Written by Russel Roeger
It’s necessary to train the body in a way that simulates real life motion. It’s rare that we use one muscle group at a time in an isolated way. Think of getting up in the morning and rolling out of bed, or just getting up off the floor after some core work. Without thinking about it, you are using every muscle in your body at the same time. In the same way, a Power Clean forces you to move your whole body together to perform the exercise. When you perform the Power Clean you are activating your entire posterior chain which includes all the muscles of the back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. You’re also using your traps and arm muscles. This is a great exercise to create more strength for sports or just to become a more rounded and efficient weight lifter!
The Power Clean, also simply known as a Clean, is an Olympic lift exercise that utilizes all the muscles of the body in unison. It’s great to train muscles and muscle groups in an isolated way to maximize growth and easily plan rest time.
To perform the Power Clean properly, there are a few things to pay close attention to regarding your form to make sure you don’t injure yourself. The most important thing is to make sure you’ve properly warmed up your body and are ready to perform the exercise. Always listen to your body! Make sure the weight is a manageable for you. You should have an idea of your weight limit based on other exercises you use. If you’re not sure of a proper weight, then always start light and work up to a heavier weight. If you’ve never performed the exercise before, it’s smart to have a spotter.
Proper form consists of 6 key points:
- Your feet should be placed slightly wider than the hips, or your usual squatting distance.
- Drop the hips. Keep your back straight from hips to the top of the back. Keep your chin up and arms straight down and under your shoulders. The bar should be close to the legs and shoulders over the barbells. Drive up through your heels, keeping your back straight and at the same angle until your legs are extended. This is a quick power move.
- From there, you stand upright, pulling the bar straight up until you’re fully extended. Then, push your hips forward at the top for the last bit of power.
- From there, you squat back down, pulling yourself under the bar by rotating your grip and elbows underneath it until it’s resting at shoulder height and against your neck in a front squat position. Continue your squat to absorb the weight of the bar as it falls back down.
- At the bottom of the squat, push the bar up in that position, driving again from the heels.
- Rinse and repeat! Doing 3 to 4 sets of 6-8 reps is a good starting point!
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About the Author
Russell is a certified personal trainer and an under-grad in the TAMUT Kinesiology Program. He regularly helps clients increase their confidence in accomplishing goals that lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle.