Single-arm Clean & Press Exercise

The single-arm clean and press can strengthen and tone your body.

The single-arm clean and press can strengthen and tone your body.

If you're tired of spending hours in the gym, maybe it's time to reassess your workout routine. Incorporating compound exercises like the single-arm clean and press can save you time while still providing optimal results. This exercise combines a squat and a shoulder press and engages both your lower and upper body including your shoulders, biceps, glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Your abdominals are also challenged, because they stabilize your body during the exercise. While learning proper form, do the single-arm clean and press with minimal weight, and as you get stronger and more confident, gradually increase the weight.

Place a dumbbell vertically on the floor in front of you and stand behind it with your legs shoulder-width apart. Use a dumbbell that's heavy enough so that the last repetition of each set is challenging to complete but not so challenging that you sacrifice your form.

Squat deep enough so that you can pick the dumbbell off the floor with your left hand without rounding your back. Bend at your knees and hips and really push your tush back so that your knees stay above your ankles. Tighten your abdominals, push out your chest and face forward so that your back remains slightly arched.

Raise the dumbbell slightly so that it hangs centered at shin level. This is the beginning position for the exercise.

Extend your hips and knees slightly to come to a quarter-squat position, simultaneously bend your left elbow and bring the dumbbell up just above your left shoulder. This entire motion should be explosive yet smooth.

Extend your left arm and push the dumbbell overhead while fully extending your hips and knees and coming to an upright stance. Pause for one second before reversing the motion and returning to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for as many repetitions as your current fitness level allows, and then switch arms. Gradually work your way up to completing three sets of 10 repetitions.


  • During the exercise, focus your eyes on a spot on the wall that's slightly above eye-level. This keeps you from overarching your back so that it remains relatively straight.


  • Consult a doctor before taking on a new exercise routine, especially if you have injuries or health conditions.

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About the Author

Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.

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