How to Perform The Barbell Clean for Increased Strength, Power and Control
The barbell clean is an essential exercise in many popular workouts and is also a key component of Olympic lifting.
In this tutorial, we will look at a variation of the barbell clean called the hang (power) clean, where the bar starts in a position just below the knees (hang position).
As with any Olympic lifts, there is a longer learning curve, so take the time to practice and drill proper technique before increasing weight.
Stand over the barbell, feet hip-width apart. Engage the core and keep the spine neutral as you squat down and lift the bar to standing. In this position, set the shoulders and core, keep the knees slightly bent, and allow the bar to rest against the front of the thighs.
Begin the movement by forcefully driving the hips up and forwards (as you straighten the legs). As soon as the hips are fully extended, quickly drop the body under the bar and catch the barbell in the front rack position (across the front of shoulders and elbows as high as possible) in a quarter squat.
Lower the barbell to the start position (standing with bent knees). Repeat for desired reps or time.
The barbell clean is a compound exercise that works for many muscle groups, making it both a staple weight training exercise, as well as a useful exercise for those with limited time.
The correct technique requires strength, power, speed, endurance, coordination, balance and flexibility – over multiple muscle groups I a short space of time. As such, it is a popular choice within high intensity (interval) training programs that significantly raise hear rate. However, it’s important to take time and learn the skill before adding load and intensity – with this in mind, using an empty Olympic bar (or lighter fixed barbell) is a great way to drill the skill.