Every type of exercise technique has a set of particular moves that are considered basic for success. Using kettlebells for your strength training workout is no different. You can use kettlebells for standard exercising that requires weights, but that's not where the unique benefits lie.
The kettlebell ballistic exercises are the moves where you can get the most benefit. Just as the name implies, ballistic exercises are the fast exercises that require sustained effort. The tremendous muscle you can build with the ballistic moves make kettlebells far superior to any other kind of weight.
The basic ballistic moves are the swing, jerk, snatch and clean. These moves build muscle on their own, but they also serve as set-up moves for other exercises. The kettlebell clean is a perfect example.
The kettlebell clean, when done in high repetitions, can build muscle strength and endurance effectively and efficiently. The ballistic clean exercise, when performed properly, will burn fat. But the clean is also used as a precursor to many other kettlebell exercises.
The kettlebell clean actually begins with the swing. It's important to perform the exercises properly for two reasons. First, you're swinging a heavy weight and are expected to maintain control at every stage of the move. The risk of injury can be great, but only if you don't master the technique.
Second, the kettlebell clean is one of the basic moves, and you need to learn how to do it right in order to set yourself up for other kettlebell exercises. If you start wrong, you'll finish wrong.
Getting It Right
The clean is a kettlebell exercise that requires you to swing the weight over your knuckles. The weight should come to rest on the forearm. If you don't swing the weight properly, it's easy to see how the weight can hit the forearm or the knuckles at the wrong angle and cause injury.
Don't get the impression the kettlebells are risky to use, because they aren't. In fact, kettlebells are so safe and effective they are used by chiropractors for rehab. The kettlebell is easier to handle than dumbbells because of the handle.
The one arm kettlebell clean begins with the kettlebell sitting on the ground between your feet. You squat by pushing your butt back and your head up. This is actually the proper position for any effective squat exercise.
First swing the kettlebell between your legs and when the kettlebell swings forward, push the hips out. Raise the kettlebell straight up as you come out of the squat. Open your hand and let the kettlebell swing around so it comes to rest on the forearm. Your closed hand is positioned under the chin, which is the kettlebell rack position.
Until you master the basic kettlebell clean, don't try to do a clean and press. You need to learn the clean technique first, build your muscle strength and then learn how to do move into other exercises.
Learning the kettlebell clean is a great way to begin mastering the basic kettlebell exercises. You will be amazed at how quickly your muscle strength and endurance increases with this simple exercise and the other basic moves. That's the awesome power of the kettlebell!