Question Progressing From 2h to 1h Swings

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
We have had _many_ questions, and I've even written a blog here, about moving from 2-handed to 1-handed swings with a particular weight. This subject which would really benefit from a longer explanation than what's in the book because many people are simply unprepared and unable to swing, using one hand only, a weight they can swing well with two hands. The mechanics are significantly different, and it's almost like learning a different movement in some ways - you dial in your hip hinge and the rest of your form while using two hands, and then it can feel like you've never swung a kettlebell before when you first try one-handed swings.

One could make a convincing argument for starting one-handed swings with _half_ the weight of what one used with two hands.

Another interesting progression would be to swing double kettlebells that total what the two-handed, single bell weight was, and then gradually lessen the weight on one side, e.g.

32 singles x 2h
16 double
one 16 and one 12
one 16 and one 8
one 20 and one 8
one 16

There is good guidance in ROTK about working with unequal weights.

JMO.

-S-
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

Another progression can be using a heavier 2H swing (let's say 32) for some sets, to make the 24 easier. It uses the potentiation principles.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@pet' it has not worked that way for me. I'm sure this varies by the person, but I think my own 2h swing with a 44 or 48 kg are much better than any of my 1h swings with even light weights.

-S-
 

Sean M

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@pet''s idea is what worked for me to transition to the 24 from 16 one-handed. However, I noticed a difference between being able to do the movement, and doing it well. So I found I could "cheat" a one-arm swing set with a lighter weight, having just done heavier two-handed swings. But the next day if I did just one-arm at the heavier weight, it was not strong. What it took was lots of practice at the working weight.

One set at a time, starting with 5/5 (5 per arm), even starting with just "hike" drill (setting it down after each rep), is what I think the most effective way to learn the one-arm swing with a heavy weight. The movement differences and the muscle demand is amplified with a heavier weight - it is more muted with a lighter weight and you can "get away with" not as crisp technique, focus, power, tension, etc.
 

natewhite39

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
One set at a time, starting with 5/5 (5 per arm), even starting with just "hike" drill (setting it down after each rep), is what I think the most effective way to learn the one-arm swing with a heavy weight. The movement differences and the muscle demand is amplified with a heavier weight - it is more muted with a lighter weight and you can "get away with" not as crisp technique, focus, power, tension, etc.
+1

In addition, the following accessory drills have assisted my training and with coaching students -

* Single Arm Sumo DL (Anti Rotation posture)
* Hand to Hand Swings (Less tension requirement; 1H swing patterning)
* Renegade Rows (Anti Rotation posture; shoulder packing)
* Crawling drills (shoulder packing; contra lateral patterning)
* Double KB Swings super-sets with 1H Swings (patterning)
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

I do admit that working on the just heavier bell (16 >> 24) with the 2H version may not necessarily works well for everybody. Plus, I do not forget that the lat work with the 2H @24 (for example) may not be enough to "hack" the 1H @16. Maybe it would work with the 28 or 32 2H to then get back to 16...I do not know.

Even if this method can work to a certain extent, it does not necessarily replace the traditional progression patterns of the slow introduction bell

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Well, I'll just give it from my experience and if others' bodies are similar to mine, my experience may help them:

I used to think 2h with the 32 was hard and 1h impossibly hard. Now I'm swinging the 40 1h no problem. So, I got there somehow.

To get to the 32 all 1h I substituted sets of 5 and later 10 1h in for 2h, starting first with just the first 20 of the 100 and then gradually more. Soon enough I was doing them all 1h.

From 32 1h to 40 1h it took a lot longer. At first I simply jumped up to the 40 and did them all 2h for I guess a few months. This isn't "by the book" but oh well, that's what I did. What I did find was that eventually when I suddenly switched to doing the 100 in sets of 5 1 handed, I was simply able to do that, with adequate rest in between sets of course.

So, to the best of my experience, doing it all in sets of 5 1 handed at the higher weight worked best.

My plan for the 48 is going to be to first do all 100 2 handed for a few days, and then start to see how many sets of 5 I can do.
 
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Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Since this thread is revived I'll give my 2 cents...
Where is the problem with just using a weight that you can swing 1-handed?
People talk about swinging the 32 or 40 2-handed and how to switch to 1H. If you can swing the 32 or 40 with 2 hands I'm pretty sure you're able to swing the 12 or 16 with one hand. So why not go back and swing the 12 or 16 and progress from there.
I'm not certified, but I teach KB exercises to some of my friends and family and I'll start you out with the lowest weight you can handle safely. I don't care if you can swing the 40 with 2 hands. If you can only swing the 8 one handed, than that's where you're going to start and if that conflicts with your ego, you're not in the right mindset and I won't teach you the movements and won't let you use my KBs.
Technique and consistency before intensity. Keep your ego out of the gym.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Since this thread is revived I'll give my 2 cents...
Where is the problem with just using a weight that you can swing 1-handed?
People talk about swinging the 32 or 40 2-handed and how to switch to 1H. If you can swing the 32 or 40 with 2 hands I'm pretty sure you're able to swing the 12 or 16 with one hand. So why not go back and swing the 12 or 16 and progress from there.
I'm not certified, but I teach KB exercises to some of my friends and family and I'll start you out with the lowest weight you can handle safely. I don't care if you can swing the 40 with 2 hands. If you can only swing the 8 one handed, than that's where you're going to start and if that conflicts with your ego, you're not in the right mindset and I won't teach you the movements and won't let you use my KBs.
Technique and consistency before intensity. Keep your ego out of the gym.
True. High volume of a lower weight translates into lower volume at a higher weight, so lots of practice 1h with a 16 will lead to progressing to the 24 and then the 32 over time.
 
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