Squat/Press/Deadlift (only do one, follow your 5-3-1 Spreadsheet)
3 @ 70%
3 @ 80%
5 Rounds not for time of:
3 Hang Power Cleans @ 80% (of 1RM)
6 Broad Jumps
12 Toe to Bars
What’s a Power Clean?
The Clean starts in a position similar to the deadlift. Clean the barbell up from the floor by accelerating the hips to full extension and shrugging the shoulders to maximize the height of the bar and finish by pulling it on your shoulders. Catch the bar in the Front Squat RACK position. Variations of the Clean:
- Squat Clean. You squat under the weight. Hips go below parallel. You can lift more weight as you don’t have to pull the bar as high.
- Hang Clean. Cleans with the bar starting around knee level instead of on the floor. The bar “hangs”. Powerful movement.
- Power Clean. Hips don’t come lower than parallel. You need to pull the bar higher & accelerate as much as you can.
Benefits of Power Cleans. The Olympic Lifts develop power, and Power Cleans are the easiest Olympic Lift you can learn. Benefits:
- Power Development. You achieve higher speeds faster. More power and more speed means more strength.
- Muscle Development. Power Cleans work your posterior chain hard: calves, hamstrings, glutes & lower back but also upper-back & traps.
The Power Clean Movement. The Power Clean consists of 2 pulls. You’ll spend most time working on the technique of the 2nd pull which is trickiest to learn.
- 1st Pull. Pull the barbell from the floor to your knees. The 1st pull is similar to a deadlift, except your hips are slightly lower, and is a slow movement.
- 2nd Pull. Pull the barbell from your mid-thighs to your shoulders by extending your hips and violently shrugging your shoulders. The 2nd pull is an explosive movement – it cannot be performed slowly and you cannot stop half way!
- Just Remember – Slow, the GO! Once you start to extend the hips after you have pulled the bar above the knees you are commited!
Necessary Flexibility for Power Cleans. Lack of flexibility will make it harder to learn how to Power Clean with correct technique.
- Wrists. Stretch your wrists & triceps. Warm-up with Front Squats using the clean grip so you get used to the rack position.
- Hips & Ankles. You need flexible hamstrings for the 1st pull and mobile ankles for the 2nd pull. Improve your hip mobility & ankle mobility.
- Upper-body. Keep your chest up and shoulder-blades back & down at all times. Improve upper-body posture by doing pass-throughs with a PVC pipe or a mini-band.
Power Clean Learning Procedure. The Power Clean starts with the bar on the floor. You’ll learn it the other way around.
- Romanian Deadlift. Teaches you proper hip extension. Pull the barbell from knee to thigh level using your hip muscles.
- Rack Position. Lack of wrist & triceps flexibility makes it impossible to rack the weight correctly. Practice the rack position.
- Hang Power Clean. Pull the weight from mid-thigh level to your front shoulders. You’ll spend most time practicing this one.
- Power Clean. Clean the floor from the barbell by pulling the bar to your shoulders. Piece of cake once you master Hang Power Cleans.
Power Clean Setup. The setup is always the same, whether you’re doing Romanian Deadlifts, Hang Power Cleans or Power Cleans.
- Hip to Shoulder-width Stance. Keep the weight on your heels. Get in a powerful jumping stance. Jump up a few times, use that stance for Power Cleans.
- Hook Grip. Use the hook grip so you can relax your forearms and avoid pulling with your arms. Grip width should be about a thumbs distance from your thighs. This will allow your hands to be just outside of your shoulders in the rack position.
- Chest Up, Shoulder-blades Back & Down. Prevents your back from rounding. Make a big chest, lift it up. Keep your shoulder-blades back & down.
Step 1: The Romanian Deadlift. Teaches you to bring the bar from knee to mid-thigh level using your hip muscles. Unlike Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts starts from the hang position, not from the floor.
- Straight Arms. Keep your arms straight at all times. Do not bend them. Use the hook grip & relax your forearms.
- Straight Legs. The goal is to bend at the hips, not at the knees. Keep your legs as straight as possible without locking out your knees.
- Hips Back. The key to Romanian Deadlifts & Power Cleans. Lower the bar by bringing your hips back as far as you can. Hamstring stretches help.
- Squeeze Your Glutes. Bring your hips forward to get the bar up. Push from the heels & squeeze your glutes hard. Don’t pull with your back.
- Bar in Contact with Legs. The bar must touch your upper legs at all times. Don’t let the bar go away from your body.
Step 2: Rack Position. Put the empty bar on your shoulders.
- Bar Against Throat. Make a big chest & open your hands. Put the bar on top of your shoulders, behind your clavicles, against your throat.
- Elbows High. Catching the weight with low elbows stresses your wrists, elbows, & back and will increase your risk of a missed lift. Put your elbows high. The higher the better.
- Elbows Pointing In. Easier on your wrists and builds a firmer base for the bar to sit on. Some don’t need to do this, so experiment.
Step 3: Hang Power Clean. Start in the Romanian Deadlift position with the bar at mid-thigh level. Arms stay straight, hips back. This is your starting position.
- Jump. Catch the bar in the rack position. If you hesitate, just jump up. Your body will figure out how to rack the bar. Jump without leaving the ground.
- Stomp. Your body coordinates stomping with racking. The harder you stomp, the faster you’ll rack. Stomp your feet back into your footprints. This is where you force your feet out into a squat position. Jump without leaving the ground and stomp your feet out into a squat position.
- Elbows High. Racking with low elbows will hurt your elbows and wrists. Rack the bar by throwing your elbows as high as possible.
Step 4: Power Cleans. Practice Hang Power Cleans a lot before switching to Power Cleans. 2 tips.
- Pull Slowly from The Floor. Jerking the weight causes bad technique in the 2nd pull. Pull slowly from the floor. Accelerate once above the knees. Slow, then GO!
- Put Your Hips Lower. Hips are lower on Power Cleans than Deadlifts. Your hips should be in a just above parallel squat postion. You’ll feel tension in your hamstrings when putting your hips correctly.
Common Power Clean Errors. Chest up, shoulder-blades back & down, weight on heels, looking forward & engaging your hips will fix most Power Clean errors. Other things you can do wrong:
- Pulling with the Arms. Your traps & upper-back pull the weight, not your arms. Use the hook grip and relax your forearms.
- Low Elbows. Focus on throwing your elbows higher. Do lots of Front Squats to learn the Rack Position. Stretch your wrists & triceps.
- Pulling Back. Power Clean by throwing your hips forward, not by pulling with your lower back. Use your glutes.
- Falling Forward. Keep the weight on your heels and the bar in contact with your legs. Pull once the bar reaches mid-thigh level. Try to touch your chest on the way up.
Practice. Each movement eventually becomes 2nd nature if you keep doing it. The more you practice, the better your technique will be.
- Focus on Technique. Forget about the weight. Start light, focus on quality and add weight progressively.
- Persist. Can’t do Hang Power Cleans correctly? PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!