The medicine ball clean is one of nine foundational movements found in CrossFit. This movement will teach you how to move weight from the ground effectively and efficiently. The skills and concepts of the medicine ball clean form the foundation for more advanced barbell movements, such as the Clean and the Snatch.

Points Of Performance: The Medicine Ball Clean

Learning the points of performance for the medicine ball clean teaches you to use your hips to move the ball from the ground instead of your arms.

Starting Stance

Set up with feet shoulder-width apart, knees in line with toes, medicine ball between the feet. With straight arms, place the palms on the outside of the ball, fingers pointing down.

The Deadlift

With straight arms, pull the ball from the ground by opening the hips.

The Shrug

Once the hips extend, shrug the shoulders. Then drop under the ball as the hands rotate around the outside of the ball.


Drop and receive the ball in a full front squat with the hip crease below the knee. The chest remains upright.


Stand to full hip and knee extension with the ball in the rack position.

A Few More Tips

  • Keep the ball close to your body the whole time and avoid swinging it out and away from you; this is not a biceps curl.
  • Rather than spinning the ball, keep the ball in the same place and rotate your hands around it. Start the movement with the logo or laces facing out. When you stand with the ball, the logo and laces should be in the same spot.
  • Maintain the lumbar curve in your spine and keep your chest upright. Don’t let the weight of the medicine ball pull you forward.

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