Clean and press

This will help turn those shoulders into boulders!

Exercise No.3: The kettlebell clean and press.

Moving forward in the evolution of kettlebell exercises, the clean and press is basically the same flick-of-the-wrist action that the snatch employs. The difference between the snatch and the clean is that for the clean, you will flick your wrist much sooner with the bell about stomach/chest height and not forehead height. Also, instead of keeping your arms straight, you will bend your elbow to almost "catch" the bell.

Like the snatch, the clean and press is a very technical exercise, specifically the flick-of-the -wrist action that makes sure your hand moves around the bell, not the opposite. Be sure to watch the instructional video on how to correctly perform this exercise.

Works: Shoulders, biceps and triceps with heavy emphasis on your upper back.

Benefits: + The clean and press is one of the most functional activities you can do for your shoulders.


Using the same starting position as the swing and the snatch, and choking up on the inside horn of the bell, hike the bell behind your legs and swing the bell up using your hips.

When the bell gets to about shoulder height, flick your wrist up through the kettlebell so hand moves around the bell letting it rest on your forearm. As you clean the kettlebell, bend your elbow completely, ending with your knuckles next to your outer chest and shoulder.

When you finish cleaning the kettlebell, your arm should be directly in front of your chest and the inside horn of the bell should rest on the space between your pointer finger and thumb. You want to make sure that your wrist is neutral. If you were to open your hand, the tips of your fingers to your wrist would create a straight line.

Once the kettlebell is cleaned, press overhead fully extending your elbow. Keep it there for a second, and then slowly lower the bell in front of you, not to your side and at no time should you jerk your shoulder. As you lower the weight to the floor, make sure that your back is flat.

Common mistakes: The major problem people have in performing the clean and press, aside from the bell moving around their hand and hitting them on the wrist, is not keeping the bell close to the body in a tight, racked position. Racking the kettlebell on the side of your body instead of the front is the least stable position for your shoulder and can cause shoulder injuries.

Also, when you have the bell in the racked position, make sure that the inside horn of the bell rests on the space between your thumb and pointer finger and that your wrist is straight. Some people have the bell rest where the knuckles bend on the top part of the hand and that is also a very unstable position for your wrist.