If you want to run faster, jump higher and be more explosive overall, then the power clean is your go to movement. Used by the NRL, AFL and NFL to improve player athleticism, the power clean is able to recruit virtually every muscle in your body.
For a solid clean, you call on your glutes, hamstrings, calves, back and triceps to pull the bar from the ground, while receiving the bar challenges your midline (abs), shoulder and bicep strength and stability.
Not only is the clean great for athletic performance but it also helps develop your central nervous system, proprioception and anaerobic capacity.
One of the fastest movements in sports, the power clean requires some skill but can be mastered in a relatively short amount of time by nailing these phases and technique cues. Once nailed, we can use the power clean in both our strength and conditioning training.
- Start with your feet hip-width apart
- Line the barbell up under your armpit
- Grip the bar with your hands thumb-width outside of hip
- Hook grip the bar - wrap your thumb around the bar before closing your fingers around the thumb knuckle
- The hook grip requires less energy to maintain a solid grip on bar
- Take a big deep breath and hold
- Sit back and pull the bar off the ground driving through your heels
- Pull the bar up past your knees, keeping your knees back out of the way
- Chest and butt should raise at the same rate
- Open hips rapidly by thrusting them forward (think jumping on the spot)
Receiving The Barbell
- As the barbell passes your chest, push your butt back into 1/4 squat and thrust your elbows forward
- This will create a ‘front rack' or ‘shelf’ on your shoulders for the bar to land
Once bar is is front rack:
- Stand tall
- Lock out your knees and hips
A good starting point for beginners is an empty barbell, and working towards 25 per cent of your bodyweight for a longer workout (working up to 50 per cent for guys that have been in the gym a few years and 75 per cent for guys trained in the power clean).
Try adding power cleans into your program once a week to start but as your progress don’t be afraid to put them in a second day. You won’t regret it!
Power Clean Workout
Work for 3 mins
Then rest for 2 mins
3 power cleans at 25 per cent of your body weight
6 push ups