How to Hang Clean with a Kettlebell (NO WRIST BANGING!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, I’m going to show you today how to put one
of the most powerful exercises, maybe, back in your arsenal because you gave up on it
because it was beating the hell out of your wrists. I’m talking about the hang clean,
but done with a kettle bell. You see, the kettle bell actually allows us to do this
exercise easier. So even if you’ve never tried it before it’s
one of the most powerful exercises you could do and you’ll want to start doing it, but
you’re going to want to learn the right way. Now, first of all, we’ll cover this in another
video – the hang clean done with a barbell – but there’s a lot more involved with a
barbell that might discourage people from even trying it in the first place. You have this element of triple extension
from your ankles through your knees, through your hips, even through your low back. You’re
trying to coordinate and then get underneath the bar and time it perfectly. If you haven’t
done lots and lots of reps of that exercise it can be very awkward and it can be very
non-productive for you. So, we don’t even really include hang cleans in our early ATHLEANX
programs for that very reason. We started to incorporate them after I feel
we’ve built up enough of a base. I’ll tell you one of the things you can do with the
kettle bell that makes it a lot easier. So, if I could demonstrate here with the little
mini-bell. The idea is this: when you go to clean the bell, here’s what people do most
of the time. They pick it up, and they try to pull it back this way so they can get into
this rack position. But look what happens. As they pull it up
– even if they do what they’re supposed to and keep the bar close to their body, in
this case the bell close to their body, when they get to the top they flip, the bell comes
down and whacks into the back of their wrists. Now, you do that a few times and you’re going
to hate doing kettle bell cleans. But you don’t have to have that happen. Here’s a
couple tips to make sure that it doesn’t. When you’re pulling up the first thing you’re
going to want to do – the first visualizations you’ll want to have – is you’re zippering
a jacket. Instead of doing this and flipping your arm away from your body, if you were
zippering your jacket you’d keep everything nice and tight, right? So if I was right here
I’d be zippering the jacket up. You see as I get to the top that I actually rotate my
hand. So as I rotate my hand that’s going to actually
rotate the bell around my hand. So it’s not flipping it up and over, it’s coming up, rotating
around my hand into this position. That’s the first thing you want to feel. The second
thing you want to feel is that your – they say you’re spearing the kettle bell. So when
I come up, obviously because as I go faster with this I’m going to spear the kettle bell.
Here and then spear it. So I’m actually sticking my hand into the
bell, trying to push the palm of my hand into the handle. I’m not just casually just letting
it flop in here. I’m actually coming in and then spearing it; going up that way, okay?
So you want to have a little bit more of an aggressive approach to getting the kettle
bell around your arm. Thirdly, what you want to make sure that you’re doing is, as you
pull the kettle bell up you’ve got to keep it loose in your fingers. It shouldn’t start down here in your fingers.
It shouldn’t be gripped really tightly a maybe you would a barbell. What you want to do is
keep it loose in your fingers so as you come up you can maneuver your hand around and get
into that position. Fourth, one of the key elements here is, what is the position of
your wrist? Remember, a strong wrist is going to have slight extension in it, right? A flat wrist, or certainly a wrist that flexed
here, is not going to have a strong grip as one that has slight extension. That’s why
when you go to grab a doorknob you don’t grab it like this, or like this. You grab
it like this to turn it so you have more force in your grip. So when you come up, as you
come up and you turn, you want to have your wrist in extension because what it’s doing
is not giving you a better grip on the kettle bell when you ultimately get to the top, but
it’s also giving you a platform to rest it on as you come up. So as I come up and if my wrist was flat and
I got it over here it’s going to have to bang at some point, but if I came up and my wrist
was in extension – as you can see right here – it’s actually almost resting on my
wrist the whole time it goes around. There is no banging. So you can see, just like that.
So, what does it look like in practice? You grab a heavier kettle bell right here, you
come down, and here, and up. Down, up. Your ending position is right here; right on your
forearm. Now, if you want to press it, get right here, down, and press up. Come down, and down again, okay? But again,
when you bring the bell up you don’t necessarily have to worry about the timing of your lower
body. You don’t necessarily have to worry about the triple extension. It’s all going
to happen because you’re just going to come up forcefully, but pull the zipper, and then
rotate around, and down. Pull the zipper, rotate around. And your hand lines up nice
and deep in that pocket there. Your fingers have speared the kettle bell, and again, it’s
right here resting. It never flipped over the top. Especially something like this will really
probably make your wrists hurt. Then of course when I’m coming back down again I just roll
it off. So I’m trying to encourage you. Make sure you do the exercise. It’s a great way
to build explosives in your upper body in a way that you can actually do it with a lot
less technicality than you would with a bar. If you’re looking for a way to train more
explosively – to train like and athlete – and to do it in a step by step manner
so you’re not jumping too far ahead before your body is ready; then head to
and get our ATHLEANX training systems. We basically take you through from AX1 all
the way through AX2 and into NXT. We’re going to take you down that path and make sure you’re
doing things as you’re ready for them and making sur that you’re getting the most out
of every workout that you do. Head to for those. In the meantime, if you’ve found
this video helpful leave your comments and thumbs up below and I’ll cover whatever you
want me to cover for you in future videos. I’ll see you back here soon.

100 Replies to “How to Hang Clean with a Kettlebell (NO WRIST BANGING!)”

  1. Great video. I've tried to learn in person from an rkc instructor this move and they didn't do nearly as great of a job on how to break it down like you did.

  2. I have been following your videos for a bit now and in your opinion, what are the 8-10 essential kettlebell exercises for overall development?

  3. How do you feel about using competition style kettlebells for general fitness? The advantage I've heard is that increasing your weight over time is easier because the handles are all the same size.

  4. you know your shit when it comes to a lot of things, but kettlebells ain't one of them. Like your stuff a lot, but this, bleh, don't go there unless you really know. It's obvious you don't work with kbs a lot.

  5. I really liked a lot of your videos about rehab and bodybuilding but please do not teach kettlebells skills before you master them…

  6. I've seen this exercise done three different ways, coming straight off the floor then back, swinging between the legs, then this way, I would have liked to have seen a set of 3 or 5 without stopping – EITHER WAY 15 sets of 8 alternating hands every 4 will WEAR YOU THE FUCK OUT!

  7. Jeff — love your videos, but not the best idea to stand in front of the crawling text. Why is that "noise" in a serious gym, anyway?

  8. Now im confused, Jeff. Why not using your legs and hips to accelerate the kettlebell and just catch on the level of the rack…?

  9. Holy Fuck lol. Plain and simple the undisputed best with a passion to serve and help others reach their potential.

  10. South Park taught me to ski (Pizza and French Fries), Jeff taught me to "Pull my zipper and rotate around"!!

  11. Thank you, sir!
    That was the single most comprehensive explanation of how to get my Cleans cleaned up.

  12. ive started doing cleans with kettlebell, and i never once thought to do it the wrong way cause it seemed so obvious to twist it instead of flip it.

  13. Thank you Jeff. I revisited this video for the PROPER technique after watching V-Shred's de-listed abortion of Kettle bells video.

  14. Watching this after the VShitz shit storm. I don't normally use kettlebells but will gladly program them in now. Thanks Jeff!

  15. I think if CrossFit affiliates want to incorporate olympic lifting in their workouts such as the hang clean they should use kettlebells for it. it seems like a safer alternative.

  16. For anyone looking for a progression in the Kettlebell clean as demonstrated by Jeff, I suggest squatting down a few times e.g. 3 to 5 times before putting it down on the ground. Do the same using the other hand and enjoy. 🙂

  17. Brilliant explanation. I can do it but for the life of me I couldn't explain it to my partner how to do it until this video

  18. I think the best way to put it…is do what's natural to your body. If you try to be lazy then you'll pay for it, try to look cool n strong…..then you'll pay for it. Your body is made to move a certain way at all points; try to cut corners or go too far then it will let you know.

  19. So… I'm supposed to spear it? Spear the kettlebell. Don't forget that. Spear it 😁 but seriously this is an awesome video

  20. THANK YOU! I knew you would set me straight on this!! I had an amazing kettle bell workout after this here!!! Yesssssssss more kettle bell!!!

  21. Just started my clean and press, take a kettlebell with me in the van because I work away a lot. Thank you for the tip, it's helped a lot 👌💪👍

  22. Jeff, would you consider making a kettlebell program? I hope that you do? I love your programs. And videos. Stay strong😉

  23. Im glad i was doing it right. Why swing a cannonbal around if you dont know how, or maybe its intentional to throw a cannonball around haha

  24. Lots of good points but there other key points to make particularly w a larger weight or for repetitions more than 10.

  25. I’m sure this hurts a lot of people’s feelings but he does not know how to work with the kettlebells.
    He’s showing it the wrong way because I’m sure he never uses them if it isn’t to record a video for his channel.
    Nothing personal, just saying!!

  26. Yes! This is how you do it! The only thing I'm missing (you're doing it though) is where you grab the KB. Grab it "inward".. (when grabbing with right hand..grab the KB more to the left)

  27. We had to do twenty three 40-pound kettlebell cleans in a minute as a test in the military. The instructor didn't teach us the proper way and we all banged our forearms like crazy lol

  28. Thank you, thank you , thank you jeff! I have started to do kettlebell. I have watched many videos, and all of them say the same thing that I have to flat my wrist when do the clean. and it hurt my forearm like hell!!! Even I don't bang my wrist.(it just presses to my forearm) I've tried to find the video that show me how to fix this but none of them could.( Maybe it's just me )
    But after I watch this and I try to extend my wrist a little bit like you show me. Damn!!! It's working! I don't feel pain on my forearm anymore( Ok, maybe a little but I feel a lot better )
    Please do more videos how to kettlebell. 🙂

  29. I've never tried Kettlebells but I will tomorrow. Any chance AthleanX could talk about dumbell snatches?

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