Double Arm Swing Squats – Kettlebell Exercise Guide with Photos


Kettlebell double arm swing squats are a blast from the past. Old time strongmen knew about the benefits of using kettlebells to exercise the body in a free range of motion. This builds intense core strength which has strong carry over to your daily life or athletic events. Grab a kettlebell so you can get working on your core and grip strength and read more on how these old school weights can give you new growth.


Muscles Targeted: This exercise works almost everything in your body in a dynamic way. The prime movers for the first part of the movement are your erector spinae and your gluteus maximus. Your hamstrings are synergists to this action as well. Your rhomboids and trapezius pull the weight up in the second phase of the movement. Your core remains tight throughout the entire exercise. The thick handle on the kettlebell works your grip strength too.

Exercise Instructions: Take a shoulder width stance. Hold one kettlebell with both hands with an overhand grip (palms facing in). Squat down and position the kettlebell between your feet and just behind your knees. From the squat position, swing the kettlebell forward while raising your arms up to the top position. Slowly lower the kettlebell down to the starting position and repeat.

Why This Exercise is Important: Using the kettlebell as a substitute for barbell or dumbbell exercises reduces the stress felt by the lower back. Studies have shown less shearing forces are involved with the kettlebells. This can be a great help to a lifter who feels strain in the lower back. Lifters usually use lighter weights when using kettlebells and lift them quicker. Using lighter weight can be a great way for your body to get a rest from heavier poundages. The swing in this exercise promotes a greater range of motion and will improve flexibility. Many athletes need to have explosive hips to succeed in their sport. This exercise focuses the stress there and can have a strong carry over for athletic events.

Things To Avoid: Don’t use a kettlebell that is too heavy since it will shorten your range of motion on this exercise. Avoid lifting the kettlebell up with your shoulders and keep the focus on your hips. Don’t allow your upper back to round at any point during the lift. Maintain an arch to your upper back when pulling. Keep your core tight throughout and do not allow it to loosen at the top or bottom of the lift. Don’t get sloppy and jerk the weight up.

Reps and Sets: Kettlebell double arm swing squats are a good exercise to get in some extra reps on. Going heavy would defeat the purpose of this exercise and turn it from a dynamic full body exercise to more of a push press. Keep the weights light and go for sets of 1-3 and reps in the 10-15 range.

Other Exercises To Use: Another variation of a kettlebell exercise to use in place of the double arm swing squat is the kettlebell swing clean. If you’re getting warmed up and feeling powerful, go heavy and do some barbell deadlifts after the swing squat. The power clean is another exercise that closely resembles the swing squat and can be used as a substitute. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the entire body.

Kettlebell double arm swing squats are a great way to pump up your workouts and get yourself out of the standard workout routine. This exercise provides an excellent way to stretch and strengthen muscle groups that are targeted heavily by basic exercises like squats and deadlifts. Mixing in the kettlebells will provide relief and stimulation to the target muscles.

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