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If you’re used to training with a single kettlebell, then double kettlebells are pretty much double the trouble. This is because they challenge you more and require more coordination. They can help you build strength and size in all of the body’s muscles.
In this piece, we’ve described the benefits of using double kettlebells and some handy workouts to target the whole body:
Is it Better to Use One or Two Kettlebells?
It is better to use two kettlebells as double kettlebell training is more effective. Sure, you could use a single kettlebell only as it can be used to do every single exercise, even the classic ones. You’ll definitely witness gains as well.
But it’s recommended to implement double kettlebells in your training routine once you’ve mastered the use of a single kettlebell. Incorporating double kettlebells will lead to new gains as they’re meant for different goals than your standard single kettlebell.
They require more coordination due to the extra center of mass that you have to deal with. They also challenge the body more, physically and mentally, as a result of this. The same philosophy applies to free weights like the dumbbell.
Benefits of Double Kettlebell Exercises
There are several benefits of using double kettlebells. You can avail them by utilizing the extra kettlebell whenever you’re working out, even with dumbbells or a barbell. They are the following:
You have to work with a higher overall weight which could be double that of what you were using before. It leads to more strength and hypertrophy but you should ensure that you can handle the extra weight.
Many do double kettlebell workouts just because of the more even distribution of weight. But you should also remember that working out with a heavy kettlebell instead of two light kettlebells is better for your gains.
However, an advantage of using lighter kettlebells is that you get to work with the same overall weight (or an even higher one), but your joints don’t take that much punishment. It’s better for long-term fitness.
Enhanced Core Strength
Due to the greater load that you’re now dealing with, your core will have to work harder and this will make it stronger. Also, if you use two kettlebells that are lighter than the single weight you’ve been using, the core will have an easier time adapting to the exercises.
More Efficient Workouts
Single kettlebells are great for the larger variety of exercises that they offer. However, they can be more time consuming when it comes to some exercises, as you’ll have to switch sides after every set or rep (if you’re doing alternative exercises).
But with double kettlebell exercises, you can hit both sides in the same amount of time. This doesn’t just save you time but if the weight is challenging, you can burn more calories and build more endurance in the same time period.
Due to the extra weight, your exercises will be more balanced unless one kettlebell is heavier than the other. If the overall weight of the two kettlebells is lighter than the single kettlebell you usually use, the exercises will build more coordination as well.
Double Kettlebell Exercises for Simple Strength Endurance
There are several exercises that you can do if you are a beginner looking to build up your strength. Some of the key ones are the following and the ones that we’ve mentioned in our workouts are variations of these:
To do these, put both the kettlebells in front of your body in the front rack position, with your palms holding their handles, and their bells being tightly behind the back of your wrists. Your feet should be hip width apart, with the toes being pointed slightly outwards. Then you squat.
Hold the double kettlebells in the front rack position with your hands below the chin and their bells in the bend of the elbows. Do alternating lunges or a walking lunge if you have the room. Just make sure to keep the torso over the hips throughout.
Simply hold a kettlebell in each hand while standing; keep your feet wider than hip width. Perform a clean with both the kettlebells at the same time and make sure to engage your lats for the best results.
Keep the kettlebells in front of you and bend down to hold their handles. Make sure that your back is completely flat as you pull your hips back. Pull up them using your legs until they reach the knees, then you use your back for the remainder of the movement to pull them up.
Double Kettlebell Workouts for Upper Body (Shoulders, Arms, and Triceps)
Based on gym culture, most people tend to only work out their upper bodies. Even if they train their legs, you’ll find that a majority of them will train their upper body on separate days. This is why the three-day push-pull-legs split is so popular.
Regardless of their preferences, double kettlebells allow for a variety of upper-body exercises and workouts. The following are two that may interest you, differing in terms of the difficulty and diversity of exercises:
Basic Double Kettlebell Upper Body Workout
This kettlebell training regimen is perfect for those starting out with double kettlebells. It will affect the shoulders, chest, and arms. Most of the exercises, especially the half-kneeling press will also take the core into consideration. You can also press on a bench instead of the floor.
Alternating gorilla rows/bent over rows – 8-10 reps
Half kneeling dual press – 10 reps
Floor press – 12 reps
Alternating bicep curls – 10 reps
Advanced Double Kettlebell Upper Body Workout
This workout should increase your size and strength while also taking it easy on your joints. You’re recommended to go slow and load eccentrically if your kettlebells are light. You can do the high pull with one or two kettlebells.
Dual kettlebell floor press – 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Dual kettlebell rows – 12-15 reps
Double clean – 8 reps
Kettlebell high pull – 12-15 reps
Dual kettlebell waiter walk – 20 yards
Double bicep curls – AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)
Double Kettlebell Workouts for Legs (Glutes, Hamstrings, and Quads)
There’s no day quite like the dreaded leg day. Not only is it challenging for most, but it is also the most beneficial as it positively affects your upper body muscle growth as well. Thankfully, kettlebells can be used to build up and tone your legs while adding a lot of strength to them.
There are many kettlebell workouts available online that can do wonders for your lower body. The following are two valuable workout programs ranging from beginner to advanced:
Leg Strength Kettlebell Workout
This workout is great for lower body strength training. In order to do a stiff-legged deadlift, simply keep your legs straight (stiff) instead of bending them like you would for a regular deadlift. Just bend your back and use it to lift the two kettlebells placed in front of you.
Racked squat – 5 sets of 8 reps
Stiff-legged deadlift – 5 sets of 8 reps
Double kettlebell swing – 5 sets of 8-10 reps
Leg Destroyer Workout
This workout designed by Mark de Grasse can work out your legs while also building up your endurance and grip strength. It contains timed, step- and rep-based exercises in a round format. You do each of the following phases for four rounds each:
Double front squat – 10 reps
Squat hold – 60 seconds
Double single leg deadlift – 10 reps
Lying hip raise hold – 60 seconds
Double racked walking lunge – 20 steps
Lower lunge position hold – 45 seconds
Double Kettlebell Full Body Workouts (Back, Legs, Arms)
There are countless people who perform full-body workouts due to a lack of time or just to feel the intensity of each one. There are countless training regimens that work out the entire body and you can do them using two kettlebells.
The three shown below will give you a pretty good idea of them:
Double Kettlebell Full-Body Workout #1 (3 Sets of 8-10 Reps Each)
This is the simplest full-body workout that can be done with two kettlebells. To do the sots press, keep the kettlebells in the racked position using your shoulders; the elbows should be tucked in. Then you squat and press up the kettlebells alternately while allowing your spine to twist.
Double Kettlebell Full-Body Workout #2 (10 reps each; 3 rounds)
The double windmill may be the most complicated exercise here for some. To do it, you need to hold a kettlebell overhead in a locked out position with your feet turned 45-degrees away from it. Hold another in your other hand. Hinge at the hips until the other kettlebell touches the ground.
Double single-handed deadlift
Double kettlebell windmill
Double alternating clean
Double clean, squat and press
Double alternating reverse lunge
Double Kettlebell Full-Body Workout #3
This is one of the double kettlebell workouts designed by Sean Klein of the Programme App. One of the highlights of this is the combined overhead carry and farmers carry. You basically hold one kettlebell in the overhead position and the other at your side.
You then switch after walking for 10 yards; this is great for working out your core, shoulders, and traps.
Bent over row – 8 reps
Front rack reverse lunge – 20 yards
Alternating kettlebell floor seated press – 12 reps
Wide stance kettlebell stiff leg deadlift – 10 reps
Floor press in hollow hold – 10 reps
Overhead carry and farmers carry – 10 yards each
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are the frequently asked questions in regards to double kettlebells:
Are double kettlebells worth it?
Yes, they sure are. The reason is that the extra weight they bring challenges your body more than a single kettlebell of a lighter or similar weight. Double kettlebells require more coordination and focus from you in order to work out properly.
However, if you’re on a tight budget, then just go for a heavier single kettlebell. There’s no shortage of exercises with a single kettlebell as long as it is heavy enough to work your body. Once you have the budget for double kettlebells or have mastered the single one, buy another.
Do kettlebells help boost athleticism?
Yes, kettlebells are excellent tools for building up your explosive power and help a lot in boosting your cardiovascular fitness (also leading to fat loss). Both of these are qualities that are required of any athlete, regardless of their sport. Another advantage they tend to have is that there are no limitations.
Kettlebells are so versatile that they can be used to do all types of movements out there. At the same time, kettlebells will help you build muscle mass and improve your body’s overall balance. So if a sportsperson, incorporating kettlebells along with your regular training can do you a lot of good.