What if you could learn a single combination move that would work your
entire body? What if you could have an entire workout complete with
that single movement? Efficiency at its peak and it is possible with
the kettlebell man maker movement.
The movement is a combination of several core kettlebell movements.
First lets examine the entire sequence, then we’ll break down how to
learn the individual movements and different progressions you can use
to build up to do the kettlebell
man maker workout.
Kettlebell Man Maker Sequence
The individual movements in the kettlebell man maker sequence are as follows:
- Kettlebell Renegade Row
- Kettlebell Double Clean
- Kettlebell Military Press
To see the entire kettlebell man maker sequence in action, check out
this video: The Kettlebell Man Maker Workout.
Kettlebell Renegade Row
The first move of the sequence is the kettlebell renegade row. When
learning this move there are two keys: hand balance and core balance.
When starting out I would recommend learning with dumbbells instead
of kettlebells. By switching to dumbbells you can use a lighter
weight without the risk of the kettlebells tipping during the
The movement is performed by going through the following steps:
- Plank On Handles – Start with the weights shoulder width
apart. Grab the handles, then extend your legs back into a plank
position. With kettlebells smaller than 24kg this movement becomes
more dangerous. With your weight on top the kettlebell you need to be
able to keep it balanced upright, smaller kettlebells have a smaller
base and can tip easier. Be careful; you’ve been warned.
- Push Up – Lower yourself down into a deep pushup using
the kettlebells like a set of pushup grips. Then extend back up into
the plank position.
- Right Arm Row – Pull the kettlebell in your right hand
straight up, pulling your hand up into your arm pit. Slowly return
the kettlebell back to the ground.
- Push Up – perform another push up on the kettlebells.
- Left Arm Row – repeat the row movement on the left side.
Learn To Balance For the Renegade Row
Balance while performing the renegade row is key. To help spread your
feet slightly to roughly shoulder width. Keep your core tight. To
practice try this movement without any kettlebells or dumbbells:
- Plank – with feet and hands shoulder width apart extend
your legs and torso in a plank position.
- Extend – Raise one arm off the ground, extend it inline
with the rest of your body. Hold this position. Feel how your core
needs to tighten to keep your balance, the toe on the same side as
your raised arm will support more weight than the other side, keep
your hips and torso level.
Practice this movement until you can easily shift from one arm to the
other while keeping your body stiff and level. Adding kettlebells
will use the same muscles and require the same balance, but demands
more from your body with the added weight.
Double Kettlebell Dead Clean
This is a core movement at the end of the Kettlebell Man Maker
movement to go from having both kettlebells on the ground to a double
kettlebell rack position. The steps of this movement are as follows:
- Feet Wide – Start with your feet a little wider than
shoulder width apart and your toes slightly out. It is important to
make sure you knees are wide enough apart to so both kettlebells fit
without hitting yourself.
- Kettlebells Centered – The kettlebells should be centered
underneath you and slightly forward of your ankles.
- Squat – Bend back with your hips and lower into a squat,
with your hands both reaching down to the kettlebells.
- Drive – From the ground, drive up through your heels,
extending your hips. Generate momentum.
- Pull Bells – With the momentum initiated with your hips
- Wrists Inside – Drive your wrists inside and under the
kettlebell as the momentum continues to bring the kettlebells all the
way up to the rack position.
- Rack Position – Pause briefly with both kettlebells in
the standing rack position.
- Bend-n-Drop – Bend back with your hips, then your knees
and allow the kettlebells to drop straight down in front.
- Lower – continue lowering yourself down, keeping your
back straight, until the kettlebells are on the ground.
Tip: Generate a little more momentum by stomping heels as in a
jerk movement. Raise slightly off the ground then drive your heals
back into the ground.
Learning the One Arm Clean
The clean is a simple, but technical move with the kettlebell. To
prevent injury to your shoulders or wrists it is crucial to learn the
proper clean form. Start with a light kettlebell and work with each
arm to get the movement down smoothly.
- Rack Position – To learn the clean, we will start from the
top rack position and learn the progression in reverse. Initially,
get the kettlebell into the top rack position by carefully deadlifting
the kettlebell off the ground (squat down, then extend hips and legs
to upright), then use your alternate hand to help slowly lift the
kettlebell up and to the outside of your wrist. The kettlebell will
rest on the center of your palm, the back of your wrist, and your
- Drop – start by bending with your hips, then knees to sit
back as you begin to move let the kettlebell drop straight down.
- Back Up – The kettlebell should now be hanging straight
down and you should be back into a shallow squat. Drive back up with
- Drive Palm – As the kettlebell comes straight back up the
line it just fell through wait until the kettlebell passes above the
height of your elbow. When it does think of driving your palm
underneath the kettlebell. The momentum should bring the kettlebell
up while you move the hand to the inside of the kettlebell. Start
with a light kettlebell to learn this movement. The goal is to get
the kettlebell to gently come to rest against your forearm; it should
not rotate over and slam against your wrist.
Progressing to the Double Kettlebell Clean
Once you learn how to consistently and smoothly perform the one arm
kettlebell clean, progress to using two kettlebells. The only
variation from the one arm kettlebell clean is to make sure you widen
your stance enough to allow room for the kettlebells to fit between
Start by deadlifting two kettlebells off the ground so you are
standing straight with both kettlebells hanging straight down.
Initiate the double kettlebell clean by sitting back with your hips,
then your knees. The kettlebells will swing back, when they reach
back and slow their swing drive up with your hips and legs into a
clean. Move both arms at the same time. The ending point is with
both kettlebells in the rack position.
Once you are comfortable with performing the double kettlebell clean
by starting with a small swing, move to driving straight up off the
ground. Place the kettlebells back on the ground between your feet.
Now when you begin instead of keeping your arms hanging down as your
initially stand up, you move directly into the drive all the way up
into the rack position.
Double Military Press
The last move in the kettlebell man maker sequence is the double
military press. This move will start with two kettlebells in the rack
position. Initiate the move by pushing both hands equally to left the
kettlebells straight up. Keep driving upward until both arms are
fully extended and near your ears. Pause briefly at the top, then
slowly lower the kettlebells back into the rack position.
Tip: Visually help yourself. By shifting the focus of your
eyes (not your head) upward will help lift the weights.
Summary of the Kettlebell Man Maker
The kettlebell man maker movement is a great compound movement that
works your entire body. Take time to learn each movement, then
combine them in one smooth flow. Turn it into a full-body
kettlebell workout by doing three sets of 10 repetitions.
About the Author: Troy Pesola
Troy is the founder of Cube.Dweller.Fitness where he
provides practical fitness advise for office workers. He’s an
innovation catalyst in several areas of life including business,
marketing, and process improvement. Outside fo work he’s actively
involved in fitness, health, and living vibrantly in the Rocky
Mountains of Colorado.