Challenge your mind and body with kettlebell sport Reading KETTLEBELL PARTNER PASSING®: THE NEXT STEP IN THE EVOLUTION OF KETTLEBELL TRAINING. 7 minutes Next The Hardstyle One Arm Swing

By Michael Castrogiovanni

Kettlebell Partner Passing (KPP) is a dynamic multi-faceted training system designed to offer physical and mental benefits beyond those of traditional kettlebell exercises. KPP teaches how to enter and sustain integrated states of flow, with a partner, by playing catch with the kettlebell.

In simple terms, KPP is throwing a kettlebell back and forth with a friend. But when you take a closer look, there is much more to it than meets the eye. KPP is a journey to greater depths of self, life and relationship through communication, cooperation and connection.


KPP creates a synergy that helps people reach higher levels of fitness, athleticism and connection than could be achieve alone. KPP also affords multitude of opportunities for individual growth as well. The benefits of this way of training transfer to all areas of life, and becomes evident as you discover the gems of wisdom fundamental to the Kettlebell Partner Passing system and philosophy.


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The physical demands of absorption, production and redirection of force through multiple angles and dynamic ranges yield the physical abilities that enhance athletic movement. The strength forged from KPP is both conventional and unconventional in nature due to the multitude of unique ways to throw and catch the bell.

Advanced forms of KPP build powerfully coordinated, arms, torso, legs and feet that can root and uproot at a moment’s notice while blending with and redirecting the force of the kettlebell in a safe, fun manner. The benefit of letting go of and catching the bell builds freakishly functional grip strength. The hands, wrists and forearms become unified, powerful and receptive from controlling the kettlebell not to mention the focused attention needed to snatch the bell out of the air without damaging digits.


Only focusing attention on the nearly endless physical benefits of KPP would paint a very incomplete picture of the system’s value. The myriad of meaningful and unexpected benefits of KPP, beyond the physical, give greater depth to the act of passing kettlebells. For example, KPP students learn to read their partner and the energy of the bell to help make optimal choices when passing. KPP also breaks down walls and barriers between individuals and strengthens communication. Due to the inherent risk of tossing cannonballs to one another, partners must have a deep sense of responsibility for each other. KPP demands a degree of presence and awareness through cooperation that are seldom, if ever experienced in day-to-day life. This rare experience engenders a high level of trust and openness that builds a bond that allows for authentic connection between partners.


Kettlebell passing demands presence in the moment and, with practice over time, gives you the ability to enter flow consciously. Entering the flow of KPP shifts perspective on time allowing for high quality and quantity of work to be done in the blink of an eye. When done well, 1 hour can pass in what seems like 10 minutes; conversely, when done poorly, 10 minutes can seem like 1 hour.


The work-rest ratio for the basic two-hand pass is approximately 1-2 or a little more depending on distance of partners. The release phase of KPP takes the load off each individual decreasing tissue damage by shortening the body’s time under tension thus allowing large amounts of work to be done without excessively taxing the body. It is rare for partners to complete a training session feeling tired and sore the day of or days following the session. These prolonged workouts challenge cardiovascular capacity while increasing fat burning capabilities and leave partners feeling charged, euphoric and satisfied at the end of a session.


KPP is versatile in its application, it can be applied to fit well with just about any style of training, it can be used as a warm up and cool down, to supplement other training protocols, and it can even be used as a standalone well-rounded strength and conditioning program.

KPP students begin by learning the KPP solo program to build tendon strength and understand how to move the Kettlebell in order to prepare for the rigors of passing the kettlebell back and forth with a partner. From there the single bell two-hand pass becomes the focus for a beginner to practice and hone the many nuances of giving and receiving optimal passes, this sets the stage for all other levels of KPP. The next level of focused training is one hand kettlebell passing patterns and drills. One hand KPP drills serve as progressive steps to prepare for FreestyleKPP™. FreestyleKPP™ is a dynamic, fluid, unscripted way to pass kettlebells that promotes individual and partner expressions of strength, athleticism and cooperation in continuously moving flow. Preparing for kettlebell passing without a partner can be accomplished by practicing the KPP solo level 1 skills.

Here are some suggestions to get started:

  • Begin by letting go of the bell during the float phase of the two hand swing and quickly catching it again with both hands
  • Progress to two-hand back flips. Back flips will translate directly to flipping the bell to your partner
  • Practice two-hand forward flips. This will prepare you for the straight pass
  • When you feel comfortable with these single person drills, find a sand box and let go of the bell on the count of 3.
  • In the first set, let the bell fly naturally without any attempt to control it
  • What would have happened if there was a partner in front of you?
  • Progress to controlling the bell and make it flip so that it lands with the bell bottom flat in the sand and the handle straight up. This is not as easy as it sounds
  • Throw straight passes without the bell flipping, making the bell bottom land flat in the sand and the bell handle straight up
  • Practice this until you can repeat the steps at will without really thinking about them…the skills will begin to become second nature.

The people I have seen put the time into KPP solo tend to be better partners to pass with than those who jump right to passing. If you would like more information, please visit the KPP website,, and consider attending one of the upcoming workshops which are listed on the website under “Events.”

I look forward to passing bells with you soon!!!

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