Kettlebell Sport Basics: Kettlebell Swing Clean

Kettlebell Sport Basics: Kettlebell Swing Clean

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The Swing Clean is part of Long Cycle, one of the three traditional Kettlebell Sport lifts. Men use 2 bells, women can use one, switching hands one time in 10 minutes, or two bells.

You’ll want to wear:

  • Lifting shoes
  • A cotton t-shirt. Spraying the oblique areas of the shirt with some water helps maintain traction so the arms don’t start sliding open in the Rack position.
  • A belt made specifically for Kettlebell Sport, which sits on lifter’s the hips. The belt creates a shelf for the abs, enabling the lifter to rest their elbows into their body in the Rack.

There are 3 exhales on the Swing Clean:

1. On the backswing

2. As the bell comes into upswing

3. Into the Rack

When the bell(s) come into the Rack, the handles should immediately cross one another, if possible, and arms rest into the obliques, with hips forward and the back wide. This position allows the bells to rest comfortably on the lifter’s body before the next rep.

When Swinging the bell(s), the lifter may internally rotate their arms so the palms face away from each other or they may prefer to have the palms face each other.

As with all Swings in Kettlebell Sport, the knees will be ‘buoyant’ to absorb and rebound from the backswing. Do not flex over prematurely with the bells as the drop from the Rack. This will put excess load onto the low back muscles, causing early fatigue. Instead, deflect the trunk slights as the bell spills open, then catch the handles in the crease of the fingers. Creating a pendulum with the bells will help to utilize momentum and prevent the need to pull the bells with the arms.

Next up will be Kettlebell Sport Jerk


Lorna is a 5-time World Champion in Kettlebell Sport, with Absolute National records in 24kg and 20 kg Snatch.She is an author and personal trainer, with a Bachelors in Exercise Science. Coaching certificates from IKSFA, WKC, AKA Certified Coach and personal training through NASM.Lorna's been featured in SHAPE, Prevention, Women’s Health and twice in The New York Times, but her greatest triumph is not evident to the eye. Her journey was shaped by a relentless hunger to experience her full potential, guiding her to the highest ranks in Kettlebell Sport and to bring a personal, results-oriented approach to her personal training clients.

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