Weekly Workout For Men: Learn the Power Clean, one of the best movements for your traps muscles

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I first learned of Power Cleans, Hang Cleans and CrossFit when I had stumbled across a video of Annie Thorisdottir performing a workout called DT.

“DT” is by definition:

5 Rounds For Time

This workout is a Hero WOD (“Workout of the Day”), done in memory of a fallen soldier, Law Enforcement or Fireman. DT is done in honor of US Air Force SSgt Timothy P. Davis, 28, who was killed on Feburary, 20 2009 supporting operations in OEF when his vehicle was struck by an IED. 

Watch the Video of Annie Below:

In this video, Annie is performing the Hang Clean, which is a variation of the Power clean, and a good place to start.

In fact, before you attempt a hang clean, you should learn how to Deadlift.

The Deadlift is a movement that is pulling an object (Barbell, weights, or both) from the ground to your hips. Once you have learned how to pull the object to your hips, then you can work on using those hips to drive the weight up in front of you to a front rack position.

This is a technical movement, and most of the struggles that people have with either the Hang Clean or Power Clean Movements is getting into the Front Rack Position, or trying to muscle the weight to their shoulders.

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how to perform a hang clean

If you are doing deadlifts on the regular and shoulder press, a great next step to build great lats, and explosive power is to start learning how to do a hang power clean.


HANG CLEAN

HANG CLEAN


Before you begin - Get a Grip

Since you have most likely been doing Deadlifts, you have learned how to grip the bar. Just in case, I want to go over a couple of ways that you can hold the bar. However, one of these grips is more optimal for repetition.

Two types of Grip

  • Normal Overhand Grip

  • Hook Grip


Normal Overhand Grip

Grab the bar with your hand and wrap your hand around it so that you are gripping it tight but that the fingers do not cover the thumb, but rather the thumb slightly overlaps the fingers.

NORMAL OVER HAND GRIP

NORMAL OVER HAND GRIP

NORMAL OVER HAND GRIP

NORMAL OVER HAND GRIP


Hook Grip

This time use your thumb to grip the bar first, then wrap your fingers around the bar, over the top of the thumb. The goal of this grip is to basically be using the thumb as an extra holding device. When you are doing high repetitions, this grip comes in handy…(See what I did there)

hook Grip

hook Grip

Hook Grip

Hook Grip


Set up for Hang Power Clean

  • Begin the heels hip width apart.

  • Bar is in contact with thigh and hands are in a hook grip just outside the thighs.

  • Maintain light flexion in the knees, hips are back to create vertical shins, and shoulders are forward of the bar.

  • Back is tight maintaining a strong arch.

  • Chest is up.

  • Core is tight.

  • Weight is back in the heels.

Points of Performance for Hang Power Clean

  • Begin by bringing the bar into the body and aggressively jump, extending the hips, knees, and ankles (triple extension).

  • With a big shrug of the shoulders, elbows come high and outside the bar then back around while pulling yourself under to receive the weight.

  • Receive the bar in a quarter front squat so that it rests on the shoulders with the elbows up.

  • Drive through the heels back to a standing position.

  • Rep is completed when the knees and hips are fully locked out and open at the top.

Tips and Tricks

  • Hang power clean begins from the “second pull” (from the mid thigh to extension). Focusing on it is a great way to practice using the full power of the hips.

  • Having good speed pulling under the bar is key to improving your clean. Think about jumping hard, but not high—you should have a strong thrust with your feet leaving the ground, but you are not trying to see how high you get. The higher you jump the longer the rep takes.

  • Pull with long arms; An early arm bend only dampens the contribution of the hips.

  • Once the athlete is fully extended, the arms are bent to pull the elbows high and outside.

Hang Power Clean Workouts

“Braswell”

AMRAP in 40 minutes

  • 12 Burpees

  • 9 Hang Power Cleans (95/65 lb)

  • 18 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)

  • 200 meter Sandbag Run (60/40 lb)

WOD:

2 Rounds of:

  • 50 Double Unders

  • 25 Hang Power Cleans (115/85)

  • 50 Double Unders 

  • 30 Push Ups 

  • 50 Double Unders

  • 35 Sit Ups


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8 WEEK STRENGTH PROGRAM


how to perform a power clean

There are a lot of benefits that come from doing a power clean

POWER CLEAN

POWER CLEAN


Set up for a Power Clean

  • Begin with your heels hip width apart

  • Bar is on the ground and hands are in a hook grip just outside of your shins

  • Shoulders are at or just over the bar

  • Back is flat and tight

  • Chest is up

  • Core is tight

  • Weight is in balls of feet

Points of Performance for a Power Clean

  • Push your knees back as you stand the bar up from the ground, keeping the hips and shoulders rising at the same rate

  • From the mid thigh, pull the bar into the body and aggressively jump, extending the hips, knees, and ankles (triple extension)

  • With a big shrug of the shoulders, elbows come high and outside the bar then back around while pulling yourself under to receive the weight

  • Receive the bar in a quarter front squat so that it rests on the shoulders with the elbows up

  • Drive through the heels back to a standing position

  • The clean is completed when the knees and hips are fully locked out and open at the top

Tips and Tricks for a Power Clean

  • Think about driving through your heels

  • Speed under the bar is the key

  • The power from this lift is initiated in the hips

    • Think about 2 speeds; slow and controlled off the ground, and explosive from the top of the knees to the hips

  • One continuous pull from the ground to shoulders

    • Stopping or hesitating at any point in the lift is only going to stunt the momentum created from the floor

  • Pull with long arms

    • An early arm bend will only dampen momentum created from the floor

Power Clean Workouts

“The Chief”

Five 3-minute AMRAPs in 19 minutes

  • AMRAP in 3 minutes

  • 3 Power Cleans (135/95 lbs)

  • 6 Push-Ups

  • 9 Air Squats

  • Then Rest 1 minute

  • Repeat 5 times

WOD:

5 Rounds

AMRAP 2 Minutes:

  • 2 Power Clean 135/95

  • 4 Burpees

  • Rest 1 Minute


This is a pretty high level overview of the power clean, and gives you some points of performance and tips to practice when doing them. However, if you really want to get better at performing this type of movement, you should get a CrossFit coach, Starting Strength Coach, or an Olympic Weightlifting Coach or get plugged into a CrossFit Gym.

You can also send me a video of yourself or post it in the Facegroup Page Here, and we can give you some feedback. I have two other CrossFit coaches in that group.

If you are looking for a CrossFit Gym in your area, or want to know more about it, check out www.crossfit.com

Also, if you found this helpful, or have more questions, feel free to leave feedback in the comments below.

I am not on Social Media a lot anymore, especially after reading a book that changed my life called “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport.

Thanks for reading,

###Stephen


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