How to Move: Kettlebell Clean

The kettlebell clean is an excellent movement that utilizes a combination of hip extension and shoulder retraction. It’s a great progression on the way to the kettlebell snatch and is often less intimidating for people to learn when compared with the barbell versions. It also provides a nice work around when dealing with certain injuries.

Here are a few simple points to keep in mind when working the kettlebell clean:

  • Begin with a hip to shoulder width stance

  • Hinge and grab the KB with a one handed grip

  • Backswing by engaging the lats

  • Extend the hips rapidly

  • Keep the elbow close to the torso

  • As the KB rises square up the shoulders by retracting the side that’s holding the KB

  • The KB should travel fairly vertically and not take a large arching motion

  • Loosen the grip and allow the KB to rotate around into the nest created by the elbow

  • Keep the wrist straight

There are a ton of drills to work on perfecting your technique. We like to start by working the movement in reverse to help avoid the KB crashing onto the forearm. From there we move close to a wall to teach the proper line of action and avoid sweeping far from the body. You can utilize a wall in front of you as well as to the side.

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