Kettlebell Exercise Naming Convention

If you have been following Cavemantraining™ / IKU™ since its inception then you are aware that we promote correct and concise exercise naming to avoid confusion. What follows is the IKU™ Kettlebell Exercise Naming Convention And Definition.

  1. Exercise
  2. Exercise Variation
  3. Structure
  4. Double-Arm
  5. Double Kettlebell
  6. Single Kettlebell or Single-Arm
  7. Alternating
  8. Tactical Switch
  9. Lift
  10. Clean
  11. Swingclean
  12. Swing
  13. Snatch
  14. Kettlebell
  15. Longcycle
  16. Combo
  17. Flow


An exercise is a top-level/root description of certain attributes present in exercise variations to make it that certain exercise.

Exercise Variation

An exercise variation is a movement based on an exercise. The exercise defines attributes that apply to any exercise variation. The exercise variation itself contains attributes that are different and make it a unique exercise variation.


The structure on our website for displaying information is:

  • Exercises
    • Exercise Variations
      • Double-Arm
      • Double-Kettlebell
      • Single-Kettlebell
      • Alternating
      • Tactical


Two arms are used with one kettlebell for the exercise.

Double Kettlebell

Two arms are used with a kettlebell in each for the exercise.

Single-Kettlebell or Single-Arm

Single arm and single kettlebell are used for the exercise. Omitting a reference to double-arm or double kettlebell can imply that it’s single arm and single kettlebell.


The exercise is performed on alternating sides and it’s implied that it’s done with a single kettlebell unless specified otherwise. Double kettlebells can be used but not at the same time and not for any exercise that doesn’t start dead. For certain combos, the work might be alternating but double kettlebells are used as the combo might progress to double kettlebell work.

Tactical Switch

The arm is switched during a clean or snatch. On the up or down phase, the kettlebell is passed from one hand to the other.


An exercise in which the weight is lifted from a lower position to a higher position.


An exercise in which the weight is moved from below the hips into a racking position via a fast and continuous movement.


Concatenation of the words “swing” and “clean” to identify a clean that is performed with a swinging movement and to avoid confusion that separating the words might cause.


An exercise in which the weight is moved back and forth via a fast and continuous movement.


An exercise in which the weight is moved from below the hips into an overhead position via a fast and continuous movement.


The horizontal top part and the most common part of the kettlebell to grip and hold on to.


The two vertical parts of the kettlebell that are attached to the bell.


The corners between the handle and horns.


The space between the bell, horns, corners, and handle.


The round bit of the kettlebell that contains the weight to provide resistance.


The flat bottom of the bell.


The combination of everything that makes it, such as the handle, corners, horns, window, bell, and base.


Adding a clean to a press, push press, or jerk and repeating (cycling) the combo.


A combination of different exercises strung together.


A combination of different exercises strung together that flow seamlessly from one into the next.

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