It’s no secret these days that kettlebells are great training tools for movement training, functional strength, power application, and metabolic conditioning workouts. With the wide variety of kettlebell exercises out there, we wanted to highlight the double kettlebell swing benefits coaches and athletes can expect when programming these ballistic kettlebell movements into more advanced training programs. In the below sections, we will discuss the benefits and offer a double kettlebell technique video as well.
Double Kettlebell Swing Technique Video
The double kettlebell swing is a complex swing variation that requires great control, coordination, and stability in the core and upper body. In the below video, the double kettlebell swing is demonstrated. Be sure to pay attention to how the athlete gets their back and shoulder blades to “pack the back” and stabilize both kettlebells independently.
4 Benefits of the Double Kettlebell Swing
Below you will find four (4) benefits of the double kettlebell swing. Note, that some of the below benefits are similar to those benefits of single kettlebell swing, in which the differences between the two have been discussed in more detail in each section.
Increased Loading Potential
At some point in a lifters/athletes training, they will find that using a singular kettlebell may limit their ability to load a movement with enough weight (even if they have a 50kg+ kettlebell). For some athletes, performing heavy doubles swings, cleans, and front squats mean that they can load up more weight that a typical, singular kettlebell allows for. By using two kettlebells in movements like the double kettlebell swing, you allow a lifter to unlock higher loading potentials that can resulting in continued progress and muscle growth. Note, that depending on how the kettlebells are held and the size of the lifter, double kettlebell swings with heavy loads may be difficult due to the limited space between the floor and the inside of the legs for the kettlebells to pass through (almost turning the double swing into a sumo deadlift swing).
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Addressing Movement Asymmetries
The double kettlebell swing is a very unforgiving movement that requires a lifter to perform the swing under loading (often with more loads (see above) while reinforcing proper movement mechanics throughout the hips, core, back, and scapular stabilizers. When using a singular kettlebell for swings, our dominant side of the body often takes over, even if slightly, making it very easy to compensate for poor hip, imbalanced hamstring functioning, or muscle tightness. Additionally, by performing the double kettlebell swing rather than the single kettlebell swing, you force the lifter to remain in control and limit any spiralling movements of the hips/spine (that may have been present in the singular kettlebell variation)
Unilateral Scapular Control
When performing singular kettlebell swings, the body may have the ability to compensate for any muscle imbalance in scapular stability, strength, and/or function. They benefit of using two kettlebells in the swing is that it requires a lifter to stabilize each kettlebell independently. The double kettlebell swing can be a good option for those lifters who fail to train stabilizers independently or deeply rely on such muscle groups for support and strength (weightlifters, strength athletes, runners, etc).
Improved Grip Strength
Whether this is because of greater unilateral control, heavier loads, or a combination of the two, double kettlebell swings can have a direct impact on grip strength and wrist control for lifters. By having to control the load throughout the entire range of motion, with no ability to transfer weight to one’s hand to the other, you force your gripping abilities to improve.
Kettlebell Training Exercise Guides
Take a look at some of our most helpful kettlebell training exercise and training guides below!
- Kettlebell Clean and Press Exercise Guide
- Kettlebell Thruster vs Barbell Thruster vs Dumbbell Thruster
- Kettlebell Training for Weightlifters
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