Single Kettlebell Dead Clean

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Kettlebell Exercise Information

Kettlebell Clean

A kettlebell clean is an exercise that brings the kettlebell from a position below the hips into a racking position via an explosive fast and clean movement. The most common starting positions are dead from the ground and the racking position.

Several different movements can be used to move the weight but the most common ones are the hip hinge and the squat.

The kettlebell clean is an important aspect of kettlebell training as with almost every kettlebell exercise the weight needs to be brought into the racking position. But besides that, it's also a great exercise for cardio, strength, and power.


How the kettlebell clean is programmed partly determines the goal it reaches. For strength, program heavy and lower reps; for endurance, program light to medium and higher volume; for power, program between medium and heavy weight with low reps.


The kettlebell clean is a great exercise to program for endurance combos as it allows the muscles to have a little break by moving the work to other muscle groups. In the clean and jerk, for example, the jerk requires a lot from the upper body in regards to racking and the jerk itself. The clean breaks it up and allows the athlete to last longer.

Racking Position

No matter the variation of the kettlebell clean, the kettlebell(s) always end up in a racking position. The racking position is where the kettlebell(s) are held at chest height with the elbow(s) under the weight and the shoulders are pulled down. There is a lot to learn about racking, as it's not just for receiving the weight, but also for resting and transitioning.

Kettlebell Dead Clean

The kettlebell dead clean is an explosive lower body powered variation of the clean where the kettlebell starts from dead upon each rep. Out of all clean variations, the dead clean is the one that has the longest distance to travel.

What is the right speed to clean at? For power, you want to move as fast as you can and for any other goal the speed just needs to be such that the weight enters its ballistic flight.

What is the right weight to use for the dead clean? For power, you always want to work on increasing speed and strength, so you want to work with a heavy weight but not so heavy that you can't work on speed anymore.

For cardio, you want to work with a lighter weight than you would for strength and power, as you want to be able to keep moving for as long as possible. However, the weight should always be heavy enough to provide resistance for the explosive pull and ballistic flight. A weight too light provides no resistance and will flop all over the place.


Slow tempo:

56RPM for the Kettlebell Dead Clean which is a parent of this exercise.
Fast tempo:

16RPM for the Kettlebell Dead Clean which is a parent of this exercise.


Alternatives for this exercise are:

Common Mistake(s):

This information flows through from Kettlebell Clean

  1. Elbow disconnected in racking due to tension

    The elbow is disconnected from the body in the racking position because everything is tight and tense.

  2. Seeing the palm of the hand in racking

    The palm of the hand is facing forward in the racking position and usually, this is paired with the bell (the round bit of the kettlebell) being positioned on the outside of the arm rather than on the inside and the handle lays horizontally within the palm rather diagonally (45-degree angle).

This information flows through from Kettlebell Dead Clean

  1. Elbow excessively coming out laterally during the clean

    The elbow is excessively coming out to the side (laterally) during a clean. This position with the elbow out to the side can put stress on the lateral deltoid and is not a good position for scooping up the weight.

  2. No hand insertion or 45-degree angle

    When cleaning and ending up in racking, there is no 45-degree angle of the handle within the palm achieved. There is no hand insertion and the handle remains horizontally within the crease between the fingers and palm.

  3. Not pulling long enough

    Not pulling long enough and transferring the work on to the arms.

  4. The shoulders and/or eyesight aren’t leading

    The first thing that comes up is not the shoulders. While pulling the weight from the ground the hips might rise first, or the knees might be pulled back while the shoulders stay low.

Single Kettlebell Dead Clean

  1. The kettlebell is banging and not using high insertion

    You are constantly generating too much or too little force with too much or not enough speed which results in banging/impact on the forearm or having to muscle up the weight.

Also know as: Dead Clean

Parent exercise: Kettlebell Dead Clean

This is a: Loaded Exercise Variation

Is loaded with equipment: Kettlebell

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On-page quicklinks:

Exercise Photo Gallery

Kettlebell Clean

This is the photo gallery from the parent exercise Kettlebell Clean.


This is a collection of photos related to this exercise.

Kettlebell Dead Clean

This is the photo gallery from the parent exercise Kettlebell Dead Clean.

Front View

This is a collection of photos for the front view of this exercise.

Side View

This is a collection of photos for the side view of this exercise.

Angled View

This is a collection of photos for the angled view of this exercise.

Related Workouts or Warm-ups

Form and Technique

This section explains the form and technique for the Single Kettlebell Dead Clean exercise.

As a registered member you will be able to evaluate yourself against the technique and record any issues which you can then work on.




Muscles Used:

Lateral Info:

Unilateral Exercise, Unilateral Load

Exercise Speed(s):

Explosive, Fast

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