After trying this challenging cross body variation of the kettlebell clean, then check out my kettlebell moves page for a lot more exercises!
It’s always fun to add a little twist (literally and figuratively) to a kettlebell exercise in order to make it a little more challenging, add some variety, and work your muscles from different angles. The kettlebell cross body clean adds a new dynamic to a standard kettlebell exercise!
Cross Body Clean
- Place the kettlebell to the outside of one of your feet so that the middle of the handle lines up with the mid-point of your foot.
- Step the other foot wide enough so that your stance is just wider than shoulder width.
- Reach across the body to grab the handle of the kettlebell. The thumb of the hand grasping the kettlebell should point behind you.
- Retract your shoulder blades, engage your lats and abdominals, drive your legs into the ground, and clean the kettlebell to your shoulder.
- Reverse the movement to return the kettlebell to the starting position.
The key to stabilizing your spine during this exercise is to scoot the hips as far back as possible when reaching across your body. Move the hips back towards a squatting position to prevent bending in the spine when you grab the kettlebell.
A relatively loose grip with the hand on the handle is essential for the cross body clean, or any kettlebell clean, to prevent the kettlebell from flipping over the hand and banging into the wrist. A loose grip should allow the kettlebell to wrap around the wrist when you externally rotate the arm into the rack position.
Really focus on keeping the abdominals drawn up and tight throughout the movement. Also, work to make the cross body clean as smooth as possible, and avoid jerking movement. Retract the shoulders, and engage the lat muscles, so that when you commit to the clean, you do not jerk the shoulder joint.