The Kettlebell Clean is a move that brings the Kettlebell up into a rack position in one clean motion. It is a big neuromuscular movement that can benefit anyone looking to burn some fat. Kettlebell Cleans looks simple so most people do not regard it as an exercise. However, it involves a lot of squatting, pressing, or jerking which can be beneficial to your overall body. With a good Clean, you can burn fat and condition the body.

The Kettlebell Clean is the safest way you can get the kettlebell to your shoulder. Before you can do a perfect Clean, you must know how to do a perfect Kettlebell Swing. The Clean is a progression from Swing. So you will need to master Kettlebell Swing before you progress to Clean.

Types of Kettlebell Clean

Kettlebell Clean has variations which include:

  • Olympic Clean
  • Bottom Up Clean
  • Waiter Clean
  • Seated Clean
  • Single Leg Clean
  • Circular Clean
  • Outside Leg Clean

However, today we will be discussing the classic Kettlebell Clean.

Mastering the Form

Before you can do a perfect Kettlebell Clean, you will need to master the form and learn the technique so you can avoid flipping the kettlebell onto the forearm, bruising your arm, ripping the hands or causing discomfort in the rack position.

How to Do a Perfect Kettlebell Clean

Step 1

Stand straight. Slightly bend your knees and grasp the kettlebell handle with your thumb facing back.

Step 2

Raise your body from the squat position while rolling your shoulder back like you were doing a shrug. Note that you must not swing the kettlebell out away from you and flip it onto your forearm; else you might hurt the forearm. Your thumb should be coming straight up the body like a zipper when you roll the shoulder back. The aim of this is to prevent the kettlebell from swinging out from your body. If you want to avoid injuries, you must ensure that you keep the kettlebell close to your body.

Step 3

As you move the body up, quickly slide your hand up through the kettlebell just like you would do when you are doing an uppercut. You will need to do this quickly so you can direct the kettlebell into the rack. This is to ensure that you avoid squeezing the handle which can cause unnecessary pain to the forearm.  Tight gripping will lead to ripped hands and this is a sure sign of poor technique. Therefore, you must be comfortable by opening your hand at the top of this move.

Step 4

When you have moved the kettlebell safely into the rack position, you will be standing upright with straight legs. Your knees should be in lockout position. The perfect rack position is between the forearm and the bicep with your thumb touching the middle of the chest.

Step 5

Now is time to repeat the move by dropping the kettlebell first and you will need to do this correctly.

To do this, start by lifting the elbow up from the hip to parallel to the floor. Sit back so your Glutes will absorb the weight as the bell begins to flip over and drop.  You must do this straight down and not out and away from your body.

To ensure that you are doing a perfect kettlebell Clean, you must always work with the kettlebell close to the body to make it easier on you as well as put less stress on the arms, shoulders, and the back.

Common Kettlebell Clean Mistakes You Should Avoid

1. Not Keeping the Bell Close to Your Body

This happens when the kettlebell isn’t properly cleaned into the Rack Position, instead of keeping the bell tight to the body; some beginners flung it up and out, forcing them to pull it back into themselves. This can hurt your arms. Keep the kettlebell close to your core throughout the movement.

2. Not Mastering the Form before Doing a Kettlebell Clean

Take time to learn the form. Note that you will need to learn Kettlebell Swing before you can go on to do a perfect Kettlebell Clean. Once you master this technique, you can be able to do every other kettlebell exercise including the military press.


You will need a constant practice before you can become perfect. Don’t expect that you can do a perfect Kettlebell Clean on your first try. Everybody learn at different pace; don’t get frustrated when you see others learning fast, you will master the move with time and patience.