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Fitness/Health, Kettlebell


Tonight I have my ‘quiz’ as Coach Christian puts it.

20kg LC 10 x 1′  11RPM

30 min run

My athletes have been kicking some serious booty at Personal Best but still have a bit of trouble keeping the Kettlebell Clean as simple as it should be.  The Clean is an efficient movement that uses the prime movers of the body to create a solid racked position.  Deflection, post leg, punch through, these are cues that are much easier to understand visually so here is a very brief overview of the kettlebell clean.


The major bullet points are covered in the video. A few other things that I didn’t include or wanted to reinforce:

  • The wrist will remain neutral or even slightly flexed.  “IN KETTLEBELL, THERE IS NO WRIST!”  -I think I read that in Pavel’s book long ago.  Regardless, it is a great cue
  • The deflection of the shoulder on kettlebell side includes the entire torso, visualise the entire Thoracic Spine (mid/upper back) rotating backwards
  • The leg opposite the kettlebell is the POST leg, drive that foot into the ground on the upswing
  • The bell REMAINS close the body.  TAME THAT ARC
  • Double kettlebell work is a whole ‘nother animal but the elbows remain as close to iliac crests as possible, work on that thoracic spine mobility
  • Using one bell, my thumb is pointing behind me on the downward swing, with two bells my thumbs face forward on the down swing
  • With the sport clean, inhale on the upswing and exhale as the bell lands, imagine bracing for a punch to the stomach
  • Punch through the bell so the bell is rotating AROUND your hand and not flipping over your hand thus bashing your forearm
  • The PUNCH THROUGH may vary person to person but oftentimes you want to punch through the bell when it is about waist high
  • The elbow will remain at your hip on the clean, imagine the motion of drawing a six shooter
  • Loose hands in the rack position, imaging holding a cute little baby bird and not being a sadist about it
  • Avoid the TEAR ZONE on the downswing by opening the hand and letting the bell ‘jump’ from the heel of your hand to the base of your fingers
  • Keep the weight on your heels or last 1/3 of your foot
  • Stay LOOSE, your hips and *ahem* core are doing most of the work
  • You are still using the HIP HINGE movement pattern and not squatting excessively, for the pendulum swing you are quarter squatting , loading the hamstrings, back to quarter squat
  • SWING the arm without the bell to create momentum, stay loose, and create rhythm.  PLEASE stop resting that hand on your hip.  Next time I see it, BURPEE PENALTIES 🙂
  • DO NOT perform in dress pants, I believe I have torn 3 pairs demoing various exercises to patients.  SO IT GOES



About Dr. Jeff Stripling

Hey everyone, I am a Rolla, Missouri-based Active Release Technique (ART) chiropractor who specialises in musculoskeletal injuries, sports injuries, and active physical rehabilitation. Some things that are near and dear to my life are family and friends, my relationship with God, cycling, kettlebells, hiking/climbing, and QUALITY food and drink.


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