The two-arm overhead kettlebell squat is one of the most functional exercises you can perform at home or in the gym.

This advanced squat variation will develop overall functional strength, particularly in the lower back, glutes and quads. It also improves your flexibility and increases thoracic, hip and shoulder mobility.

The overhead position of the ‘bells also ensures more core and stabiliser muscles are incorporated and engaged to limit unnecessary movement. The heart also has to work harder to pump blood to the arms when they are above the head.

This is also the ideal exercise to improve your snatch or barbell overhead squat movements if you’re an Olympic lifter or athlete. With so many benefits on offer, it’s a prudent move to add to your weight training repertoire.

Here’s how you do it…

Starting: Hold a kettlebell in either hand with an overhand grip (palms facing you). Stand upright with your feet positioned hip-width apart. Clean and press the kettlebells with both arms, rotating your wrist as you do so. With arms extended and the kettlebells are overhead, you are ready to start the exercise.

The movement: Look straight ahead and keeping the kettlebells locked out in position above you as you hinge at the hips and bend the knees to descend into a deep squat. Keep your head and chest up throughout the movement. Pause at the bottom position for a second before pressing through the heel and forefoot to return to the upright position.

Form tips:

  • Keep your head facing forward, your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  • If the kettlebells fall forward during the descent into the deep squat position then either upper back mobility needs to be improved or squatting technique is incorrect.
  • It is a good idea to master the single-arm overhead squat before attempting the double-arm version.

Image from Shutterstock