Two-Arm Kettlebell Clean Exercise


Two-Arm Kettlebell Clean Exercise Guide

The exercise known as the two-arm kettlebell clean is performed to learn other complex kettlebell exercises. However, it does target specific muscle groups, i.e. glutes, core, hamstrings, and lower back. The exercise involves lifting up the kettlebells right in front of your shoulders and resting them on the forearms. The movement is of vital importance in exercises like the front squats and kettlebell press.

Two-Arm Kettlebell Clean Exercise Instructions

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to perform the two-arm kettlebell clean.

Use the same exact motion and technique as the single-arm clean. How­ever, you will do this with two kettlebells.

  1. You might need to take a slightly wider stance (depending on kettlebell size).
  2. Place two ketllebells between your feet. To get in the starting position, push your butt back and maintain a straight back as you grab hold of the ketllebells.
  3. Start the mini swing, but break the motion of the full swing and rotate the kettlebells around the forearms as you bring them up to racked position at your chest. In other words, once the kettlebells pass belly button height, allow the handles to slide in your hands so the balls of the ket­tlebells swing over the hands and come to a rest on the back of your forearms. Keep your elbows in next to the ribs while driving up the kettlebells.
  4. With a slight lift at the elbows, the kettlebells will drop between the legs as the hips move back in a hinge and you continue to the next rep of your clean.

two-arm kettlebell clean exercise instructions

Additional tips (performance pointers)

  • Begin as when attempting a kettlebell swing.
  • While driving up the kettlebells, keep your arms bent instead of extending them (like you do when you perform the two-arm kettlebell swing). This will keep the weight close to the body. The arms should be kept static in the movement, e.g. used like a rope, to carry the weight around.  So rather than arching the kettlebells, clean them up to the racked position by bringing the kettlebells up vertically close to the body using the power generated from the hips as the arms stay loose.
  • Please note that everything for the two-arm kettlebell clean (double kettlebell clean) will remain the same as in the single-arm clean, including facing your thumbs back toward the body, not up, when you swing back.
  • Remember that whenever you perform a kettlebell clean the ball of the kettlebell must pass over your knuckles. There is a tendency to twist the wrist as you lift a kettlebell. This bad habit can become an aggravating injury if you are not careful. You should not attempt to clean two kettlebells until you are certain that your form on the one arm clean is correct.
  • Focus on getting your hands around the kettlebells rather then letting the kettlebells flip over your hands and bang your wrists.
  • If you have sensitive wrists or forearms, you may want to consider wrist bands or wrist protection until you perfect the form.
  • Don’t use your biceps during the clean—this is not a biceps curl! The power should come from your hips.
  • If you have problems “taming the arc,” try performing the clean facing a wall. This will quickly teach you to keep your arm closer to your body, rather than let it run wild away from you.

The two-arm kettlebell clean video demonstration

This video is designed to show you exactly how to perform the two-arm kettlebell clean (double kettlebell clean) using perfect technique (proper form) so that you can get the most out of this great total body kettlebell exercise.

Exercise variations

Muscles Worked

Muscles worked while performing the two-arm kettlebell clean:

  • Primary muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, glutes;
  • Secondary muscles: abdominals, biceps, calves, upper back

Closing thoughts

The kettlebell clean is both a stand-alone exercise and the transitional point for the jerk, long cycle and pressing. This transitional point is commonly referred to as the “rack position“. The rack position is where the bells are resting against your upper body below chin level. This rack position is the basis for us to perform the front squat, press, or jerk so having a solid clean sets us up as well as possible to have a solid starting point for these other moves.

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