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.
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 kettlebellclean by facing a wall to restrict the swinging or looping movement that often happens with beginners. 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. 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. 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 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. The one-arm kettlebellclean delivers many of the same benefits of the Olympic weightlifting clean, but is less technically demanding.
Because you work one side at a time, the one-arm kettlebellclean 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). 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. 30 Day Kettle bell Clean Challenge | Full Body Conditioning in 10 Minutes
As far as kettle bell training goes I don’t think there’s a more misunderstood exercise than the kettlebellclean. 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. 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. This rack position needs to be strong and firmly imprinted in your head so you’ll be able to direct the kettle bell there during your work sets.
A good drill at this point is to go for a walk in the rack position working on keeping the elbow in and maintaining good posture — you’ll find it’s far harder than you think. 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. You’ll need to tense the whole body — glutes, abs, legs, and the lat on the side of your working arm to keep your alignment.
Starting from the rack, we need to get confident hike passing the bell back behind us. 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. The thumb will end up slightly turned behind you in the bottom position thanks to your “water pouring” at the start of the drop.
If you really struggle with this part one drill, what I like doing is using a sequence from the rack that goes — drop, swing, hammer curl, clean. From the rack the drill is simple — we drop the bell and turn that into a swing as in the video above.
For a final look at the clean from a Gregory Sport perspective, world champion Ivan Denison shows that the clean is still more similar to the swing than different — legs straight at the top, wrists straight, elbows in, and driven into place by the swing. A good clean makes a strong starting point for all the most important kettle bell exercises like the jerk and press.
Tim Peterson, Chief Instructor for Titrant, has created a great post for us about selecting your kettle bell. Kettle bells are a great tool, that can be used for strength work, hypertrophy, conditioning, power, and endurance.
Cast iron, competition/sport, steel, rubber coated, soft-sand filled, adjustable, medicine ball-like, and more. All kettle bells are cast in a mold, what happens after can be different depending on the company.
After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE. Depending on whom you ask, you will get different folk stories of what they originally were made from, and what they were used for, as well as which countries claim ownership.
The competition kettle bell is the same size and dimension across the weight range, and is made out of steel. The handle is flat across on top, and joins the body of the kettle bell vertically.
Some brands are an 8 kilogram shell filled with fillers like sawdust and ball bearings to achieve the desired weights, this potentially can become loose and rattle over time or lose balance. More durable competition bells are made from a single piece of steel, cast precisely to the specific weight.
There are ballistics such as Swings, Cleans and Snatches, and grinds, such as Goblet and Double Front Squats, Presses, and Get-Ups. Once beyond the learning phase, the curved handle of the cast-iron kettle bell is the clear winner for swings.
As a result, if the kettle bell ’s contact each other on the way up or down they will have a tendency to bounce off of each other like basketballs. The last thing you want is for the kettle bells to bounce away from each other on the way down and hit the user on the legs.
Another item to consider is that when hiking two large kettle bell ’s through the legs, regardless of weight, the stance used needs to be wide enough to allow room for them to pass. After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE.
More importantly, and again something that affects beginners more than experienced lifters, is that the larger size body rests on the meat of the forearm rather than the bone protrusion of the wrist, which is right where the smaller body of a lighter kettle bell will sit. I can hear the naysayers now — “No pain, no gain,” or “Suck it up buttercup!” Well, I have personal experience here.
I broke one of my wrists mountain biking years ago, and now have a plate and 8 screws holding the end of my ulna together. Both of these surgeries led me to experiment with competition style kettle bells, which contacted my arm below these sensitive areas.
After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE. If you are a gym, I would strongly recommend a full set of both cast-iron and competition style kettle bells.
After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE. We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettle bell workout every week you can click below.
Tim Peterson is the Chief Instructor and Director of Content and Curriculum for Titrant, a revolutionary fitness ranking system based on standardized strength and conditioning tests utilized currently in over 1,000 gyms worldwide in more than 25 countries. Tim has a MS and BA in Kinesiology, and has taught High School Weightlifting for over a decade.
He uses his experiences in and observations of the fitness industry as inspiration for his writing, which appears on the Titrant website, as well as guest posts for Dan John, Kettle bell Kings, and others. For more of Tim’s writing as well as more information about Titrant, a unique challenge that is both standardized yet personal due to tests based upon gender, age, and body weight, visit www.fitranx.com.
Kettle bell Kings creates new workout each week which you can receive in your email inbox. It hits the posterior chain, teaches intramuscular coordination, and helps speed and power production.
Sometimes you don’t have years to work with an athlete to help them reach their peak. 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 kettlebellclean 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. 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.