The kettlebell clean is one of the first moves you should learn if you’re new to kettlebells. Many popular kettlebell exercises use it as an integral part, usually as the first step of that exercise. The concept is simple enough. Lift the kettlebell from the floor or between your legs with one hand and transition into the rack position. The problem that most popular have when learning the clean is that the movement of this transition causes banging on the wrist and forearm. When done correctly, the floor to rack position movement should seem fluid and seamless.
One of our favorite kettlebell trainers, Forest Vance, created a video to help learn and perform the kettlebell clean effectively. While his technique deserves praise, it is his tips and insights that really help in avoiding common mistakes. Take a look at his video below and you’ll see why.
Breaking Down This Kettlebell Clean Video
As Forest explains in the video, people have a tendency to treat the kettlebell clean like a kettlebell swing. Naturally, this action causes the extension of the arm which leads to greater impact when finishing the clean. Notice how Forest’s elbow remains close to his stomach throughout the entire process? It forces him to keep the movement close to his body instead of extending away.
His suggestion of pretending there is a wall 6-12″ away really helps to put it into perspective. He even suggests that, if necessary, you can use a wall to learn the correct technique. It’s tips like these that make us here at Kettlebell Krusher truly appreciate. Other trainers might show you the proper method of a kettlebell exercise, however, it’s also extremely beneficial to learn what not to do.
One thing you may have noticed in the video is that Forest shows the exercise starting between the legs. If you’re still having difficulty grasping the technique of the clean you should go with the dead clean variation. That’s where the kettlebell starts from the floor. This helps to emphasize that the power of the movement comes from the hips and not the arm. Remember, that your arm is just an extension and shouldn’t be the driving force. Once you figure that out, the rest of it will come easily.