Kettlebell Clean & Jerk Workout:
The main purpose of this exercise is to develop strength and power. You need to do it regularly if you want to build up your strength and power. If you are not strong enough then you will have no chance against other competitors or even the average person. It is very important that you train with weights because without them, you cannot improve your physical condition at all!
When you perform a weight lifting session, you must use proper form. A good way to ensure that you are doing the right thing is to check out how others do it. You may think that they don’t really care what you do but actually they do! They want to see if their technique is correct too. So when someone else does something well, it makes your own work better and gives you confidence in yourself.
You need to get stronger and faster. There are many ways to achieve this goal. One of the most effective methods is through weight training exercises such as the kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch, and kettlebell clean and jerk. These exercises will help you increase your strength and speed while improving your coordination, balance, agility, flexibility, stamina and overall fitness level. You can also use these exercises during aerobic activities like running or cycling.
The kettlebell clean & jerk is one of the several famous kettlebell exercises that are used to improve strength, speed, flexibility, and stamina. It is considered by many to be one of the best all around kettlebell exercises. The technique for the exercise is similar to that of the barbell clean and jerk. However it involves only one kettlebell that is used for both the push and pull movements of the weight.
The main function of the kettlebell clean & jerk is to improve strength, power, and flexibility. It works the muscles of your arms, shoulders, back, core and legs. This exercise can be used as a warm up before heavier weightlifting or as a workout in its own right.
When performing this exercise you will need a single kettlebell, weighing from 16 kg to 32 kg (35lbs – 70lbs).
How to Perform the Kettlebell Clean & Jerk:
Place the kettlebell between your legs, just like you were about to perform a deadlift.
Grasp the handle of the kettlebell with one hand and slowly dip your knees forward, lowering the weight.
When the weight gets close to the ground, thrust your hips forward and pull the weight up with one quick movement.
Once the weight is in the air, move into a shallow squat to catch the weight. At this point you will be in a position similar to the bottom of a kettlebell swing.
Pull the weight up to your chest and then push with your legs to stand up while bringing the weight above your head.
Lower the weight behind your head until your arms are locked out.
Lower the weight back down until it is just above the ground.
When you are performing the kettlebell clean and jerk it is very easy to lose your balance. To make sure that you do not fall over, keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
If you are new to this exercise, use a lighter kettlebell until you get the hang of it.
You can perform the kettlebell clean and jerk by itself or as part of a complex. A complex consists of multiple exercises performed with no rest in between. Instead, you would wait until you have completed all the exercises before taking a break. This is a great way to increase your endurance while burning lots of calories and building muscle at the same time.
To perform a kettlebell clean and jerk complex simply select three exercises for your complex. Start with the kettlebell clean and jerk. After you have completed the first movement, immediately go on to the second exercise and once you have completed that move on to the third. Once you have finished the third exercise, start from the beginning again and continue until you have completed five sets in total. Rest for two minutes after your set is complete and then begin the next set.
Examples of other exercises that can be used in a kettlebell complex are:
Once you get really good at the complex, you can add even more exercises. However three is a great number to keep it simple yet still keep your heart rate up and working muscles that don’t normally get a lot of work out of the motion.
You can also increase the difficulty of the clean and jerk by adding weight or performing the exercise on an unstable surface, such as a medicine ball.
2: The Single Arm Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell swing is a ballistic exercise that involves the entire body and is one of the best exercises for strengthening your core, especially your obliques. Not only that but it is an overall calorie burning exercise that can help you get leaner.
When performing the kettlebell swing, you are using a lot of the same muscles as you do in the clean and jerk. The major difference between the two exercises is that the kettlebell swing works more muscles including your shoulders, arms and back. This means that you will need to take extra care when performing kettlebell swings if you are also going to be doing the clean and jerk as part of your exercise regime.
The other great thing about this exercise is that it can be performed with one arm at a time. This takes quite a bit more skill but it is an excellent way to really increase the intensity of the exercise.
Stand up straight with your legs slightly further than shoulder width apart.
Hold the kettlebell with one hand and raise it up to waist height.
Bend your legs slightly and bend at your knees to swing the kettlebell between your legs.
Now thrust your hips forward, extend your knees and raise the kettlebell above your head.
Lower the kettlebell back down but don’t stop there.
Immediately bend your legs, thrust your hips forward again and swing the kettlebell between your legs again.
Continue this pattern for the desired amount of repetitions.
Repeat the process on the other side.
Use a lighter kettlebell if you are a beginner or simply cannot perform the exercise with the size kettlebell that you have available to you.
Perform the exercise with good technique before you add any extra motions such as swinging the kettlebell between your legs or even performing one arm and one leg raises.
Try to keep your back perfectly straight as you perform the exercise. Any bending in the lower back can cause injury over time.
Keep the motion nice and fluid. Any jerky motions will only increase the strain on your back.
3: The Turkish Get Up
The kettlebell is an ideal tool for mimicking movements that you may need to defend yourself with in real life. One example of this is the Turkish get up. This exercise requires proper technique but if done properly, not only is it great for your core strength and balance but it teaches you how to get up from being knocked down which could save your life.
The kettlebell is also an ideal tool for performing this exercise because the weight of the kettlebell will help you build strength in the “off” arm as you learn how to get up from a prone position.
Begin by lying face down on the floor with your legs straight and your feet together and your knees slightly bent.
Grasp the kettlebell handle with your right hand and slowly lift it off of the floor.
Now roll over onto your left side and position the kettlebell in a straight line directly above your left shoulder.
Keeping your elbow locked and your forearm vertical, slowly sit up.
Now slowly stand up with the kettlebell following you as you do so. Your right arm should remain locked the whole time.
Once you are standing, slowly turn to the right and then slowly bend over and place the kettlebell back on the floor.
Repeat the process with the kettlebell in your left hand.
Perform the desired number of repetitions and then switch sides, so that the kettlebell that was originally in your right hand is now in your left hand and vice versa.
Keep your movements slow and controlled as you learn how to perform this exercise correctly. Once you have mastered the technique you can increase the speed of your movements.
Keep your head down throughout the movement. Looking up can cause you to shift your balance and fall backwards.
Keep your feet a comfortable distance from each other but keep them straight ahead of your body rather than pointing out to the sides. This will help you keep your balance.
Keep your knees slightly bent at all times. Straightening them could compromise your balance.
Lock your elbows at the top of the movement and keep your forearm vertical throughout the movement. Moving your elbow or forearm in any way can cause the kettlebell to move and throw off your balance.
Perform the exercise slowly with good technique before you add speed to the movements.
4: One Arm Swings
The one arm swing is a great way to build up the strength in the core muscles and oblique muscles while also building up power in the hip and shoulder joints. It is also a great exercise to improve your grip strength. This exercise can be done one-handed or with a pair of kettlebells like in the photo example.
Begin by holding a kettlebell in one hand and standing with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart.
Now bend at the hips while keeping your back straight and allowing the kettlebell to hang straight down from your hand. Your back should look like an “s” curve.
Now use your hips to power the kettlebell up in an arc until your hand is straight above your shoulder. Your elbow will bend as the kettlebell rises and your forearm will remain almost vertical.
As the kettlebell begins to fall back down, use your arm and shoulder muscles to control the kettlebell back down in an arc into the starting position.
Do not allow the kettlebell to swing back between your legs or you risk injury.
Repeat the process with your other arm.
Continue to perform the one arm swings for the desired number of repetitions.
Once you are done, perform the same process with your other arm.
Ensure that you do not bend your back or lift your heels as you swing the kettlebell. Your whole body should move as one unit and your movement should be hip-driven rather than shoulder or arm driven.
Do not jerk the kettlebell up or snap your arm down to create momentum. The movement should be slow and driven by your hips.
Keep your back arched and do not allow it to bend as you perform the exercise.
Keep the kettlebell close to your body as you arc it up and then down. Swinging it out away from your body at the top of the swing can cause injury.
Do not twist or jerk the kettlebell when it is in the lower, starting position or you risk injury to your back. Keep your elbow locked and place it down gently on the ground.
5: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing
The two handed kettlebell swing is a great way to build explosive power in the hip muscles along with strength and endurance in the back and arm muscles. It is a very effective exercise when learning how to perform kettlebell exercises for self defense because it mimics a lot of the motions that you will use when throwing, locking, and taking down an opponent.
Begin with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you and your feet just outside shoulder width.
Pick up the kettlebell and hold it at arms length so that it is hanging at arm’s length in front of you. Your arms should be straight but not locked so that you are holding it above the ground.
Begin to bend your knees and hips and allow the kettlebell to slide down your arm a little to about the middle of your forearm. At this time your elbow should be bent at about ninety degrees and pointing towards the ceiling. Your back should be straight (but not overly arched) and your shoulders relaxed.
Now thrust your hips forward while swinging the kettlebell up in an arc movement until your arm is straight above your head. Your forearm should remain vertical at all times. Pivot your feet as necessary to allow the movement.
As the kettlebell reaches the top of the arc, begin to bend your knees and hips again to allow the kettlebell to slide down your arm a little further than in the starting position. The kettlebell should now be hanging in your hand at arms length once more. Your back and arm should not be tense. Hold this position for a second to make sure that you have control of the kettlebell before beginning the next movement.
Begin the next repetition by thrusting your hips forward again and swinging the kettlebell up in an arc.
Ensure that you keep your elbow vertical at all times. This will help to control the kettlebell and prevent it from swinging too far or from bending your arm.
Maintain a straight back and avoid arching it or bending it.
Keep the kettlebell close to your body as you perform the exercise.
Sources & references used in this article:
Basic exercises with kettlebell by E Altumbabić – Sport Sci Pract Aspects, 2017 – sportspa.ftos.untz.ba
How to Boost Your Athletic Power with Kettlebells… and a PUSH Band by J Odden – strongfirst.com
Official blog of the RKC kettlebell swing by M Beecroft, RKC Master, M Bos, A Du Cane, A Gala… – rkcblog.dragondoor.com
Kettlebell training for basketball by T Kuivalainen – 2010 – theseus.fi
The Ultimate Kettlebells Workbook: The Revolutionary Program to Tone, Sculpt and Strengthen Your Whole Body by D Randolph – 2011 – books.google.com
Kettlebells: Strength Training for Power & Grace by S Vatel, VD Gray – 2005 – books.google.com
The Complete Guide to Kettlebell Training by A Collins – 2011 – books.google.com