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Love clean and presses for building power? Us, too. But you may want to trade that heavy-ass barbell for a kettlebell. For starters, doing a single-arm clean and press with a kettlebell still works your entire body—your legs during the squat, your upper back during the clean, and your shoulders during the press. And using one bell challenges you to stay steady throughout the movement, strengthening your core and bolstering stability. But before doing this move, “you need to have your form down for the single-arm swing, front-rack position, and overhead press,” warns Nicolas Panebianco, a trainer at Trooper Fitness in new York City.
Here’s how to do it.
The swing is a foundational exercise that engages your lower body, core, and hip flexors. Using one arm further challenges the core.
Common Pitfall: You squat the weight up, which is a no-no. “The kettle- bell swing is a hip-dominant exercise,” Panebianco says. “Although your knees bend a bit, they’re just along for the ride.”
Easy Fix: Simply be aware of how you move. Hinge at your hips and aim to feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
This is the transitional position between the clean and the press, where you rest the bell on your elbow as you keep it tucked in.
Common Pitfall: You’re gripping the handle with the center of your palm, hyperextending your wrist in the process (ouch).
Easy Fix: Panebianco says to hook the bell with your fingers to keep your forearm vertical, which helps alleviate shoulder and wrist pain.
The final part of the movement, this will light up your core, shoulder, and lats if you do it right.
Common Pitfall: You neglect your lats, bro. “Your lats are what will create a better base for you to press from,” Panebianco says.
Easy Fix: Pull your shoulder blades down and flare your lats out to stabilize your shoulder joint for a better press.