, which will allow you to add more weight as you see fit.
Double Kettlebell Cleans: 8 reps, 2 sets
The double clean requires a solid, single clean. Many people try to just throw the kettlebell into place without following all the steps to doing a clean correctly.
Double cleans are popular because they really build your upper arms. Your biceps, rhomboids, and traps will thank you for perfecting your double clean.
- To do a double clean, first get into an athletic stance with both kettlebells in front.
- Hinge at the hips and bend the knees to reach down and grab the kettlebells.
- Grasp the kettlebells with an overhand grip and hike them backwards between your legs.
- Next, explosively push your hips forward to allow the kettlebells to start to swing.
- As the kettlebells move forward, push your arms into a bent position and move your arms around the kettlebells so they fall into the crook of your elbows.
- Allow the kettlebells to drop back between your legs and repeat.
It is best to keep an open hand grip on the bells once you reach the final position as you don’t want your fingers caught between the bells.
Double kettlebell Front Squat: 10 reps, 2 sets
If you need a lower body workout that will also develop your core and upper body, try the double kettlebell front squat. This move will put you under full body tension. It is one of the most intense variations of the squat, and it’s perfect for getting the gains you are looking for from a double kettlebell workout.
- Start with both kettlebells in front of you.
- Grab the kettlebells and then get them both in to the rack position.
- Take an athletic stance and tuck your elbows in to protect your ribcage.
- Finally, squat down while maintaining the tension throughout your body. You should particularly feel your quads and core activating.
Return to standing and repeat for 10 reps.
Double Kettlebell Deadlift: 8 reps, 3 sets
Even for people who have minimal lifting experience, the double kettlebell deadlift provides a great foundation for other exercises. It helps immensely with grip strength, as well as learning how to work the hips. Plus, it strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, and back.
- To perform the double kettlebell deadlift, take both kettlebells and put them directly next to each other.
- Take a stance that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Bend your knees and hinge forward at the hips to grasp the kettlebell, keeping your back straight and chest lifted.
- Drive yourself upwards to lift the kettlebells and then snap your hips forward to finish out the move.
You may find it helpful to rotate your kettlebells externally before you lift, so you have more room for your feet to fit around the kettlebells.
Double Kettlebell Swing: 8 reps, 3 sets
Adding another kettlebell to your swing sounds intimidating. While a second bell shouldn’t deter you from learning, make no mistake, the addition causes the kettlebell swing to become a lot more difficult. It forces you to burn more calories since the ballistic swing move becomes even more explosive when you add a second kettlebell.
You need to be strong to do this move as your glutes, abs, quads, and posterior chain will all be firing.
- Start by taking a wide stance and have your kettlebells in front of you angled inward.
- Hinge at the hips, bend the knees slightly, and get a firm grip on the kettlebells with some gloves. Put your weight into your hips.
- Then, hike the kettlebells backwards between your legs.
- Quickly reverse the movement by explosively hinging your hips forward. This will allow the kettlebells to swing up.
- As the kettlebells reach the height of your chest, contract your abs.
- Allow the kettlebells to fall back down between your legs. Repeat.
You must be completely grounded to perform this move. If you don’t have a solid stance those kettlebells will just pull you off your feet.
Double Kettlebell Clean and Press: 6 reps, 2 sets
The double kettlebell clean and press is the ultimate move for combining upper and lower body strength. It will work almost every muscle group in the body.
It can be done by advanced and beginner lifters with the proper form. This move is frequently done with a barbell, but the kettlebell version is easier on the wrists and better for burning calories.
- Start by cleaning the kettlebells so they are both in rack position.
- Once you have both kettlebells in the crooks of your elbows, push them straight above your head into a lockout position for the press.
- To repeat, first bring them back down to the rack position and then back between your legs.
Double Kettlebell Snatch: 8 reps, 2 sets
The kettlebell snatch is great to include in your double kettlebell workout to build strength and endurance. It provides total body conditioning. Once you learn the double snatch you will be using it consistently for fat burning and muscle building.
You need a lot of power to learn the kettlebell snatch. It is best to start lighter than you would for a single snatch.
- Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and two kettlebells in between your legs.
- Grab the handles of both kettlebells by bending slightly at the knees and hips.
- Hike the kettlebells between your legs like you would with a swing.
- Next, explosively snap your hips forward to give the kettlebells the momentum to swing.
- Once you reach about your chest, begin to press the kettlebells up above your head into the lockout position.
- Allow the kettlebells to flip over your hand and land on your forearm at the top.
It is extremely important to maintain control of the kettlebells throughout this movement. This will prevent them from banging together and throwing you off your stance.
Remember this is not a big swing with a completely straight arm. But, your arm should not be completely bent either. You should have a broken elbow for proper form.
It is a move that looks cool and has amazing fat burning capabilities, but it has the potential for injury as well. Be sure you have mastered a single snatch before attempting a double!
Double Kettlebell Bent Over Rows: 15 reps, 2 sets
The double kettlebell bent over row is excellent for the upper back. While you will see the biggest results in the upper back, you will need to utilize the core, lower back, and arms to do the bent over row correctly.
- To do this move, take an athletic stance and keep soft knees.
- Hinge at the hips to bend down and grab both kettlebells.
- While in your hinge position, begin the movement by driving your elbows up until the kettlebells reach about your stomach height.
- With control, lower your kettlebells back to the starting position and repeat.
Keep your core engaged throughout this movement so you don’t end up overextending your spine. Additionally, try to avoid letting the momentum of the movement take over. It will be much more challenging if you keep control throughout the entire move.
Seesaw Kettlebell Press: 12 reps each arm
Seesaw floor presses are killer double kettlebell workouts for your shoulders and your core stabilizer muscles. It is an excellent move to work with if you want to progress to heavier kettlebells quickly.
- Start by cleaning two kettlebells into the rack position.
- Next, press one kettlebell above your head, engaging your lats.
- Keep some space between your bicep and your ear as you do this move.
- With control, lower the kettlebell that you just pressed above your head back into the rack position.
- At the same time as you are lowering the first kettlebell, press the second kettlebell.
- Continue to alternately press and lower your kettlebells.
Be careful to pay attention to your spine throughout this move. You want to keep a long spine, so you don’t risk overextending.
Double Kettlebell Dragon Flags: 5 reps, 2 sets
Including dragon flags in your workout will not only carve out your abs, they will also build up the muscles that help to protect your spine. The dragon flag is an important move for athletes who are prone to back pain.
Kettlebells intensify this workout since they will add additional balance requirements for a move where balance is already a key component.
- Begin the move by lying flat on the ground and doing floor presses with two kettlebells. They should be in the lockout position above your head. Your arms will now serve as your anchor for this movement.
- With your stomach hollowed and lower back engaged, lift your body into a body curl. Your legs should be straight in the air and your lower back should be off the ground.
- Slowly and with control, start to lower yourself back down.
- As you do so, slightly shift the kettlebells backwards. The goal here is to not have to touch the ground at all between reps.
As you get comfortable with this, it is okay to lower yourself all the way to the ground if need be.
Double Kettlebell Floor Press: 15 reps, 2 sets
If you feel your chest and triceps could use more work, you should do the kettlebell floor press. It is another move that will help your upper body to gain strength, size, and power using double kettlebells.
- To do it, sit on the ground in between two kettlebells with your feet out in front of you. The weights should be close to your hips.
- Grab the kettlebells underhand and then lower your upper body down. As you do so, keep your arms close to your body and at a 90-degree angle.
- You can then use this motion to leverage the kettlebells into the correct position. Your triceps should touch the ground and your forearms should be straight in the air.
- When you are in position, slowly press the kettlebells up off the floor.
- Then, lower them back down with control.
- When your arms touch the ground, you can take a break, and then press the kettlebells up again.
Double Kettlebell Jerk: 10 reps, 3 sets
Finish your double kettlebell workout strong with the jerk. It is a move that focuses on hip, lower body, and shoulder training.
- Start by cleaning two kettlebells to your shoulders.
- Allow your hips to slide forward and knees to bend into a dip.
- As you dip, your elbows should press into your hips. The purpose of this is to create a point from which to launch the kettlebells.
- From this position you will launch the kettlebells above your head by pressing and simultaneously doing a complete extension of your hips, legs, and ankles. This is necessary because you need to utilize the full power of your legs to get the kettlebell in the air.
- As soon as you have pressed the kettlebells into the air from your full extension, you will press your hips back and land in a squat to receive the kettlebells.
- After this quick extension and squat, you will straighten your legs to get into the top standing position.
This move has a lot of steps that happen in quick succession. Make sure you practice slowly to understand each step before trying it at full speed.
As you can see there are some highly advanced kettlebell moves included in this workout. It is best if you have mastery of your basic kettlebell skills before attempting this entire circuit.
For some of these workouts, like the dragon flag, having heavier kettlebells will actually make it easier. Therefore, it is important to find the right balance between a weight that will allow you to properly do the moves and one that will not end up hurting you.
No doubt about it, this is a strengthening workout routine. If you are looking for serious power and muscle gain, this routine will help meet your goals. These full body moves will help you bulk up and give you the benefits of a cardiovascular workout in one routine.
Before you know it, you will be looking for even heavier kettlebells to take this workout to the extreme.
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