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Level up your kettlebell routine

Chances are, your lifting sessions already include versions of the swing. More complex variations of the clean and snatch should be staples in your routine, too.

Below, Delaney demonstrates seven new takes that will level up your workouts. They force your body to train in multiple planes of motion (for example, in the transverse and sagittal planes during the rotational snatch) and to handle the kettlebell’s weight in different positions, like the plank.

First, make sure you’ve mastered the three basic ballistic movements. Then, add one or two of these exercises to your regular strength routine, following the same set-rep scheme you’re using for the rest of that day’s workout. Don’t go too heavy, especially with the more dynamic variations, Delaney notes. “When in doubt, start on the lighter side and work your way up.”

Circular clean

Stand with feet wider than hips, two kettlebells racked by your shoulders, and pivot to the left with right heel raised. This is your start position. In one fluid motion, extend your right arm to drop and swing the kettlebell along the side of your body, pivot your body so you’re facing to the right, and re-rack the weight by your right shoulder. Repeat with the left arm to return to start for one rep.

Pass-through clean

Stand with feet wider than hips, a kettlebell racked by your right shoulder, and left arm extended by your side. Keeping spine straight and core engaged, swing the kettlebell between your legs, transfer it to the left hand once it’s behind your body, then bring it around to the front of the body, transfer it back to the right hand, and re-rack it by the shoulder for one rep. Do all reps on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

Rotational snatch

Stand with feet wider than hips, a kettlebell pressed overhead in the right hand, and pivot to the right with left heel raised. This is your start position. In one fluid motion, lower the kettlebell to the shoulder, pivot the body so your hips are squared, hinge at the hips and with a slight bend in the knees, and swing the kettlebell down and to the left. Perform a snatch to bring the weight back to start, swinging it back across your body and straight overhead for one rep. Do all reps on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

Kickstand clean

Stand in a staggered stance with left foot forward, right foot back, right heel raised, and hinged at the hips with a straight spine, holding a kettlebell in each hand in front of the shins. In one fluid motion, step the right foot forward, lower into a forward lunge, and swing the kettlebells up to rack them by the shoulders. Reverse the motion to return to start for one rep. Do all reps on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

Side snatch

Stand in a staggered stance with left foot forward, right foot back, right heel raised, and hinged at the hips with a straight spine, holding a kettlebell in the right hand in front of your shin. In one fluid motion, pull the kettlebell straight up to your shoulder, then press it overhead, with the weight ending on the top side of your wrist. Reverse the motion to return to start for one rep. Do all reps on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

Plank clean

Get in a high plank with shoulders stacked over wrists, feet wider than hips, and your right hand holding a kettlebell resting to the outside and slightly behind your left hand. In one fluid motion, pull the kettlebell across the midline of your body, rotate your torso to the right, and swing the weight up to your right shoulder, with the weight ending on the top side of your wrist. Reverse the motion to return to start for one rep. Do all reps on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

Skater clean

Stand with feet just wider than hips, left foot slightly raised, and a kettlebell racked by your right shoulder. Simultaneously hop to the left, landing on the left foot, and swing the kettlebell between your legs. Reverse the motion to return to start for one rep. Do all reps on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

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