Dumbbell Clean

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Hamstrings
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, Quads, ShouldersAbdominals
Equipment Dumbbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

Dumbbell Clean Instructions

  • Feet positioned at shoulder-width.
    • Knees are slightly bent with toes pointed straight ahead.
  • The core is braced and engaged, glutes are activated.
    • Chest is up with your shoulders back.
    • You have a neutral spine.
    • Eyes are looking straight ahead with a neutral neck.
  • Hold a DB in each hand, with a neutral hand position, at your sides.
  • Brace your core and subtly hinge at the hips lowering the DB's down your quads. 
  • Once the DB's reach mid thigh, explode up by extending your ankles, knees, and hips while shrugging your shoulders to elevate the weight. 
    • This is an athletic, rhythmic movement.
    • Your arms are passive. You are not pulling with your arms to bring the weight up.
  • The triple extension of the ankles, knees, and hips raises the DB's vertically. 
  • Once the DB's reach shoulder height, "drop" underneath and catch the weight by bring your elbows up and through.
  • After catching the weight, stand up. 


  • Always keep the weight as close to your body as possible. 
  • Keeping your core braced does not mean arching your back severely. To fully understand tightening your mid-section, click here
  • This exercise can be performed with a kettlebell. 
  • You want to perform this exercise fast with lighter weights, don't always be quick to grab the heaviest DB's you can.
Previous article Dumbbell Swing
Next article Dumbbell Hamstring Curl