The One Exercise You Should Try Before You're 30
The Ultimate Bone-Building Move
The double kettlebell clean and jerk combines full-body pulling and pushing movements to strengthen different muscle groups simultaneously, says Steve Cotter, the director of the International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation and a certified strength and conditioning professional. The "clean" part of the move covers the glutes, back, hamstrings and hands, while the "jerk" develops the legs, shoulders, triceps and upper back.
Here's how to do it (ideally, first watch this video of Cotter demonstrating the move in competition).
1. Pick up two kettlebells, one in each hand. (Start with 8-pound weights and progress to 15- to 20-pound weights).
2. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips while ensuring your back remains flat. Let the kettlebells hang in between your legs.
3. Swing the kettlebells gently between your legs to gather a little momentum.
4. In one fluid motion, stand up and swing the kettlebells out, up and in toward your chest.
5. Pause with your elbows bent and your fists facing each other near your clavicle.
6. Bend your knees slightly and explode up on the balls of your feet, simultaneously extending your arms toward the ceiling and pressing the kettlebells up into the air.*
7. Pause briefly, then let the kettlebells drop back down to shoulder height and then down to the starting position.
8. Do these in sets of 10. Cotter recommends starting with three sets and working up to five. (Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between each set.)
*Note: In step 6, there's no jumping involved, because landing while holding a heavy weight can be tough on your knees, Cotter says. You will get the same kind of explosive blast-off by pushing up on your toes (your heels leave the ground). In fact, Cotter says he uses this move with basketball and volleyball players to help them improve their jump height. (On non-kettlebell days, you could do jump-squats, which have similar benefits for your bones.)
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