Kettlebell Clean and Jerk is a technical workout that requires you to master the skills of Clean and the skills of Jerk before attempting it.
Kettlebell Clean and Jerk combine two kettlebell workouts, that is, Kettlebell Clean and Kettlebell Jerk, to form a fluid complex move.
The exercise gives you two variations; the single-hand one ball variant and the two hands two kettlebells variant. That means you can perform the exercise with one or both hands.
For safety reasons, beginners should start with the single-hand one kettlebell variant.
Once you have mastered the exercise using one hand, you can proceed and try out the two hands two kettlebells variant.
If you are new to the exercise, learn how to perform the Kettlebell Clean, then Kettlebell Jerk. Combine the two exercises once you have mastered their basics.
KETTLEBELL CLEAN INSTRUCTIONS
When performing the Clean, the movement of the Kettlebell is important. Moving the Kettlebell correctly helps you avoid injuries and gain muscles.
Kettlebell Clean involves swinging the body and the hands. Therefore, make sure you don’t swing too much to avoid twisting of the arms.
The basic steps to help you perform the clean perfectly are:
- Spread your feet about your shoulder-width apart. Make sure the kettlebell is between your legs and slightly in front of you.
- Bend down into half a squat while keeping your back straight, sticking your chest out, and pushing your hips back.
- Grab the kettlebell with your thumb pointing back at you.
- Lift the kettlebell gently and rotate your arm to initiate the kettlebell swing.
- Stretch your legs and hips explosively.
- Bring the kettlebell close to your body.
- Bring the kettlebell upwards and catch it gently in the front-rock position.
KETTLEBELL JERK INSTRUCTIONS
The final step of the clean marks the beginning of the Jerk. At this point, your arm is close to your body and the kettlebell is resting at the back of your arm.
The following steps will guide you to performing the Jerk correctly:
- With the kettlebell lying at loosely at the back of your arm, bend down slightly, while maintaining an upright posture. You may lean back slightly if you want to.
- Stretch your hips and legs powerfully.
- Start stretching your arms in an upward motion.
- Squat under the kettlebell
- Stretch your arm fully and ensure it points upwards.
- Stretch your hips slowly and open your hips until you are completely straight.
- Return the kettlebell to the rack position in a controlled movement.
- Prepare to do it all over again.
MUSCLES WORKED BY KETTLEBELL CLEAN AND JERK
The kettlebell clean and jerk strengthens the following muscles: the hips, lower back, glutes, upper back, quadriceps, triceps and shoulder.
BENEFITS OF KETTLEBELL CLEAN AND JERK
Mastering the kettlebell clean and jerk is harder than other kettlebell moves. Therefore, individuals who put effort into it will grow their muscles and strength significantly.
Benefits of Kettlebell Clean and Jerk include:
The kettlebell Clean and Jerk is a fluid and dynamic exercise that engages several muscles and body systems. As a result, you will improve your coordination and will improve your performance in physical exercises.
IMPROVED CORE AND BACK STABILITY
The kettlebell jerking motion works the core. Also, it strengthens the upper back and improves back and core stability.
The workout improves your posture and limits your chances of getting injuries.
The Kettlebell Clean and Jerk work the joints and the muscles. This will help you to meet your fitness goals quickly, maintain a healthy lifestyle and gain strength.
Since the workout involves various body movements, it will condition your body if you work out persistently.
IMPROVED UPPER BODY STRENGTH
The Kettlebell Clean and Jerk works the shoulder muscles and puts stress on your back. As a result, it improves your upper body and overhead strength.
The Kettlebell Clean and Jerk is a demanding exercise. Often, people get injured if they do the workout incorrectly. To protect yourself and avoid injuries, consider the following tips:
- After executing the jerk, turn the kettlebell in a position that will allow it to rest on your shoulder. Doing this will prevent the kettlebell from bouncing off the top of your shoulder.
- If you have little or no experience with the workout, consider starting lightly. Master the kettlebell squat, overhead press, and swing before trying the jerk.
- Avoid straining yourself during the movement. Choose the appropriate kettlebell weight and start small. Increase the weight if you are comfortable lifting heavier kettlebells. Forcing it might inflict injuries on your arm, wrists, and shoulder.
ALTERNATIVES TO KETTLEBELL CLEAN AND JERK
If you have tried out the Kettlebell Clean and Jerk and it is too difficult for you, you can try the following exercises. They have similar impact to the body and are easier than the former.
These exercises will also give you the upper body strength, work your glutes, and strengthen your arm muscles. They are also good for your shoulders and will help improve your posture.
- Place the bar on a rack that matches your height. Raise your arms up and grip the bar for control.
- Using your legs and your torso, lift the bar from the rack by pushing.
- Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and maintain a straight posture to commence the exercise.
- Inhale as you bring the bar down gently such that your upper legs are parallel with the floor.
- Press against the floor using the middle part of your foot and lift the bar.
- Repeat the drill for the desired reps.
These exercises will also give you upper body strength, work your glutes, and strengthen your arm muscles.
They are also good for your shoulders and will help improve your posture.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING KETTLEBELL CLEAN AND JERK
The first pull mistakes always result from inconsistent setup. The clean is considered successful only if the starting posture is correct, which is not an easy step to attain every time. Ensure rigidity at the start. You can do this by maintaining a still starting position. Energetic starts can guarantee you some extra speed, but chances that you will maintain the starting position are minimal.
YOUR POSITION OVER THE BAR
The drill begins with the barbell in front of you. This position makes it hard to maintain balance with the weight. The lift will only be balanced if you stay over the bar.
You can maintain this posture by spreading our arms over the barbell as you pull.
Ensure you maintain a central balance when pulling and stay in that position until the turnover to increase the height of the pull.
INCORRECT DIP AND DRIVE
The jerk is usually perceived as an upper body exercise, but it is actually a leg drill because of the heavy load.
The dip and drive motion involved is where the leg drive is commenced-the most essential phase of the lift. This motion shifts the weight to your arms.
To achieve this motion correctly, the dip and drive must be stable and precise. The active and energetic motion involved leaves minimal room for probable error.
The Kettlebell Clean and Jerk works your upper body and the core. It develops several muscles in the body and is, therefore, an effective exercise for the core and upper body strength.
The workout also works the shoulders, biceps and triceps; hence is recommended for people who desire an athletic body.
Mastering the exercise is a little difficult and requires some time. If you want to work your muscles using the kettlebell clean and jerk, give yourself time to master the basics.
If the exercise is too difficult for you, consider the alternatives, and follow the precautions to avoid injuries.