Is Your Kettlebell Clean Jacked Up? Here’s How to Fix It!

The Kettlebell Clean is a really tricky move to master.  It looks simple when you see someone perform the movement properly – on video, for example – but then when you go to try it yourself, you many times simply end up frustrated and/or with a bruised forearm 😉

Check out the video below for a quick drill you can do to improve your kettlebell clean form:


Is Your Kettlebell Clean Jacked Up?  Here’s How to Fix It!

(video recap)

We were doing some kettlebell cleans in our boot camp this morning and people were having some problems with them. A lot of people were having similar issues so I thought I’d show you a quick video to break down some common errors with the kettlebell clean. Also, I’ll show you two quick drills that are very effective to fix it.

Here is the error that I’m talking about that happens for a lot of people. The ‘bell gets too far out in front or too far out to the side. This arm detaches from the body and the ‘bell ends up coming over the top and whacking you in the wrist.

(Forest demonstrates) That is what a proper clean should look like. Here’s what happens. (Forest demonstrates a bad clean) You get a lot of impact, maybe even more than that. You can get a bruised wrist which is really painful and it ends up being a problem over time.

So to fix that I’ve got two drills for you. For the first drill, get close to a wall, about six inches away or so. Grab your kettlebell and practice your cleans. This will keep your arm close to your body and keep the kettlebell close to the frame. You have no choice or the ‘bell will go through the wall.

The second drill will have you face the wall. This will help you keep the kettlebell closer into your frame. Get as close as you can without whacking into the wall.

Then go back and do your cleans and a lot of times instantly your form will be cleaned up. It won’t be going to the side and the ‘bell will automatically be closer to your body. Then you’re doing a more efficient and less painful kettlebell clean.


The KB clean is a tricky one.  But many times, the simple drill shown in the video above goes a long way towards fixing several of the common problems with the movement.  It’s a great drill to use for 1) learning the exercise yourself and 2) for teaching and re-inforcing great technique with others.

Thanks for reading, train hard, and talk soon –

Forest Vance, MS, RKC

PS – The KB clean is typically paired with other moves – like the press.  Make sure to watch THIS video on fixing your kettlebell press if you haven’t yet for some additional tips that go along well with the ones in today’s video.  Thanks!

PPS – If you liked this video, be sure to pass it along to your kettlebell enthusiast friends and help spread the word! 😉

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