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How To Do The Kettlebell Clean

author
David Lawrence
• Saturday, 31 October, 2020
• 7 min read

If you look at the clean, it is the central link in many cases to get the bell from the floor to a position where we can squat, press, or jerk it. Regardless of whether you’re a Hard style or Gregory Sport fan you’re going to need to make sure your clean is good.

kettlebell clean complete guide wrists banging stop racked fluid chest position takes floor into
(Source: kettlebellsworkouts.com)

Contents

The first thing to keep in mind with the kettlebellclean is that it is a swing that just ends up with the bell going to a different location. I find when I focus on keeping the elements of the swing in those moves they are much more fluid and powerful.

Your elbow should be tucked in against your side, as if trying to hold a newspaper between your upper arm and your ribs. Position the handle of the bell parallel to the callus line for now as we’re only concerned about the clean, not setting up for pressing or jerks.

If you had to find an exercise to mimic this position, one I like to use is a single arm plank. If you drop into a plank on both elbows, then remove one you’ll be in the same position as if for the clean.

Do this by hinging at the hips, turning the hand slightly, as if pouring water, and allowing the kettle bell to trace an arc down between your legs and behind you. Your lower arm should be pressed into the thigh of the same leg, not in the center of your body.

When you drop the kettle bell make sure the arm goes completely straight. The thumb will end up slightly turned behind you in the bottom position thanks to your “water pouring” at the start of the drop.

clean kettlebell perfect
(Source: breakingmuscle.com)

The KettlebellClean takes the kettle bell from the floor and into the racked position, on the chest, in one fluid motion. From this racked position you can then: Press, Lunge, Squat, Clean again, Dance a jig or just rest.

Activates most muscles in the body Can be very cardiovascular if repeated correctly Is great for fat loss due to all the muscles conditioned Develops strong and explosive hips for sports Has a great hormonal response if performed with a heavier kettle bell Can be used as a segue into so many other kettle bell exercises The KB Clean hits most of the muscles of the body making it a huge fat burning and strength building exercise.

The clean is based off the dead lift movement pattern so just like the Swing and Snatch it works heavily into the back of the body, posterior chain, making it a great counterbalance to all the sitting many of us do each day. It is that explosive little HIP SNAP that sends the kettle bell up and on its way to the chest.

Ensure the thumb is pointing backwards Load the rear of the body by driving from the heels Keep the bell close as if facing a wall Snap the hips and don’t use the arm Keep the abs tight and don’t lean backwards Rotate the arm around the bell and not the other way around The bell moves up and down in a vertical path Engage the Lat muscle by squeezing the armpit at the top of the move Keep it smooth and do not bang the arm If the kettle bell bruising your wrist then you need to buy a better kettle bell Stopping the kettle bell in the hang position takes away the muscles' elasticity energy and makes the exercise more challenging.

Practice workout: progress to 60 seconds on each side before changing hands. The natural progression on from the KB clean exercises is the single arm kettlebellclean and press.

(Source: youtube.com)

Make sure there is a natural pause between the kettle bell clean and the kettle bell overhead press. You can also use the kettle bell overhead push press or the slightly more complicated kettlebellclean and jerk from the racked position too.

Kettle bell Bottoms Upholding Position kettle bell bottoms ups clean forces you to master good body alignment and accurate kettlebellclean technique. The movement starts with the standard single arm hang clean but then the kettle bell is flipped upside down in the top position.

The kettle bell clean, squat and press is a very demanding single arm kettle bell complex that gets a huge amount of muscle activation as well as cardio benefits in one set of movements. As with the KB clean and press it is important to distinguish between the different exercises and not rush from one to the next making technical mistakes.

Practice workout: progress to 60 seconds on each side before changing hands. I really like the kettle bell single leg clean because it forces great technique naturally.

The kettle bell single leg clean nicely connects the body’s natural sling system from hip to opposite shoulder, excellent for sports and more functional training. If you have a weakness with the kettle bell in your left-hand then you may want to practice that same side for the single leg dead lift and also Turkish get up.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

It is important to keep the chest up as you lunge to avoid overusing the stabilizers in the lower back. The straight forward handles is recommended more for the beginner because it uses less rotation when taking the kettle bell up into the racked position on the chest.

Here we take the double kettle bell power clean exercise and add a pressing movement. Women should start with a 8 kg or 12 kg (25lbs), although I have female clients that clean 16 kg and 20 kg (44lbs) kettle bells, as I mentioned the strength comes from the hips not the arms.

The Clean is an important full body kettle bell exercise that can be used by itself or as part of a more complex sequence. You should master the dead lift and swing before attempting the clean as they all come from the all important hip hinge.

Start with the basic hang or kettle bell dead clean above before progressing on to the more complex variations of the movement. The KettlebellClean hits most of the muscles of the body making it a huge fat burning and strength building exercise.

Most of the kettle bell exercises activate a lot of muscles simultaneously making it a huge fat burning way of working out. Bending slightly at the knees but hinging mainly at the hips, grasp the kettle bell and pull it back between your legs with one hand (with your thumb pointing backwards) to create momentum.

kettlebell technique clean tips
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Even-handed It’s important that you do a roughly equal amount of reps on both sides for unilateral (one-sided) exercises such as the clean, to avoid developing imbalances and injuries. Expert tip “People new to this tend to over-power the clean, which causes the bell to flip over and bang up the wrist,” says kettle bell king Mike Mahler.

“Focus instead on opening your hand and getting it around the bell to avoid the flip and get the weight to the rack position efficiently and pain-free. However, the KettlebellClean itself is a very powerful movement and teaches many tension items that are needed in other kettle bell training.

In the clean, the kettle bell ends at shoulder level, resting on the forearm with the wrist kept straight. Once the kettle bell passes the hip, the path that it is travelling changes with a slight shrug of the shoulders and flex in the elbows.

The kettle bell should then be caught in the rack position resting on the forearm, bicep and chest. The wrist needs to be in a neutral position with the knuckles of the first facing directly to the ceiling and the thumb pointed towards you.

The lats work to stabilize and hold the arms close to the body. The V created between the forearm and the upper arm serves as a shelf for the bell to rest on.

kettlebell workout clean body snatch total exercises mixed swing impressive daily dailyburn burn
(Source: dailyburn.com)

It is essential to keep the bell as close to the center line of the body without rounding the upper back. Allow the kettle bell to pass between the legs and initiate the Swing with a powerful hip thrust.

You only want to slightly alter the path the bell is travelling on, not drastically change the direction. If you use too much force, the kettle bell will land with a heavy impact and throw you off balance.

This is because you’ll be working harder to complete the repetition and your body is loaded to the extreme. Both of these styles of kettle bell training have a place and a purpose so get the benefit of both worlds.

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Sources
1 www.strongfirst.com - https://www.strongfirst.com/community/threads/kettlebell-names.14057/
2 www.strongfirst.com - https://www.strongfirst.com/community/threads/kettlebell-names.14057/page-2
3 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell