In this video I will show you how to smooth out your kettlebell clean.
1. Why you should do cleans this way
2. What to avoid
3. How to do it right
4. Please leave a comment if you have questions
The Kettlebell Clean is a great exercise that works both your lower and upper body simultaneously. This improves coordination, creates an efficient workout and places a great metabolic demand on your body.
The Clean can be a little tricky to learn at first and you may experience some bruising on your forearms. I also went through these growing pains many years ago when I first started training with kettlebells. The soreness and bruising I experienced wasn't a badge of honor, but rather a reminder that I needed to improve my technique.
After improving my technique the bruising went away and I felt more comfortable cleaning heavier kettlebells.
I've been very fortunate to train people that really enjoy working with kettlebells. After teaching and evaluating kettlebell cleans for years there are 3 common problems that I see.
1. Taming the arc.
If your clean is landing with a thud on your shoulder/forearm, then it's possible the arc of your kettlebell is too high. Rather than bringing the bell up to your shoulder, think about cleaning the kettlebell to your waist. This should smooth out the landing and give you more control.
2. Death grip.
If your clean is smashing your forearm and wrist, then it's possible that your grip is too tight. If your grip is too tight, then you will slow down the movement and throw off your timing.
Tension has a negative impact on speed and since the clean is considered a ballistic movement your arm should be fairly relaxed, which will allow you to move faster amongst other things. As you start your clean, spear your hand through the handle in order to finish. Your fingers should be relaxed and it's okay to have your hand open when you finish.
You want to keep your upper arm (bicep and tricep) connected to your ribcage during your cleans. This will allow you to use your torso to clean the bell. Disconnecting your upper arm from your ribcage will place a lot of unnecessary stress on your shoulder and elbow during the movement. If you are having trouble with this, place a towel or magazine between your upper arm and ribcage and hold it there while doing your cleans (see video).
I hope these tips help you smooth out your cleans if you are having a tough time with this movement. Focus on improving your technique and you'll be amazed at how smooth your cleans will become.
Keep your cleans clean!
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