Kettlebells Strength

Kettlebell Clean Technique Overview

Written by shapeshifter

Previously, we talked about how to do one of the best kettlebell conditioning exercises ever, the kettlebell Swing.

Today we’re going to build off that foundation and introduce an exercise that requires an added element of timing and coordination. It’s called the Kettlebell Clean.

Keep in mind that my personal “flavour” of kettlebell technique comes from a “soft-style” influence. I’m an AKC Certified Coach and I enjoy the competition style technique.

That does NOT mean that I discount the hard style. In fact, I think it’s great. It’s just not where I’m coming from personally. But if you prefer the RKC or hard-style kettlebell techniques, you’re in luck. One of my best buddies, RKC coach Chris Lopez, is a frequent contributor to the blog.

But I digress…

Let’s get back to the Clean. The foundation for great Clean technique is a solid Swing. So if you haven’t mastered that yet, make sure you put your time in.

Once you’ve mastered the Swing, the real trick to the Clean is to take advantage of the momentary weightlessness of the KB in order to “flip” it into the rack position.

Check out this video to see what I mean:

Here’s a round-up of the main technical points:

  • Master your Swing technique
  • Get a feel for the “Rack” position
  • Notch of the thumb & index finger braces the handle
  • Forearm fits into the groove between bell and handle
  • Elbow is tight to the body
  • Use the moment of weightlessness to flip from Swing to Rack
  • Catch the bell in the rack with a slight “dip” of the lower body to absorb
  • Reverse the movement to flip back into the swing

Practice that. And then my “hard-style” buddy will be dropping by the blog in the next couple days to share another of his favorite tips for mastering the Clean.

Any questions, comments or additional information on the Clean? Drop ’em in the comments section below!

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1 Comment

  • Hi Adam,
    Great video thanks! Is there any variation if you’re cleaning two kettlebells – say in Kettelbell Sport? I’ve seen two different ways – one similar to the way you demonstrated in the video, and another via IKFF where your elbow stays glued to the body and the elbow-pit points skyward. Any thoughts?


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