The Best “Prep” Exercise For Double Kettlebell Training

So in my  last post, I took some heat.

Somebody, who shall remain nameless, sent me an email, indirectly, and called me an “assclown,” whatever that means… I guess he already knew all this info. Good for him. Others don’t, and then these posts are for them. Go and be well, I say.

If you already know this info, cool. But you might find I’ve got a different take that you might not have thought of. I’m here to help you out. So take what you want.

In my last post, I talked about your training matching your goals and your limitations.

You must also have some kettlebell experience. This, I think, goes without saying. But hey, you never know, somebody may just jump right in, because, dumbbells are the same as kettlebells, right? [wink]

You should be very, very familiar with all the single kettlebell exercises. You need to have been using kettlebells as part of your program, or better yet, all of your program. As Sandy Sommer, RKC, pointed out in a response to my last post, Pavel says you need to have completed the “Rite of Passage” before attempting Return of the Kettlebell.

Cool. I get that.

But RTK is a complete program, and an intense one at that. So, some standards must be met. But in the mean time, what can you do?

Simple and easy:

Practice double kettlebell drills.

So assuming you are familiar with the Goblet Squat, or the single bell version of the Front Squat, I think one of the best places to start is with the Double Kettlebell Front Squat.

Why and why not double swings?


Because, most double kettlebell drills end up in the rack position – Press, Clean, SS Press, Snatch, Push Press, C&J. So why not spend time there and hang out and be comfortable? (Plus, I like to teach from the “top down” or in reverse. It makes life easier in the long run…)

Makes good sense to me.

I just taught this at a seminar and it was amazing how it set the tone for the rest of the day. The participant’s double kettlebell work cleaned right up.

So, what can you do to really get the most out of the Front Squat?

Practice it. Often. Nothing more than sets of five. Ever.

Practice holding the kettlebells in the rack. Just hang out there. Take them for a walk. Combine the walks with the Front Squats.

Don’t be a hero and use heavy bells. I recommend using two bells that are at least one size lower than you are comfortable using for a single bell. For example, if you are comfortable with a 24kg, use two 16kgs. To be on the safe side, you might even want to use two bells equal to your single bell, so in this case, two 12kgs. You’ll be surprised how strong you get just from this “little” amount of work. Plus, you’ll be surprised how your hip and thoracic spine mobility increase from this wonderful exercise.

Once you are comfortable with the Front Squat, start practicing the other drills. But go easy. Use the same size bells as the Front Squat.

Get started with the Front Squat and watch your other lifts improve. A little bit every day, or every other day will be a fine start.

1 comment… add one
  • Bob Flanagan Oct 2, 2009 @ 21:27

    Geoff, you say “Practice it. Often. Nothing more than sets of five. Ever.” regarding the front sqat. It sounds like you really mean this and it’s important. Could you please expain why?

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