Turbo Charged Kettlebells: The Double Clean

Brandon Hofer

Guest Contributor - Yoga and Kettlebells

Gresham, Oregon, United States

Yoga, Kettlebells


The double clean is one of the most effective stand-alone exercises, and it is a perfect complement to the double swing. It also serves as the primary transitional phase between most of the other kettlebell skills in this series. At the top of the double clean, you will be in the double rack position. A solid double rack position will make or break your success in this series.


How to Double Clean

When the kettlebells are in the double rack position, you are essentially in a weighted standing plank. A proper double rack requires deliberate muscular engagement, rather than a passive hold. Actively squeeze your elbows into your sides as you draw your shoulders back. Keep a firm belly, stay tight, and continue to breathe through the tension. Pause briefly in each rep of the rack to solidify the position before moving on. Rushing though this pivotal transition and not respecting the pause before moving on to the next movement will bleed into everything else in the sequence, setting the stage for mediocre development and sloppy technique.



When performing the double clean, hike the kettlebells back between your legs from the rack position and then return to the rack with the same explosive hip extension that you used during the double swing. The two primary faults when performing the double clean are casting the kettlebells away from your body on the way down, and letting them drift too far away from you on the way up.


On the descent, let the kettlebells roll out of the rack, and then take control by shooting your hips back into the hinge position and stabilizing through your lats. On the way up, keep your elbows close to your body as you clean, but not rigidly attached to your ribs. When your double clean is crisp on your hip extension and smooth on the finish, you’ve taken a massive leap forward in your overall technique development.


Build Proficiency Slowly

To begin practicing precision in the double clean, start with sets of 1 rep: Hike the kettlebells back, stand up into the double rack position, pause, then hike them back and park them in front of you. For the first 2 weeks, perform double cleans 3 days per week, 30 reps each session, but 1 rep at a time. Work for precision and accuracy rather than volume.


After that, try this introductory 4-week progression using 3 sessions per week, still keeping your emphasis on the technique. Add this at the beginning of your current programming with lighter kettlebells than you would normally use. For example, a strong male who has completed all the RKC or SFG requirements with a 24kg kettlebell would benefit from shifting to a pair of 16kg kettlebells in this progression.


Until you can perform 100 reps of the double clean in 10 minutes at 10 reps per minute, there is no reason other than ego to step up to a heavier pair of kettlebells. In the context of this program where the priority is on skill development, the emphasis remains on performing each rep as perfectly as possible, even in the midst of fatigue.


kettlebell clean progression chart


Build Your Skills for the Full Program

Apply these introductory progressions slowly over time for long-term sustainable impact. Stay tuned for the full 12-week Turbo Charged Kettlebells program to take these basic progressions to the next level and integrate your skill with incredible strength and conditioning protocols.


Is your progress stalling? Time to look at the whole picture to find the problem:

Why You Aren't Getting Better at Kettlebell Sport

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