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Kettlebell Moves: Clean and Press

If the clean and press rocks your world, then check out my Kettlebell Moves page for a lot more exercises!


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Clean and Press

The clean and press is one of the foundation exercises of kettlebell training. It is a phenomenal exercise that works a lot of body parts.

There are two ways to approach the clean. One is to pick the kettlebell up and let it hang between your legs before the clean up to your shoulder, the hang clean. The other method, and the one that I prefer, is to pick it straight up from the floor, the dead clean. Doing the dead clean takes you through a deeper range of motion and forces your legs and back to work harder. If you’re going through the motions, then why not get the most out of it?


  1. Arrange the kettlebell so that the handle is pointed back between the legs. Stand over the kettlebell and set your feet shoulder width or slightly wider with toes slightly pointed out. Scoot your butt back as if you’re going to sit on a stool, and grasp the handle with an internal rotation of the arm. Your thumb will be pointed back between your legs.
  2. Keep your head up and eyes out in front of you.
  3. Drive your feet into the ground as you straighten out your legs, and in one “clean” movement, lift the kettlebell off the floor.
  4. As this movement is occurring, you’ll want to externally rotate the arm and allow the kettlebell to wrap around the wrist as you hoist it into the rack position where the kettlebell ends up between your forearm and the bicep.
  5. Look straight ahead, not up or down. Flex the lat muscle and press the kettlebell overhead.


Really work to utilize the force and energy that is created in the hips. Use this energy to help transfer the weight of the kettlebell from the ground into the rack position. Without properly using this energy from the hips, the biceps do most of the work by themselves. This will prevent you from going up to heavier weights.

Keep your chest squared forward during the exercise.

A loose grip in the hand will allow the kettlebell to wrap around the forearm without flipping over and banging against you. If you find that is occurring, take a close look at how tightly you are holding the handle.

Remember to keep your head up and don’t bend at the lower back during the lifting portion of the move and don’t lean back at the top of the clean and press!

Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below. Chances are, someone else would like to know the answer to your question too!

Kettlebell Clean and Press Exercise


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