Kettlebell Clean, what’s the point?
The Kettlebell Clean takes the kettlebell from the floor and into the racked position, up onto the chest, in one fluid motion.
It should be smooth and not bang the wrist, forearm or chest.
From this racked position you can then: Press, Lunge, Squat, Clean again, Dance a jig or just Rest.
There are a number of ways to perform the Kettlebell Clean; The Swing Clean, Dead Clean, and Circular Clean.
Here’s a video tutorial on the Kettlebell Dead Clean exercise:
What muscles does the Kettlebell Clean work?
The Kettlebell Clean hits most muscles of the body making it a huge fat burning and strength building exercise.
Why you’re probably banging your wrists when you Clean
The clean, just like all the other deadlift movements, comes from the hips.
It is that explosive little HIP SNAP that sends the kettlebell up and on its way to the chest.
It is not an arm exercise.
You could have arms like pencils and still Clean a heavy kettlebell
3 Important steps:
- Keep the kettlebell close to the body and send it up in a straight line.
- Always take the arm around the kettlebell, NOT the kettlebell around the arm.
- Imagine clenching a large book under your armpit and then zipping up your jacket
What Kettlebell Weight to use with the Clean
Women should start with an 8kg or 12kg (25lbs), although I have female clients that clean 16kg and 20kg (44lbs) kettlebells, as I mentioned the strength comes from the hips not the arms.
Men can start with a 12kg and will quickly progress to 16kg, 24kg and even 32kg (70lbs).
Kettlebell Clean Workout to try
I remember my first 60 second Clean workout with a 32kg one sunny day on a rooftop in London, I felt sick afterwards and was sore for a few days.
- Clean Left – 60 seconds
- Rest 60 seconds
- Clean Right – 60 seconds
- Rest 60 seconds and repeat (1 – 3 times)
Clean as many times as possible in the 60 seconds, your target is 30 reps per side.
The Clean is an important full body kettlebell exercise that can be used by itself or as part of a more complex sequence.
You should master the deadlift and swing before attempting the clean as they all come from the all important hip hinge.
Further Kettlebell Clean Teaching Points
- 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
- 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
Ensure your Clean is flowing beautifully before adding a Press to the movement.