Power Clean Technique
The power clean exercise is a common strength/power training exercise. Here is a brief explanation of the main points for performing the power clean. Use this information as a guide, the technique is best taught by an experienced weightlifter observing the attempts and providing direct feedback.
Equipment Required: barbell and weights, weight belt (optional)
- Preparation: Stand at the bar with your feet flat on the floor and about shoulder width apart (toes slightly turned out), and shins just behind the bar. Squat down and grasp the bar evenly with a shoulder-width grip, palms facing towards the body. Position the arms outside the knees with the elbows straight.
- Lift: Lift the weight by forcefully extending the hips and knees. Keep the abdominals tight and the lower back in a neutral position. Keep the arms straight, with the head in line with the spine. The bar is lifted as close to the shins and thigh as possible.
- Catch: pull the body under the bar by rotating the arms and hands around and then under the bar, and by flexing the hips and knees so that the shoulders can move to under the bar. The weight is then pushed up to finish in a standing position.
- Return: Drop the weight back to the floor in a controlled manner, first by rolling the weight off the shoulders and flexing the knees bringing the weight back to the floor.
- Repeat: continue for a set number of repetitions.
- The final bar position for the power clean is at the shoulders. The Olympic lift 'clean and jerk' has an additional shoulder press to finish with the weight held above the head. The power snatch exercise has similarities to the power clean except the hands are held further apart, the arms are kept straight and the finishing position is above the head.
- An alternative exercise is the hang power clean, which begins with the bar just above the knees instead of on the floor.
- The deadlift and squat exercise use similar muscle groups, but at a much slower pace so are strength exercises rather than power exercises.