Why Hang Power Cleans? What are the Hang Power Clean benefits over the regular Power Clean?

This article and video discusses

The Hang Power Clean is a variation of the Power Clean, where the start position is modified.

Consequently, the question stands out, why you should do Hang Power Cleans?

Why should you do Hang Power Cleans?

The Hang Power Clean offers specific benefits for athletes and ambitiously training people, such as

  • improving your Power Clean technique
  • improve Power and explosiveness
  • it is easier to perform for some athletes

Let’s get started with a more detailed look at the Hang Power Clean benefits.

Hang Power Clean benefit #1 – Why Hang Power Cleans improve your Power Clean technique

The Hang Power Clean can help you to improve your Power Clean technique and to specifically choose the area where you display technical flaws.

What does that mean?

Because of the different start positions, you can break down the Power Clean technique into the different phases.

  • start position
  • first pull
  • transition
  • second pull
  • catch
  • recovery

Check out the different phases of the Power Clean technique

If you have difficulties in any one of these phases, the Hang Power Clean allows you to specifically train these phases and you will get better where have the technical flaw.

Let’s make this a bit clearer.

As a practical example, you often see athletes when they perform the Power Clean, that they make a hard contact with the legs to accelerate the bar and bounce the bar forward. Most often that goes along with a too low on the thigh.

From a technical standpoint, and the fact that the contact is too low, the bar goes forward and too far away from the body.

Consequently, that affects all of the following phases. Athletes have to jump forward to receive the bar or aggressively pulling the bar back towards the body, which results in a kind of reverse curl movement.

How can the Hang Power Clean help?

You can choose to start with the Hang Power Clean at the mid-thigh position, where the bar should ideally make contact and use this variation as a corrective exercise to learn and get a feeling for where the right contact on the thigh should be.

Check out BMX Supercross rider and Junior World Champion 2016 Ruby Huisman performing the Hang Power Clean from the mid-thigh position

https://www.instagram.com/p/Be7ebQohMX-/

With all that said, I also use the Hang Power Clean as a part of my progression towards the Power Clean and Clean with our young athletes.

Hang Power Clean benefit #2 – Why Hang Power Cleans improve power and explosiveness

The Hang Power Clean shortens the range of the full movement and requires you to develop force and power more quickly also named ‘rate of force development’ (RFD), which is more sports specific.

Sport-specific, what a word right and it has been misused many times, so let me explain.

In most sports you have somewhere between 80 – 400 ms to apply force, check out a few examples, that I have outlined in one of my older articles The 101 of Power Training for Beginners

  • ground contact times in sprinting: 80 ms
  • ground contact times in Volleyball and Basketball: as low as 170 ms up to 300 – 400 ms (depending on the type of jump)
  • throwing (handball, baseball cricket): 150 – 180 ms
  • hitting (tennis, baseball, hockey): 180-250 ms
  • vaulting actions in gymnastic disciplines (the hands are in contact with the ground or implement): 180-210 ms
  • kicking (football): 120-160 ms (and results in 10 ms contact with the ball)

Shortening the range requires you to produce force more quickly and makes it, therefore, more sport-specific. Also, check out the video of sport-specific training and the criteria for sport-specific training outlined by Yuri Verkhoshansky named ‘dynamic correspondence

A practical example, if you imagine you do the Hang Power Clean from the hip there is very little time to accelerate the bar, you need to quickly extend from the hip, but also rapidly get under the bar to catch the bar.

And this is exactly what you have to do in many sports; you need to react to a stimulus and then quickly either start, change direction, land and again get ready for the next action.

Something to be aware of most of my athletes doesn’t like that Hang Power Clean for the reason that, because you need to develop force more quickly and you have less distance to accelerate the bar, means you have to reduce the load in order to be able to complete the lift.

  • Check out the load/intensity guidelines from Catalystathletics in the article Hang Power Clean

However, if the goal is to improve power and explosiveness you need to sacrifice the load in order to get the highest power output.

Hang Power Clean benefit #3 – Why Hang Power Cleans are easier to execute than the Power Clean

For some athletes, the Power Clean is difficult to perform for the simple reason that they struggle to get into the right start position when the bar is on the ground.

Why is that?

First and foremost because of body dimensions, for tall athletes (like basketball players or volleyball players) it is just difficult to get into the right start position

Another reason I have seen quite often are mobility issues, that doesn’t allow athletes to get into the right start position with the bar on the ground.

It is worth mentioning that neither for tall athletes nor for athletes with mobility issues, that it is impossible to get into the right start position, it is more difficult and takes more time to address and improve.

Having said that in sports very often we face the situation where time is actually the scarcest resource and you have a decision to make.

With regards to the Hang Power Clean vs Clean discussion, you have to ask yourself, if the time invested into learning how to get in the right start position is worth the potential outcome of a full Power Clean or whether you should just focus on good execution and loading in the Hang Power Clean?

The answer really depends on how important the Olympic Lifts are for the success in your sport.

And if you have made it to this point here, check out the previous articles 

Concluding Why Hang Power Cleans?

The  Hang Power Clean allows you to learn the Power Clean technique and improve the Power Clean technique because you can break down the technique and address individual technical flaws.

In addition to that, if you start learning the Power Clean technique, the Hang Power Clean is of the steps in the Power Clean progression.

The Hang Power Clean is more sport-specific, as it has a shorter range of movement and requires you to develop force more quickly.