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

Get more out of every exercise you do here…

The hang clean is one of the most powerful exercises you can do if you want to gain strength and power. The exercise can be done with a barbell, dumbbells or a kettlebell. While many will steer clear of the kettlebell based on bad experiences with banging their wrist every time they do a rep, I would argue that it is the best place to start. That is, if you learn how to fix the wrist punishment first.

In this video, I show you who to hang clean with a kettlebell without having to beat the crap out of your wrist. In addition, I show you four tips to implement to make sure that you perform this exercise correctly and with maximum power. Done properly, this will set the stage for you to transition to a barbell down the road.

To start, you want to make sure that you grip the kettlebell loosely in your fingers. Too many people try to hold onto the KB with too tight a grip which prevents it from moving in your hand during the clean. You actually want the ability to shift the bell around in your hand in order to get it into the proper position in the catch. By gripping in the fingers and not the palm, you afford yourself the chance to maneuver the bell without artificially locking it into an abnormal position.

Next you want to correct the path of the bell. The kettlebell should never travel too far in front of your body. It should be kept tight to your body (just as the barbell should during a barbell hang clean) throughout the movement. If you need to envision the path, you can picture how your hand would travel if you were zipping up a jacket. At the top, your hand will rotate. This is exactly what you want to do in order to keep the bell in contact with your wrist.

Flipping the kettlebell at the top is what causes it to bang the back of your wrist and get uncomfortable. There is no need for this. This becomes especially possible if you ensure that you have a bit of extension at the wrist during the pull. Instead of forcing the bell to encounter a gap between your hand and it, you keep the two in contact with each other throughout the entire transition.

Finally, you want to be sure you spear the kettlebell at the top of the clean. This means beating the kettlebell to the spot by pushing your hand into the handle. The kettlebell will rest deep into the groove of your thumb and your fingers should be pointing straight to the ceiling. If you choose to turn the movement into a clean and press from here, your fingers are positioned perfectly to drive upwards towards the ceiling.

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