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Kettlebell Thumb Pain with Clean/Presses


Level 3 Valued Member
Hey everybody,

I have looked around a bit but could not find a proper solution for my issue: I feel pain/stress in the lower part of my right thumb, in the area between wrist and "thumb knuckle". A first guess is, that there is too much pressure on the tendon. No pain in the left thumb!
I have attached some pictures showing me holding the Kettlebell in the rack, just shot spontaneously :). Thanks in advance for your help!!!



Level 9 Valued Member
Do you have a picture of the view towards inside/palm side of your hand , so we can see where it sits in relation to the base of your thumb or web between thumb and finger?


Level 5 Valued Member
Try holding the bell at each station with your fingers straight out-- do not actually grip the bell. Is the handle still in the same place?


Level 8 Valued Member
Have you tried gripping more in the corner of the handle?

On overhead movements, I find it most comfortable to have the bend in the handle right in the L of my thumb and index finger.

Caveat: I use competition bells


Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Don't know if you have found a solution to your problem? This is a recurring issue for me as well .. on my left side. Happens when volume of cleans go up and is also something i've noticed is during the drop. I dont see this when the weights are up to 24kg but from 28kg onwards this becomes a problem. The only change is probably the thickness of the handle from 24 to 28, and my guess is that it is causing a problem.

Would be good to know if someone has a potential solution to this problem !


Level 5 Valued Member
I recall an article that mentioned focusing the grip more on the pinky side of the hand, rather than the pointer finger side of the hand, during the setup. This will place more focus on the triceps when overhead. Perhaps it also mentioned it helps keep tension on the lats allowing for a better shoulder pack?

Maybe it would shift the tension, as it were, in your hand from the thumb to the pinky?
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