What is a kettlebell clean?

What is a kettlebell clean?

A kettlebell clean is a kettlebell exercise in which the kettlebell moves from a position below the hips into a racking position via a powerful movement that’s powered by the legs. Most cleans will require a good hook grip.

There are many clean variations. A kettlebell clean is an important exercise because, unless you only do kettlebell swings, the kettlebell has to be brought up from the ground into a racking position from where it can transition to the next exercise, for example, a press, jerk, or push press.

The kettlebell clean is not just for transition but can also be used as an exercise on its own, for example, sets of hang clean, dead cleans, or swing cleans. Furthermore, it can also be used to create combos like the clean and press, clean and jerk, and so on. And last but not least, it’s also great in kettlebell flows.

Each variation of the clean has its own benefits and can be used to work on different goals. The dead clean is great to work on power with a longer range and the hang clean with a shorter range. Of course, the swing clean can also be used to work on power, but unlike the previous two mentioned, the swing clean can also be performed to work on endurance.

One of the most underrated things when it comes to kettlebell training, in general, is kettlebell grips. When it comes to the kettlebell clean they are so super important and will mean a difference between blistering, ripping your hands, and/or developing excessive calluses. The following video dives deep into one aspect of grip, there is a free PDF on grips that has been downloaded by tens of thousands of people, there is our kettlebell training video, kettlebell fundamentals book, and our highly rated online kettlebell course.


Kettlebell Clean Workout

Here is a kettlebell workout with a clean. The workout is high reps and therefore does require you to have mastered the clean, otherwise, it means ripping your hands or bruising your wrists. None of that is needed, you can do hundreds of unbroken reps of the clean without any issues, in fact, I have done a thousand reps unbroken of the clean and jerk which took one hour.

The kettlebell workout is:

  • 50 kettlebell hang cleans
  • 50 kettlebell single-arm swings
  • 50 kettlebell half snatches

Repeat 3 times

We have many more full-length follow-along workouts with beginners options and progression available in our online membership.


How to perform the kettlebell hang clean

Below is a video in which I teach a total beginner how to perform this variation of the kettlebell clean.

Come and join our private group where you will receive coaching from our kettlebell coaches and will find many more of these technique videos covering plenty of kettlebell clean variations and other kettlebell exercises.


Advanced clean variation

In the following video, I demonstrate an advanced clean variation, namely the waiters clean where the base of the bell ends up in my palm.


If you want to learn more about the clean, you can buy a book, take a course, or become kettlebell certified.

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