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How To Do The Kettlebell Clean

Kettlebell Clean
(Image credit: Unknown)

Targets Hamstring, glutes, back

Essential form

  • Start with the kettlebell on the floor slightly in front of you and between your feet, which should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Bending slightly at the knees but hingeing mainly at the hips, grasp the kettlebell and pull it back between your legs with one hand (with your thumb pointing backwards) to create momentum.
  • Drive your hips forwards and straighten your back to initiate the upwards movement of the kettlebell.
  • Once the kettlebell passes bellybutton height, gently pull it back and slide your fist around and under the bell so it nestles softly on the back of your wrist. This is known as the rack position.
  • Push the kettlebell out to let it swing down between your legs and repeat.

kettlebell Clean

(Image credit: Unknown)

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 kettlebell king Mike Mahler (opens in new tab). “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. The trajectory should be in a straight line so don’t swing out to the left or right or project in front like the one-arm swing. Instead, swing the bell upwards and then pull the bell up and back towards you. Let the lower body do most of the work to get the bell in place.”

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