The Weak Link | Kettlebell Clean

Kettlebell Swing

Posted on November 11th, 2021 to Barefoot Training

When it comes to kettlebell training, we can all agree that the first movement to master is the swing. This is because it requires the lifter to understand the proper hinge pattern and it will set them up for success in all of the other kettlebell movements. Since the kettlebell always starts on the ground, you can’t really progress from the swing until you master the hinge.

For those of you looking for more information on the swing, you can refer to the below article.

Kettlebell Swing Progression | Kettlebell Training

In my opinion, the second most crucial lift to learn is the kettlebell clean. If you are unable to clean the kettlebell to the rack position (resting on shoulders), then you won’t be able to complete all of the other fun and challenging movements.

For most lifters, the limiting factor in their training is the overhead press. For example, you might be able to squat two 32kg kettlebells rather easily, but really struggle when it comes to trying to press it overhead. Again, in order to practice a heavy overhead press, you need to be able to get the weight to your shoulders.

For more info on how to clean up your clean, you can check out the article below.

Clean Up Your Clean | Kettlebell Tips

Personally, I find using heavier kettlebells as an easier way to really learn the movement. With lighter weights, I tend to “cast” the bell, which is when the weight extends out in front of me instead of staying tight to my body. Also, with lighter weights the bell will move faster, thus making it harder to control the crash landing on the shoulders. With heavier weights, you are forced to really drive your hips and press through the floor. A common fault with the clean is the tendency to overuse your arms and cheat the movement by really pulling the weight with your arms to get it up to your shoulders. Using heavier weight will reduce this.

Here are some heavy kettlebell cleans done dead start style…

Happy cleaning!



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