Double Kettlebell Thruster – CrossFit Exercise Guide with Photos


Overview: The double kettlebell thruster is a very effective strength training exercise that works your entire body and it’s an excellent movement to include in your CrossFit workout for building muscle mass and increasing strength.

Muscles Targeted: This exercise targets multiple muscle groups including the calves, gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, deltoids, triceps and even your core. The legs, butt and shoulders are the primary muscles engaged when executing this exercise. Your deltoid muscles are worked when you press the kettlebells over your head and the squatting movement really targets your legs and butt. It is very important to maintain the right posture when doing this exercise to be safe and to ensure you train your muscles effectively.

Exercise Instructions:

Step 1: Stand upright in an athletic stance with your back straight and your feet positioned about shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: While holding the kettlebells with both hands, curl them up and rest them on your shoulders and position them in the rack position. The rack position is where your biceps are pulled in tightly to your body and the inner part of your upper arm is resting against your rib cage. This will be the starting position before your begin the exercise.

Step 3: Bend your knees and slowly lower body down into the squat position. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground at the bottom with a 90 degree angle formed with your legs. Make sure your knees do not extend past your toes in this position.

Step 4: Once you get in position at the bottom of the squat, keep your core engaged and power up using your thighs and hips to get into a standing position as you simultaneously press the kettlebells over your head. The movement from the squat to the overhead press should be smooth and continuous.

Step 5: Using a slow and controlled motion, bring the kettlebells back down into the rack position and repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Things To Avoid:

  • Not Engaging Your Core. When performing a double kettlebell thruster, it is very important to ensure your core is engaged when preparing to press the kettlebells up to the top position. This not only ensures you work your core muscles but also makes it easier for you to execute the movement.
  • Rounding Your Shoulders. You should avoid rounding your shoulders when doing this exercise. You need to keep your shoulders back and chest out. Failure to do this might result in an injury.
  • Lifting Your Feet Off The Ground. Your feet need to be flat on the ground throughout the entire range of motion for this exercise. This will provide stability and balance. Your back should also be flat with your butt out and your chest out.
  • Improper Technique. If you are unsure about how to properly perform this exercise, it is very important to get help from an experienced CrossFit instructor so you can learn the basics before you attempt it. Using the proper form and technique is crucial with this exercise in order to get the full benefits from it while staying safe and injury free.

Reps and Sets: The double kettlebell thruster is a challenging CrossFit exercise that works the entire body so you absolutely must follow strict technique before increasing the weight of the kettlebells being used. If you are a beginner, you should start out without using any kettlebells and go through the motions first before using weights. Once you’re ready to use additional weight, choose very light kettlebells in the range of 5-10 pounds. Once you have the movement down, you can start doing 3-4 sets with 15-20 reps. Advanced individuals can perform 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps using heavier kettlebells. It’s important to set your own reps and sets depending on your current fitness level and overall goals.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 175,000 ShapeFit subscribers who are receiving our free weekly fitness newsletter and learn how you can build more muscle, burn off body fat and get into the best shape of your life!
We hate spam! Your email address will never be sold or shared with anyone. You can unsubscribe at anytime.

About Author

ShapeFit is dedicated to providing health and fitness information to people so they can live a healthy lifestyle. ShapeFit has thousands of pages of fitness content with fun and interactive tools to help our visitors lose body fat, build lean muscle and increase their energy levels. We wish you great success in reaching your health and fitness goals!


  1. Avatar

    Thanks ShapeFit for this video. Why are the feet moving outward in the execution of this exercise? Why are they not stable and fixed in one place?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Anwar – The feet are pointed slightly outward for better flexion and positioning of the knees when performing this kettlebell exercise. It’s always a smart idea to use this type of stance when doing any type of squatting motion.

Leave A Reply