Two-arm dumbbell swing as alternative to kettlebell swing

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by D. Hegedues, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. D. Hegedues

    D. Hegedues Second Post

    Hi everyone,

    I discovered kettlebell training a few months ago from reading an article by Pavel. I started Simple & Sinister with a 16 kg kettlebell and progressed to 24 kg. (I'm 30, male, 160 lbs/73kg, 5'11''/180 cm with a few years of unsystematic resistance training.) I enjoy the dynamic swing movement and the Turkish get-up, which trained hitherto undeveloped muscles and skills.

    Looking into the origin of S&S, I read in one of Pavel's books Bob Hoffmann's recommendation of repeat snathces and bent presses, which Pavel reintepreted as the 'program minimum' of repeat kettlebell snatches and bent presses. This seems to have been the genealogy of the S&S program.

    Practicing the two-arm and the one-arm kettlebell snatch, I noticed that the two-arm snatch restricts the range of motion more (the arms are blocked by the thighs so the bell doesn't swing back as far as with the one-arm swing), and the one-arm swing is less powerful. I also felt that because the feet have to be wide apart, lower leg explosiveness is reduced.

    At the same time by coincidence I read a few articles about the ancient Greek long jump. It was a series of five standing broad jumps with small weights held in each hand. It occurred to me that this movement, if transformed into a swing would improve the range of motion, power, and explosiveness, so I gave it a try. I call it the two-arm dumbbell swing.

    Holding a 12kg dumbbell in each hand, I swing them outside the legs. (Symmetrically, not like cross-country skiing, although some people do that too.) I saw Mike Mahler do the same thing with kettlebells, but dumbbells feel a lot safer as there is no risk of hitting the knees.

    In my experience, it feels more natural than the kettlebell swing, and I think it offers the same benefits, or even slightly more. It also doesn't require buying kettlebells if one already owns dumbbells. One drawback would be that it's hard to go very heavy on it because the dumbbells become too big to comfortably swing outside the legs, but in my case I do swings for power than maximum strength.

    What do the more experienced gireviks think? I'm interseted in your opinion, especially if you give this movement a try!
  2. D. Hegedues

    D. Hegedues Second Post

    I should have written that I practice the two-arm and one-arm swing, not snatch.

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