Double Kettlebell Clean

Kettlebell lifts are a great way to replace barbell lifts. Sooner or later, barbell lifts are going to place too much strain on your wrists (and body in general).

Even before you get there, an injury can make barbell lifts impossible. Kettlebells, however, can help you to achieve the same lifts without the strain.

If your wrists have suffered from injuries in the past or are weak, then kettlebell cleans are perfect as a low-impact way to build muscle strength. If you want to replace your barbell, then kettlebells are the way to do it.

With a double kettlebell clean, you are swinging the kettlebells up to your shoulders. This can often be combined with a clean and jerk, but your clean should be mastered first, before attempting the jerk which is the easier of the two.

Double kettlebell cleans are a great way to build upper arm strength without placing a lot of pressure on your bones and joints.

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Rating of Difficulty

The clean is a difficult skill to master. If you do it wrong, then you can have the kettlebell hitting against your wrist.

When you are performing a clean, the kettlebell should move from the floor to your shoulder in one swift and fluid movement.

The bulk of the force comes from your hips and not your arms. If you feel the wrist hitting against the kettlebell, then you are doing it wrong.

What Muscles Does This Workout Target?

A good clean works a number of muscles in your body.

It is almost a complete body workout, and you will feel the benefit in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, trapezius, rhomboid, deltoids, caves, shoulders, and upper arms.

How Often Should I Perform This Workout?

You should look to attempt this work out three times a week. You can start with a target of 20 reps in 60 seconds.

Start with 60 seconds as your target, and try to reach 20 reps in that time (moving up to 30 in that time if you can). As you progress, repeat this 60-second workout up to three more times.

double kettlebell clean workout guide

Step by Step

Start by ensuring that you have enough room to work in. You should be wearing loose and comfortable clothing. Make sure that you are fueled up for your workout.

  • Place the two kettlebells in front of your feet and stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Pick up the kettlebells, one in each hand. Move your feet apart a little so that you will have space to swing the kettlebells through your legs. Bend your knees slightly to ready yourself for the motion.
  • Swing the two kettlebells backward through your legs. Bend your knees more to absorb some of the impact of the kettlebells as they are swinging.
  • Swing the kettlebells forward and push up with your knees and hips to add momentum to the kettlebells. 
  • Swing the kettlebells toward your shoulder, moving your arm around the kettlebell and not the kettlebell around your arm. You should be holding the kettlebell firm so that it does not hit your wrist as you are swinging it.
  • Finish the upswing with your hand at your shoulder and your wrist pointing downward. The kettlebell should be resting on the soft part of your forearm. Keep your wrist straight.
  • Pull in your belly button and tighten your core. Squeeze your glutes and stand tall by straightening your legs and locking your knees.
  • Swing the kettlebells down and back through your legs, reversing the direction of movement the kettlebell had on the way up.
  •  After 60 seconds, finish by placing the kettlebells back on the ground in front of you. Wait 60 seconds and repeat (if you are repeating the reps).


A kettlebell clean is great (especially a double kettlebell clean) as you can combine it with many different exercises. A clean can be the start of a clean and jerk or a clean and squat.

If you are going to add any more of these exercises to your routine, it is essential that you first master the clean.

Once you have the clean in place, the other added parts are usually ballistics which can be added relatively easily.

Kettlebell cleans are easier to master than barbell cleans, and they do not take a toll on your body as much as the barbells do.

The independent motion in each hand also helps to train your coordination without having to think about it.

Your brain will make small adjustments to both hands as you are lifting. You are almost getting a brain and body workout at the exact same time.


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