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Alternating Clean to Catch Exercise

Kettlebell Exercise: Alternating Clean from Ground to Catch

June 22, 2014
Updated January 24, 2016
Category: Fitness


The Alternating Clean from Ground to Catch kettlebell exercise is an excellent explosive drill that can reinforce proper kettlebell cleaning form if done correctly. The Kettlebell Clean exercise requires you to keep your elbow close to your body throughout the movement as you try to keep the kettlebell near your body during the pulling motion; this is in contrast to the forward thrusting motion made during the Kettlebell Swing exercise. By alternating sides with each rep and returning the kettlebell to the ground, you can reinforce a full range of motion with each rep instead of getting in a “flow” on one side.

Exercise Steps

Step 1: With your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and the kettlebell in between your legs with the handle parallel with your feet, hinge at the hips and grasp the kettlebell with one hand, thumb pointing behind you.

Step 2: Keeping your back straight, thrust your hips forward while simultaneously pull the kettlebell up towards your shoulder. As the kettlebell passes your hips, let go of the handle and launch the ball of the kettlebell towards your shoulder.

Step 3: Catch the ball of the kettlebell in the palm of your hand and throw it forward in one fluid motion, catching the handle as it falls. Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips and slow the descent of the kettlebell placing it softly on the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tips & Safety: If you are finding that the kettlebell is landing heavily in your palm with each rep, you are probably swinging out the kettlebell away from your body as you lift it; keep it close and prevent this from happening. Be sure to practice any and all catching drills in a place where you can drop the weight. Never compromise your back or limbs by trying to save a rep; let it fall and get out of the way.

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Onnit Academy is the most comprehensive database of information related to Unconventional Training, a unique new form of fitness methodology that focuses on functional strength, conditioning, and agility using the most efficient means and tools possible. The online database includes articles, videos, tutorials, and workouts featuring alternative implements like kettlebells, sandbags, steel maces, steel clubs, battle ropes, and more.

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