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Exercise of the Week: Kettlebell Single Arm Clean and Press (video included)

This week's exercise is called the single arm clean and press, and utilizes a kettlebell. It is a plyometric reactive exercise that is excellent for building up your explosive power, and speed. We all need some level of explosive strength whether it is to defend yourself, or to stop yourself from slipping and falling. Please note this is an advanced exercise.

How to perform:

1. Stand with your feet about shoulders width apart, with toes slightly angled outward. 2. Squat down to pick up the kettlebell, your knees should travel directly over your feet. 3. Hold the kettlebell in one hand between your feet with your arm straight. The other arm extends outward as a counterbalance. 4. Grip tight and quickly pull the kettlebell up so your elbow travels up and out to the side. 5. Squat partially, and flip the kettlebell over that hand to touch your shoulder. 6. From this squat position, explode your legs upward as you push the kettlebell directly overhead. 7. Once the kettlebell is locked out, slowly lower it back to your shoulder, and return to the original position.

Sets, reps, tempo and rest:

Perform 3-6 sets of 5-10 reps, at a fast/explosive tempo. Rest about 3 minutes between sets.


Too hard? 1. Regress the exercise by resting the kettlebell on the ground between reps, and alternate arms. 2. Use a lighter weight.

Too easy? 1. Progress the exercise by performing the movement as fast as you can (with good form) with the same arm for multiple reps, without resting it on the ground. 2. Use a heavier weight.

Other tips:

1. Do not round your back during any part of the motion. 2. Use a weight that allows you to perform the movement with good form. 3. If you don’t have a kettlebell, you can use a dumbbell, or even a water bottle. 4. This is a complex movement so take your time getting the technique right.

Below is a video of how to perform the exercise.

For more workouts to improve your performance for fitness and self-defense, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at

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Thanks so much!

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Until next time, Stay Fit!

Sincerely, Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight

Kettlebell Single Arm Clean and Press

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