If your clients ever press or squat with a kettlebell then teaching them how to do a kettlebell goblet clean will certainly behoove their efforts. The goblet clean is a continuation of the deadlift, where the kettlebell is lifted up to your chest. Learning the proper form of course is not only safer, but also smoother when transitioning from the ground to standing.

Muscles Worked During a Goblet Clean

The hamstrings, glutes, rectus abdominis, latisimus dorsi, and even biceps all are targeted by a goblet clean.


Executing a Goblet Clean

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Start out with kettlebell on the ground in between your feet, mid-foot. Hinge your hips back and reach your hands around the top of the handle of the kettlebell (handle is also know to be called the horn).



While forcefully driving your hips through pull the kettlebell up close to your body (think zippering up your coat). Loosen up your grip and slide your hands down the handle, this should happen when the kettlebell reaches up around belly button level. Once you’re at the top position (kettlebell in front of the chest), you should have a tight grip around the base of the handle on the kettlebell. From there, loosen your grip, hinge your hips back, returning the kettlebell to the starting position.

The Segue to Other Kettlebell Exercises

The kettlebell goblet clean can be used as a stand-alone exercise and can be done for reps, which makes this another great power exercise. However you can also integrate other exercises from the goblet clean into push presses, overhead press, squats, lunges, etc. You can also implement exercise flows which can add an intensity to your training without switches pieces of equipment.

Get to it

Learning how to pick up a kettlebell is important and if you want to be able to get into other kettlebell exercises without getting hurt or making it look seem-less than learn how to do goblet cleans. Besides if you want to train with power and train those fast-twitch muscle fibers, then this movement will certainly help. The learning curve on this exercise is relatively simple compared to other power exercises such as swings, single-arm cleans, and snatches; most will be able to pick up on this exercise relatively quickly, just make sure you know what to look for and how to fix errors that may occur when attempting to master this exercise. 

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Ian Nimblett

Ian Nimblett, CFSC, CSCS, NFPT-CPT and is a functional strength & conditioning coach, personal trainer, and author. He is the founder and owner of Premier Fitness Group LLC in South Salem, NY, a world-class functional training facility that provides private, semi-private, and group training.