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What Muscles Do Kettlebell Cleans Work

author
Daniel Brown
• Thursday, 12 November, 2020
• 14 min read

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.

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Contents

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.

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 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.

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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.

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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. The kettle bell swing is one such exercise that requires you to use the muscles in your hips and legs to generate the force of the swing while your abs, back muscles and shoulder girdle stabilize your upper force to control your posture, momentum and balance.

The posterior chain is a network of muscles and fascia that extends from your calves and hamstrings into your buttocks and lower back. In a study published in the January 2012 issue of “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” researchers Dr. Stuart McGill and Leigh Marshall found that the hip-hinge movement of the swing causes your lower back and buttocks to undergo an activation and relaxation cycle during the movement.

As you breathe and swing, your core is constantly activated throughout the exercise, which includes your transverses abdominal, external and internal obliques, multimedia and diaphragm. The core works with the posterior chain to stabilize your torso and control the rate and direction of the downward swing phase.

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These muscles stabilize the scapulae in order to control the swing without injuring your arms or shoulders, just like in a dead lift exercise. This temporary tension, called a lockout, is where your buttocks, thighs and abs are tightened and your shoulder blades are pulled back and depressed when you swing upward.

Kettle bell swings were introduced to the US by Russian fitness expert Pavel Tsatsouline at the turn of the 21st Century. Since their introduction, Russian kettle bells have become a familiar sight in many gyms and a popular choice for home workouts.

They also come in a wide range of weights, which means that you can use them at any stage of your fitness journey and can benefit whether you’re an experienced or novice user. But the question on many people’s lips is, “what musclesdokettlebell swings work ?”, and that’s what I want to answer in this post.

The two-handed swing uses the hamstrings, glutes, quads, hips, core, back, trapezium, shoulders, and forearms. The intensity means that you will feel the burn after a decent set, and with a good 30-minute workout you will be sweating profusely, your heart will be pumping faster, and oxygenated blood will be coursing through your veins.

As long as you maintain good form, you don’t have to use a heavy bell, especially for cardio training. As the kettle bell descends from the swing, gravity ensures that the bell will feel a lot heavier, especially as you reach the end of your set.

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As with any exercise, but perhaps more so with a full-body kettle swing workout, good form is vital to ensure the best results. When performing the swing, all your weight should be placed on the heel and middle of the foot and should never transfer to the toes.

You should also keep your neck and head in alignment with your back so ensure that you are always looking ahead at the horizon while performing this movement. The height you raise the kettle bell will be determined by the amount of power you can muster from your hip thrust.

The number of reps and sets you need to perform depends on your fitness level, what you’re trying to achieve, and the weight you’re using. The length and frequency of your kettle bell workouts depends on the intensity and difficulty of the session.

Kettle bell swings are a full body workout, and whether you are training increasing strength or stamina, or even to lose weight, research suggests that shorter sessions are more effective. They utilize virtually every muscle in the body, and they are effective for weight loss as well as explosive strength training.

They also require very little equipment, and the intensity of the workout can be increased so that you continue to make the gains you’re looking for. Best of all you don’t have to be in a gym to do the kettle bell exercises most often you can do the entire workout in your backyard, or anywhere you have some open space.

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Kettle bell exercises tend to concentrate all at once on different muscle groups, and they are very effective in cutting fat and improving the metabolic rate. When you eat in a calorie surplus, they’re also going to be a perfect way to develop more muscle mass and move the performance to the next level.

This is a good multitasking exercise for hitting the shoulders at the same time, so by using it, you can potentially cut back on the total amount of work you have to do. You should try and stay as upright as possible in this kettle bell exercise to prevent lower back pain from developing.

This movement will replace the standard dumbbell dead lift and is great for developing stronger hamstrings and lower back. The alternating floor press will do just that and will also work the deltoid muscles as they struggle to maintain balance throughout the lift.

Since this exercise is performed sitting entirely on the floor, you’re going to find that it really takes any momentum out of the movement pattern, helping you see better shoulder results. Since at points throughout the movement you will be required to maintain a high level of balance this will cause the abs to contract maximally deep within the core.

If you are someone who does prefer to do a couple of exercises however or you are really looking to dramatically boost the overall strength you see, then you should consider a kettle bell figure 8. As you pass the kettle bell from one hand to the other you’ll also work the shoulders to a degree, further increasing the benefits you see from this movement.

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Because of the nature of this movement, it will also stimulate the quad muscles as well, so it’ll be good to add if you’re performing a lower-body or full-body workout. The bottoms-up clean from a hang position is great for targeting the forearms so it can be added towards the end of your workout to finish the muscles off.

You should avoid doing this earlier however as if you’ve pre-existed the forearms, initially you might find that this really hinders your ability to lift heavy during the other upper body kettle bell exercises that have been described. The kettle bell swing is a full-body exercise that uses muscles for grip, posture, stabilization, to keep the spine erect, and the actual movement (prime movers).

Truth be told, there are plenty more muscles used during the kettle bell swing but I’ve tried to stick to the most common and known ones, I also categorized them a bit differently than normal. If your grip has no endurance then you won’t be completing high reps unbroken.

Throughout the swing, your erector spinal muscles need to work to keep your spine erect, and there is actually a lot more going on inside as well to protect the spine and brace the abs. These are the muscles that create the movement which is the hip and knee extension only when we’re talking about the conventional kettle bell swing.

Keeping the knee above the ankle is important when hip hinging, if the knee comes excessively forward, then the movement starts to turn into a squat. Not a great quality video at all, but the content is, I explain how to prevent the common back aches from the kettle bell swing, whether using the conventional/Russian or American swing.

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The following is a drill I use for teaching the deep hip hinge insert which is what happens during the back swing and is also used to prevent bobbing of the kettle bell. If you want to be efficient with the American swing, stay safe, and be able to perform high reps then there is no doubt in my mind that you should lay the foundation with the conventional kettle bell swing and then continue that knowledge through the kettle bell snatch.

Taco Fleur Russian Gregory Sport Institute Kettle bell Coach, Caveman training Certified, IFF Certified Kettle bell Teacher, Kettle bell Sport Rank 2, HardstyleFit Kettle bell Level 1 Instructor., CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Judges Certificate, CrossFit Lesson Planning Certificate, Kettle bells Level 2 Trainer, Kettle bell Science and Application, MMA Fitness Level 2, MMA Conditioning Level 1, BJJ Purple Belt and more. Owner of Caveman training and Kettle bell Training Education.

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.

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).

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.

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The kettle bell renegade row is a challenging exercise that can be used to effectively develop the muscles of the back. The trapezium and rhomboid muscles work to rotate and addict the shoulder blades, which occurs each time you row the kettle bell.

The tears major and minor aid in shoulder movement and stability during the renegade row. The biceps brachial on the front of the upper arm are the primary movers of elbow flexion and are used during the row, but minimally.

Though not worked directly during kettle bell renegade rows, the core muscles are heavily relied upon. The quadriceps muscles on the front of the thighs work to keep your knees extended and off the floor for the duration of the exercise.

More Articles Antagonist Muscle During a Push up Do Bicep Curls Affect Your Pecs? Kettle bells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines.

Kettle bell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time. Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness.

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Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance. You’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads.

Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises. You can always increase the weight once you’re comfortable with the correct form for each exercise.

Fitness experts suggest using kettle bells with the following weights if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level with your strength training: Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength.

Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles. Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight.

This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs.

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Engage your abdominal muscles and set your shoulders back. Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you.

Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly.

Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position. With both hands around the handle, hold the kettle bell close to your chest.

Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides. Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place.

A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate. When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap.

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Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the kettle bell slightly across your body.

When you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position. When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position.

Hold a kettle bell by the handle so that it rests against the outside part of your shoulder. There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups.

According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness. Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength.

A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity. Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study.

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According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance. You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells.

If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises. Stop immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain.

A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out. Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness.

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Sources
1 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/full-body-kettlebell-workout-for-beginners/
2 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/kettlebell/
3 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/mma-fighter-kettlebell-workout-plan/
4 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/5-kettlebell-workouts-for-outdoor-athletes/
5 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/a-simple-guide-to-designing-your-kettlebell-workout/