If you've been training with a single kettlebell for some time and want to take your workout up a notch, this 20-minute double kettlebell workout can help you ease into this new challenge. After all, working with two kettlebells versus just one is inevitably going to be harder.
That's why, when it comes to deciding how heavy you should go for double kettlebells, you should use the same total weight you normally lift with single-kettlebell movements. Choosing 8 kilogram (17.6 pounds) to 12 kilogram (26.4 pounds) kettlebells is ideal for beginners. And even though you're using the same weight, you will feel a difference in the load, as with any new-to-you moves.
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While working out with one kettlebell is great for building unilateral strength and balance, working with double bells increases the load, encouraging continued muscular growth. Plus, going from unilateral to bilateral work helps build hypertrophy (bigger muscles) equally on both sides of the body, which can help fix any asymmetries you notice.
Try this 20-minute double kettlebell workout for beginners to increase the intensity of your strength training and conditioning routine.
Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.
1. Double Kettlebell Curtsy Lunge and Squat
- Hold a kettlebell in each hand in the front-rack position by your shoulders.
- Take a step back and to the side with your right foot, placing it behind your left foot. Bend both knees into a curtsy. Ideally, your back knee is about an inch above the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Bring your right leg back to the starting position, then do a squat. Hinge your hips back and lower your butt down and back until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or as low as you can comfortably go).
- Repeat on your left leg.
If you're feeling fatigued very quickly with this one, try performing the curtsy lunges and squats separately.
2. Boat Hold Shoulder Press
- Start in a seated position. Lean back slightly so that your back is close to a 70-degree angle with the floor.
- Bring your legs up to a tabletop position, feet off the floor. Hold a kettlebell by the handle in each hand by your shoulders, keeping your chin and chest facing forward.
- While holding this position, press the kettlebells directly above your chest.
There are a couple of ways to make this move easier. If you want to focus on your core, remove the shoulder press from the movement. Do a boat pose hold by bringing your knees toward your chest and extending your legs as your core gets stronger. If you want to keep the push component, try placing your feet on the ground while you lean back slightly. This still engages the core but can feel more manageable.
3. Deadlift to Clean
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place both kettlebells between the arches of your feet.
- Hinge your hips back while your chest falls forward. Pack your shoulders back and down to maintain a straight back. Hold the horns of the kettlebell in each hand. Your shoulders should be above your hips, and your hips above your knees. This is the deadlift position.
- Press your feet into the ground to lift the kettlebell up, squeezing your glutes at the top.
- Lower the kettlebells back down to the ground.
- Maintaining the same deadlift position, clean the kettlebells up to a front-rack position, using your legs and hips.
The kettlebell clean is easier to learn with one kettlebell before you move on to two, so make sure you nail down a single-kettlebell clean first. Focus on the swift pick-up and landing of the kettlebell. You might have to use a lighter set of weights to ensure proper form.
3. Gorilla Alternating Row
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place two kettlebells between the arches of your feet.
- Just like the deadlift position, you want to hinge your hips back and pack your shoulders back and down, holding the horns of the kettlebell in each hand. Your shoulders should be above your hips, and your hips above your knees. Lift the kettlebells up a few inches off the ground.
- Keeping your chest up and maintaining a small arch in your lower back, row one kettlebell alongside your rib cage and hip, then lower it back down. This is 1 rep.
- Row the other kettlebell alongside your rib cage and hip, then slowly lower it down.
- Continue to alternate sides.
4. Shoulder Press and Step
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a kettlebell in each hand in the front-rack position by your shoulders.
- With both kettlebells resting by your shoulders, press one kettlebell overhead. At the same time, take a step forward with your foot on the same side and rotate your body to face the opposite side of the room.
- Lower the kettlebell back down to the starting position and bring your foot back to the center.
- Repeat on the other side.
To make this exercise easier, you can sit on a bench and do alternating shoulder presses.