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Power Clean Progression

  1. Starting Position:
    1. Feet hip-width apart with the bar nearly touching the shins.
    2. The hands shoulder width apart with a clean-grip (fingers over the bar, thumbs under).
    3. Arms should be straight with the elbows pointed out to the sides.
    4. Hips should be low but slightly higher than the knees.
    5. Abs tight, chest up, shoulders retracted with the chest and shoulders over the bar.
  2. The athlete sets up for the clean portion of the lift. The above position has been met, now the athlete needs to take the “slack” out of the bar. The athlete will pull the bar up slightly but not lifting the weight from the ground. The athlete then pushes with his legs to get the weight moving.
  3. The athlete continues the First Pull of the clean portion. The back is flat, the elbows are pointed outwards, and the hips are down as the athlete continues to push with his legs.
  4. The path of the bar is vertical (straight up and down, not out!) so as the bar begins to move upwards, the knees will have to move back slightly as the hips raise.
  5. The athlete gets the weight past the knees. The athlete continues to keep the back flat, the elbows pointed outwards, and the hips down.
  6. As the bar clears the knees, the knees will shift back forward, moving under the bar (scooping the bar) and with the athlete driving through the floor, extending his hips and explosively moving the weight upwards (2nd Pull).
  7. Keep the arms as straight as you can for as long as you can, making the 2nd pull last as long as possible (for beginners), then begin “receiving” the bar.
  8. The athlete continues the second pull while descending into the receiving position for the clean.
  9. The athlete descends into the receiving position for the clean. The elbows bend, moving behind and under the bar, then turn up as the athlete catches the bar.
  10. The elbows are turned up, the back is flat and tight in the bottom receiving position. Toes and knees are pointed slightly outwards with a shoulder width stance.
  11. The athlete starts to stand up with the weight, keeping his elbows up, knees and toes pointed slightly outwards, and back flat.
  12. The athlete continues to stand up with the weight. Elbows are up, knees and toes pointed slightly outwards, and back is flat
  13. The athlete has completely stood up with the weight.

Tips & Guidelines:
The above are GUIDELINES ONLY for the Power Clean/Hang Power Clean. There are a variety of factors that will affect how these lifts are performed, including flexibility, core strength, technique and the load being lifted (it should be well within the lifters ability). If one is new to Olympic lifting please keep the weights low and focus on technique, regardless of how much other weight training experience you may have. The ideal situation would be to work with a coach who has experience in performing AND teaching this lift.


  1. Warm-up and stretch properly
  2. Start with an athletic stance (A.S.) and good posture (G.P.)
    1. A.S.—feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent
    2. G.P.—abs tight, chest up, shoulders back
  3. Beginners should use very light weight or training bars (un-weighted)
  4. Have someone watch your technique, preferably someone certified in coaching this lift.

Purpose of lifts:
Explosive Power (running, jumping, quick change of dircetion)

Additional areas to focus on that will improve technique/performance of Cleans:

  1. Core/Trunk training
  2. Flexibility
  3. Plyometric exercises
  4. Auxiliary Platform exercises:
    1. Mid-thigh Pulls
    2. Front Squats
    3. Good Mornings

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