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. Keep the kettle bell close to the body and send it up in a straight line.
Imagine clenching a large book under your armpit and then zipping up your jacket 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. You can practice performing this one arm kettle bell clean by facing a wall to restrict the swinging or looping movement that often happens with beginners.
Watch a video of the single arm kettle bell hang clean below: Practice workout: progress to 60 seconds on each side before changing hands.
The muscles worked by the KB clean and press are the same as for the hang clean exercise except now you add in all the shoulder, lats and additional core muscle recruitment. Make sure there is a natural pause between the kettle bell clean and the kettle bell overhead press.
The movement starts with the standard single arm hang clean but then the kettle bell is flipped upside down in the top position. Watch a video of the kettle bell bottoms up clean below:
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.
Watch a video of the kettle bell clean, squat and press below: 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. 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.
Finally, you can have a real cardio blast by alternating cleans with two kettle bells. 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 Kettle bell Clean 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. As a result, the one-arm kettle bell clean can enhance vertical jumping ability.
Because you work one side at a time, the one-arm kettle bell clean trains you to resist rotation at the torso, which makes it an excellent core strength exercise. DurationFrequencyExercise TypeIntensityRepetitionsRest 30 second sup to 7x per week strength training steady, deliberate3-5 repetitions varies by workout Step 1: Place a kettle bell on the floor in front of you.
Now actively screw them into the floor so you feel your hips and glutes fire up—imagine twisting up turf beneath your feet, or using them to spread a bunched-up carpet apart. Step 2: Draw your shoulder blades back together and down—think: “proud chest.” Push your hips back, as if trying to touch your butt to the wall behind you (hinge your hips).
Your head, spine, and pelvis should form a straight line as you descend. Step 4: As you transition back into an upright stance, harness the momentum of the swing and make an uppercut motion with your right arm while keeping the kettle bell close to your body.
Step 5: Allow the kettle bell to rotate to the outside of your wrist and halt its upward movement at collarbone height to finish in the front rack position (forearm close to vertical, kettle bell under your chin) as smoothly as possible. Step 6: Reverse the motion by unraveling the kettle bell around the forearm, straightening your arm, and hiking the bell between your legs quickly to begin the next rep.
Two or three sets of 3–5 reps can help you better recruit musculature for a strength and power workout. Bringing the weight from the floor to the rack position sets you up for overhead presses, squats, lunges, and so on.
You can also increase the core stability demands by trying the kettle bell rotational clean and then the kettle bell rotational clean to bent press (see the video HERE for both exercises). Since late 2014 until now, that exercise has been the kettle bell clean and press.
I worked up to 8 sets and then my shoulders weren’t handling the increase anymore. This gives me 40 reps. My Monday workout consists of these clean and presses with squats in between the ladders.
Swinging a weight between the legs and then cleaning it up to shoulder level. The clean is an exercise in tension control—tense, loose, tight.
The clean is also pulling against a dead weight so my hands and forearms have gotten stronger. In fact, I feel a whole new level of strength in my box carrying region—which would bode well for grapples, boxers, or anyone in the public who doesn’t like struggling with groceries, carrying kids, or even shoveling.
Since I’m just doing one side at a time, I’m getting a great stomach workout. I reread Pavel’s description of the press in his Russian Kettle bell Challenge book and apply all the tension techniques—in particular on the last set when I really need them.
The overhead movement is weak in a lot of people, particularly those who started lifting in high school where the bench is overemphasized. The clean combined with the press is making my whole arm feel strong and well-connected to the body.
The ladder lets you lift heavy weights and minimizes fatigue which thereby allows good form and concentration throughout. When I do my 40 reps each side with squats down in my 63 degree basement, I end up with my shirt off and sweating.
Here are some great benefits of other top-notch exercises: The key is to put them into a program that targets all aspects of your body.
It hits the posterior chain, teaches intramuscular coordination, and helps speed and power production. The squat is obvious and if we replace the other three exercises — snatch, press, and clean — with a bar there’s no self-respecting strength junkie who wouldn’t tell you how great those three are.
The first time I heard the expression “steering strength” was from Stuart McGill, and he was speaking about the get up and how both halves of the body are forced to learn to work together, linked through a stiff midsection, while a weight is steered through a variety of angles. This is a useful skill for grapples, extreme athletes such as motocross riders, and even people moving house.
I believe the kettle bell clean is a better choice to teach someone in a hurry for one simple reason — since we can focus on one hand, instead of the hands being locked together on a bar, we essentially halve the amount of coordination needed to learn the move. A dynamic expression of this same steering strength concept that McGill was speaking of.
Not only is this ability to dynamically steer force important athletically, but the other benefits of the clean are still there — posterior chain recruitment, speed, and power. And with the addition of the extra plane of movement that the bell provides you get large doses of coordination thrown in, too.
When a heavy bell hits you for the first time and almost knocks you off your feet you’ll understand why. It’s a blocked roundhouse to the body (and its rack position is almost exactly like your guard in stand up fighting).
Many big name strength coaches will get their athletes to work from the hang position, either from mid-thigh or the knees. The hang position has some other benefits for upper body dominant athletes like wrestlers or throwers, as well — while the posterior chain is still used heavily, the lift becomes upper body dominant and forces the athlete to be even faster to drive the bar from start to the rack.
It’s as easy as ordering a copy of Enter the Kettle bell off Dragon Door and getting started. As long as you’ve got a safe understanding of the swing, you will be able to clean and reap all the benefits of this powerful exercise, too.
My favorite way to work the single clean is easy — 5 × 5 with a heavy bell. An extra bonus is that when you go back to your normal press weights that they will feel light and easy to steer into the rack.
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. 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.