Have you seen someone performing a Power Clean? If this person knows how to do a Power Clean, the movement looks so nice and smooth, it’s literally poetry in motion. The movement combines certain levels of strength (the load is heavy), speed (you need to maximally accelerate the weight up and then get quickly under the bar) and coordination (well, this is obvious looking at all the crappy Power Cleans that are out there, which lack coordination).

So, how to do a Power Clean correctly, that you can increase strength, speed and coordination?

In this video and articles discusses

  • how to do a Power Clean
  • what are the technical considerations of a Power Clean
  • what are the different phases in a Power Clean
  • what are the key points in the execution of a Power Clean

The Power Clean has unique benefits for athletes, that you don’t get from many other exercises. I outlined the benefits in the articles

In order to reap the described Power Clean benefits, you need to know how to do a Power Clean correctly. And that’s what I meant in the beginning, these crappy Power Cleans you see, will not do very much for you.

I have emphasized and continue to emphasize the point of technical mastery before lifting heavier and heavier. Understanding the Power Clean technique is the first step.

Let’s have a look at the Power Clean technique step by step.

How to do a Power Clean? Learn the correct Power Clean technique!

The Power Clean technique is very demanding, therefore we invest a lot of time in the training with our athletes to focus on teaching them how to learn the Power Clean technique correctly.

Learning the Power Clean technique can be very frustrating for athletes, since it takes a long time and progress is not always linear. Hence there will be ups and downs. When we start out to learn the Power Clean we are working with very little resistance to acquire and consolidate the Power Clean technique, before we train the Power Clean and focus on loading the exercise.

I have explained in the article How to do a Power Snatch that the technique models and especially the naming and labelling of the different phases can change depending on coach, country and training philosophy.

The terminology I am using of the different phases for the Power Clean technique

  • Start position
  • First Pull
  • Transition
  • Second pull
  • Catch
  • Recovery

Let’s go through the different Phases of the Power Clean.

Phases of the Power Clean technique

Start position:

  • shoulders are over the bar
  • the back is straight
  • the eyes focused straight ahead
  • the feet  are hip width apart
  • the hands grab the bar outside the legs

First pull (from the ground until below the knees):

  • the bar is lifted in a straight line until below the knees
  • back remains straight
  • shoulders remain over and in front of the bar
  • eyes focused straight ahead

Transition (from below the knees until mid-thigh):

  • back remains straight
  • knees are pushed backwards to create room for the bar to pass the knees
  • once the bar has passed the knees, the knees are pushed forward back under the bar to allow a powerful upward extension during the second pull (this action is also called scoop or double-knee bent)
  • have a look at this video from Catalystathletics which explains it well

Second pull (from mid-thigh):

  • in the position of the scoop or double-knee bent, the bar makes contact with the thighs on height of the mid-thigh
  • hip, knee and ankle extend powerfully, which is also called the triple extension
  • a strong shoulder shrug, once hip knee and ankle are maximally extended

Catch:

  • the athlete pulls himself or herself actively under the bar
  • the feed shuffle slightly sideways into the stance that is usually used for the Front Squat (this is the strongest position to decelerate the bar)
  • the athlete receives the bar on the shoulders
  • the athlete decelerates and breaks the downward movement of the bar with the legs

Recovery:

  • once the weight is on the shoulders and in control the athlete reverses the motion and stands back up

In my opinion it is important to understand the different phases of the Power Clean.

It is even more important to understand, that the phases aren’t occur in isolation, they are a part of the whole and not segments added to each other. Every phase moves seamlessly into the next phase and this is how the Power Clean needs to be trained as a full movement.

Concluding How to do a Power Clean

The Power Clean offers unique benefits in one exercise, that most other exercises can’t offer. In order to reap the benefits of the exercise, it is important to dominate the Power Clean technique and to know how to do a Power Clean.

Technical mastery of the Power Clean can go a long way. I have seen that over and over again.

Invest time and energy in learning how to do a Power Clean and you will see the benefits.

More information about Power Cleans

The Ultimate Guide to Power Cleans

The Importance of Power Cleans

How much should you Power Clean

What Power Cleans do for you

What are Power Cleans?

Why are Power Cleans Important?

or the Power Clean video library