How To Power Clean
In this video, we teach you how to power clean with a step by step teaching progression. Learning the clean can be broken down into the following steps:
- Deadlift Setup
- Hang Position
- Rack Position
- Jump Position (Mid-Thigh, Below the Knee, From the Floor)
Step 1 – Deadlift Setup
The setup for a power clean is exactly the same as the deadlift. For a refresher, take a stance that is one inch away from the bar with heels 6-8 inches apart. Turn your toes out about 10-15 degrees.
Lean over to take a grip, but place your hands about one hand-width wider than your deadlift grip. Lastly, bring your shins to the bar – keep your hips high. This is the perfect setup!
The Hang Position
From the deadlift setup, drag the bar up your shins until you come to the lockout. Let the bar hang with your hips fully extended, standing up tall. Internally rotate your arms and make sure your elbows are fully extended. This is the hang position.
The Rack Position
Next, we’ll learn the rack position, which is where the bar lands at the completion of a power clean. The bar sits on the meat of your deltoid (shoulder) muscles in the rack. Let the bar roll back into your fingers – you should not have a death grip on the bar. Push your elbows up and in.
To return to the hang position, drop the bar from the rack position, let it slide down your shirt and catch it. Again, make sure elbows are full extended in the hang.
The Jump Position
Unlock your hips and knees, push your butt back and allow your shoulders to come forward and stay balanced on the midfoot. Slide the bar down to your mid-thigh, which is the jump position. At this point, you’re going to practice jumping without racking the bar.
Jump straight up into the air with straight arms – do not allow your elbows to bend at all. Make your head touch the ceiling!
Jump 3 or 4 times so that you get the hang of it, and finally, on the 5th time, jump and rack the bar in the rack position.
From Just Below the Knee
Now we’ll slide the bar down a little further – to just below your knee cap. From the hang position, slide the bar down very slowly, until it touches just below your knees. Then, slide it back up and when it hits your jump position, explode by jumping straight up and rack the bar on your shoulders.
From the Floor
Now, slide the bar all the way down until it taps the floor. At the point where the barbell is touching the floor, it should feel like your deadlift setup that we covered earlier in the tutorial. Once you tap the floor, slowly slide the bar up your legs until you reach your jump position, and then explode and rack the bar.
Let’s put it all together. Start by taking your deadlift set up with the power clean grip, slide the bar up your legs, jump and rack. Congratulations – you’ve learned how to power clean!
Programming the Clean
Because the power clean is a POWER movement, it requires less reps per set. Therefore, triples, doubles or even singles with backoffs are the preferred way of programming reps and sets.
If your clean is 50% or so of your deadlift, the clean is a great deadlift assistance exercise.
Stay tuned for part 2 where we troubleshoot common power clean issues.