“My question is how does the strong double front squat
translate to strong double swings? I’m fairly new to barbell
lifting, but when I have in the past, I’ve used conventional
DL because it feels natural. So, double KB swings with a
wide sumo stance are awkward. Should I be strong enough
to do the swings, based on the ease of FSQs, and this is
just a technique issue?”
Very good, question, my good man.
Let’s break it down from the beginning.
First, the double KB lifts play by different rules than
the single lifts.
For the primary reason that the double lifts require
a wider stance, a wider base.
That wider base shortens the “stroke” – the distance
traveled by the bells.
So the hips cannot be loaded in the same way as they
can with the single KB to create that nice pendular
Rather, the stroke, because of that wider base, is
more vertical than perpendicular.
(I’m with you, Tim. I too pull conventional and that
wide sumo stance of the double swings feels – or
did feel – awkward.)
And that’s where the squats come in.
To accommodate for the stroke difference, we need to
borrow the strategies of our Olympic Weightlifting
brethren and drive the double lifts from the entire
leg – not just the posterior chain by focusing on
Therefore we must squat and build up the anterior
chain along with posterior chain.
The squat gives us the strength in the vertical plane
and will help drive up the swing.
It’s a well known fact in Olympic lifting circles that
to push up the C+J, and therefore many times (not all)
the Snatch – you push the squat up.
The same principles apply here.
Push the squat up, pull the swings up along with it.
That’s why I base ALL my double KB training of the
double Front Squat.
Yep, you read that correctly – ALL.
It’s really THAT important.
It gives you the base to move the big[ger] weights.
And it makes the entire body strong.
Plus it teaches you so many other things as well:
– How to be comfortable with discomfort
– How to breathe under load and still protect your
joints (if you do it properly)
– How to create space in your joints and strengthen
that newfound space (instant mobility!)
It’s a GREAT conditioning tool.
Ever do 20 reps in a row with a pair of 32s?
Get back to me when you do.
It’ll humble even the strongest of guys.
There’s so much to be found in the double KB Front
I promise you, if you spend some serious time playing
with one exercise, your entire body will grow stronger.
But don’t take my word for it –
Here’s what Bill said:
See? A front squat-based program pushed up his press.
But you just can’t attack the front squat willy-nilly.
You must have a carefully thought out and proven plan.
One that is safe and effective.
Without them, you’ll miss out on all the benefits of
the double FSQ and you may even get hurt.
So, if you want to really get strong, push your Front
Then the double swings and all the other doubles
work – including presses – will take care of themselves.
P.S. Yeah, double swings feel awkward. But the newfound
leg strength you get from the double front squat will
help you overcome that awkwardness relatively quickly.
Especially when you work the kinks out of your double
swing technique. There’s also a very specific set up I
recommend you use for this too. You’ll also find that
inside “Kettlebell STRONG!.”
It creates more torque and makes the bells feel that
much lighter. The groove feels easier too, imho.