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Kettlebell Swing: One Hand or Two?

By Greg Brookes

One Arm Kettlebell Swing

Have you ever wondered which is best between the One Handed Kettlebell Swing and the Two Handed Swing?

I recently got asked:

I’ve never done single-arm kettlebell swings and don’t understand the benefit of using one arm

Lets take a quick look at the benefits….

Two Handed Kettlebell Swing Benefits

As I’m sure you are aware this is one of the most important kettlebell exercises of them all.

The Swing targets practically every muscle in the body but in particular those at the back like the Buttocks, Hamstrings, and Back.

The more muscles you can hit in one go the more energy/calories are required to fuel the movement so Kettlebell Swings are BIG fat burners as well as being great for your posture.

Watch my tutorial on the Two Handed Kettlebell Swing:

Related: Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Swing

Related: 7 Kettlebell Swing Workouts in Under 10 Minutes

One Handed Kettlebell Swing Benefits

Offers all the same benefits of the Two Handed Swing plus..

1 – Produces Happy Shoulders

You don’t use the large shoulder muscles (deltoids) when swinging the kettlebell. Instead you use the small stablising muscles that help to keep your shoulder in the correct position and safely back in its socket.

This is the reason why swings can be great for shoulder rehabilitation and prevent future shoulder injuries.

2 – Targets More Core Muscles

Using One hand for the swing puts rotational torque through the core muscles resulting in addition core muscle recruitment.

Basically your core muscles have to work super hard to resist the torque that the kettlebell produces on your core.

3 – Strengthens the Grip

Grip strength is a natural sign of overall full body strength. Fundamentally we can only lift what we can hold.

As we age grip strength decreases rapidly so its important to look after your grip.

Swinging the kettlebell with one hand doubles the amount of grip strength required to keep hold of the kettlebell.

Watch my Tutorial on the Kettlebell One Handed Swing:

Progressing from Two Hands to One Hand

You can see that the One Handed Swing has more benefits but it is important not to just jump straight into the One Handed Swing until you have mastered the Two handed.

Here’s how to progress…

  • Two Handed Swing – 60 seconds
  • One Handed Swing – 30 seconds each
  • One Handed Swing – 45 seconds each
  • One Handed Swing – 60 seconds each
  • Increase Weight
  • Two Handed Swing – 60 seconds
  • etc…

Ensure that you can complete each stage above before moving onto the next stage below it.

OK my friend, that’s all for today. I hope you found this useful.

To see more posts about hip hinge workouts, go here.

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    1. Stefano Avatar

      I can’t but agree. Every day I do three sets of 12+12 one-arm swings with a kg 18 kettlebell (alternating with as many sets to failure of push-ups) and my grip is strong as it had never been. And I’m 65.