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2 Person Workouts Sharing Only 1 Kettlebell

By Greg Brookes

4 Kettlebell Workouts with a Partner, sharing only 1 Kettlebell

2 person workouts can be fun and motivating all you need is a partner and 1 kettlebell.

Below I’ve listed 4 kettlebell workouts that can be performed with two people, I’ve also included lots of modifications you can make to each of the workouts to increase the exercise possibilities.

The idea behind the below partner workout routines is that you can share just one kettlebell between 2 people and both achieve an excellent workout in the same amount of time.

Please keep in mind that we all have different strengths and weaknesses and so sharing a kettlebell may be more challenging for one participant than the other.

OK, enjoy these 2 person workouts…

1. Kettlebell Strength Ladders for Two

Kettlebell Clean and Press
Kettlebell Clean and Press Exercise

Kettlebell strength ladders are a motivating way to increase strength using some of the more demanding kettlebell exercises.

Pure strength training involves low amounts of repetition and usually longer rest periods for recovery.

You will want to use a challenging kettlebell for these 2 person workouts.

As a guide to the right kettlebell weight, you should find 5 straight repetitions in a row challenging.

Here’s what the strength ladder two person workout looks like:

Kettlebell strength ladder workout

  • 1 rep left, partner 1 rep left
  • 1 rep right, partner 1 rep right
  • 2 reps left, partner 2 reps left
  • 2 reps right, partner 2 reps right

Continue alternating between yourself and your partner adding an extra repetition each round. When you reach 5 reps each side start reducing the repetitions by 1 each round and coming back down to 1 again.

Again, the above pair workout will only work when using a challenging kettlebell.

If one partner starts to struggle with a strict overhead press then they can always add a little pop from the hips and use the push press instead to finish the reps.

You can use the above strength ladder with lots of other kettlebell exercises too…

Recommended kettlebell exercises for strength ladders

  1. Overhead Press
  2. Pistol Squats
  3. Reverse Get Ups
  4. Double Lunge (start at 3 and progress to 8)
  5. Clean & Press
  6. Straight Arm Sit

2. Kettlebell Complexes for Two

Kettlebell High Pulls Exercise
Kettlebell High Pulls Exercise

Kettlebell complexes involve putting together a number of kettlebell exercises, one after the other, and flowing from one exercise to the next.

Each kettlebell exercise is usually performed for a number of repetitions from 2 – 6.

The workouts are performed in a, you go I go, format.

Kettlebell partner complexes

  1. Clean – Squat – Reverse Lunge – Overhead Press
  2. Swing – High Pull – Snatch – Reverse Get Up

So let’s take complex 1 from above. We decide on 3 repetitions.

Next you would perform the workout like this:

  • 3 x Clean right
  • 3 x Squat right
  • 3 x Reverse Lunge right
  • 3 x Overhead Press right

You then rest while your partner performs the same workout that you just performed.

Next you switch arms and perform the same workout on your left side. Your partner would then do the same.

Kettlebell complex partner variations

There are lots of options here to keep the 2 person workouts interesting.

  1. Add a new exercise each round (start with 2-3 and add 1 more exercise each round)
  2. Add 1 rep each round (use the same complex but add 1 more rep each round)
  3. Change complex each round (choose the reps and then change all exercises each round)

I suggest that you do not include too many repetitions or exercises because the rest period for the other partner will be too long.

Try to keep the complex under 40 seconds.

3. Kettlebell Work and One Rest

Kettlebell Thruster Exercise
Kettlebell Thruster Exercise

This variation of kettlebell workouts with a partner are perhaps the most simple but highly effective.

You will want to choose a full body dynamic kettlebell exercise for these workouts.

Here’s what the pair workout will look like..

Kettlebell work and one rest workout

  1. Two Handed Swing 30 secs or 15 reps
  2. Partner, Two Handed Swing 30 secs or 15 reps
  3. Two Handed Swing 30 secs or 15 reps
  4. etc.

These types of partner exercise drills are best when performed for shorter periods of time, no more than 30 seconds.

Here are a few other kettlebell exercises you could use instead of the two handed swing…

Recommended kettlebell exercises for work and rest workouts

  1. One Handed Swing (change hands each round)
  2. High Pulls
  3. Snatch
  4. Heavy Cleans
  5. Thrusters

An excellent swing workout challenge for two

One possible option here is to set a timer for 10, 12, or 15 minutes.

Next alternate between you and your partner performing 15 reps each until the time runs out.

The same workout challenge can be used with the other exercises listed above. You may wish to reduce the reps down to 10 or less for the more challenging exercises.

4. Kettlebell Work and One Bodyweight

Kettlebell Swing Two Hands
Kettlebell Swing Two Hands

Our final kettlebell workout with a partner is similar to the Kettlebell work and rest above.

However, for these partner workouts while one person is performing the kettlebell exercise the other performs a bodyweight exercise too.

Essentially these 2 person workouts are more demanding than the previous ones because you have no rest and have to keep on working.

It is important to choose the right exercises here and not use ones that conflict too much with the kettlebell exercises.

Kettlebell swing & squat workout

  1. Two Handed Swing x 20 reps
  2. Partner, Bodyweight Squats while waiting
  3. Switch

There are lots of options here for what the partner can do while they wait for you to finish the 20 kettlebell swings

Other bodyweight exercise options

  • Jump rope
  • Push Ups
  • Run to a marker and back
  • Burpees (more advanced)
  • Bodyweight Lunges
  • Jumping Jacks

You can change bodyweight exercises each round to add variety or just repeat the same movement.

I would avoid core based exercises like planks etc. because you do not want to weaken the core muscles while performing such an explosive full body exercise as the kettlebell swing.

2 more kettlebell and bodyweight workout variations

  1. Two Handed Swing x 20 reps
  2. Push Up 10 to 1 (descending ladder)
  1. Snatches 10 to 1 (reduce by 1 rep each round)
  2. Burpees (more advanced)

The first variation above is the classic “Perfect Pair” workout. Once you have finished this workout you will have completed 200 swings and 55 push ups.

The second variation is a lot more challenging using both the snatch and burpee exercises. Once finished you will have completed 110 snatches and a LOT of burpees.

Conclusion of 2 Person Workouts with a Kettlebell

Above I have included 4 kettlebell workouts that you can perform with a partner and just 1 kettlebell.

Please keep in mind that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, your partner included.

Think about what goals you are looking to achieve before using these workouts.

If for example your goals are single leg strength for sports then Pistols or Double Lunges using the strength ladders may be appropriate.

If your gools are pure fat loss then the kettlebell work and rest or kettlebell work and bodyweight using the two handed swing may be better for you.

Enjoy the workouts and have fun training with a partner.

Have you tried any of these 2 person workouts? Let me know below…

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