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How to Perform Power Cleans from the Hang – Fast and Simple Technique – Part 2

How to Perform Power Cleans from the Hang

Fast and Simple Technique – Part 2

Jim Smith, CSCS, RKC

As many of you know who have purchased AMD (my muscle building system) I prescribe power cleans for upper body and fully body workouts. The problem is, there are very few resources available online showing the right way to perform this movement.  Because power cleans are a compound movement and require a great amount of tension, effort and mental focus; a good warm-up is always recommended.

In Part I of the “How to Power Clean” series, we showed the following techniques:

– the hook grip

– starting position above the knee

– neutral position of the back

– how to rotate the elbows out to avoid the “bent arm” technique error, this flaw affects the power of the movement and the momentum of the bar

In this installment, we will go over some more technique points.

– the power pull foot position

– the below the knee, 2nd pull position

– how to transition into front squats

– how to transition to full squat cleans

In the first video we showed the “above the knee” position.  In this video, we show the “below the knee” position.  Learning in this sequence is called the top-down training progression.  If you drill along the movement pattern in segments, you will be able to link these smaller movements together to perform the full execution of the lift.

How to Perform a Power Clean from the Hang – More Technique Cues

The variation of the full squat clean that is most always used in the weightroom by non-weightlifters is the power clean from the hang. This is because it is a static position that requires great isometric posterior chain strength, reinforces a proper athletic stance AND great starting / explosive strength. By taking the 1st pull out of the movement, you shorten the range of motion (ROM) and increase the required power and speed at the start.

Step 1: Start in a Power Pull Position

Step 2: Get in a Good Starting Position

Step 3: Extend Forcefully Once the Barbell Reaches Your Waist

Step 4: Rack the Bar


Step 5: Start Working Front Squats After the Rack

The natural progression is to start working into the full execution of the lift, i.e. the full squat clean (& press).  But, like we said in Part I, you can stick with power cleans from the hang and still reap some pretty serious benefits.

Let me know in the comments, what exercise you would like broken down next!



Fat Gripz

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By on March 27th, 2011

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Comments (6)

  1. Posted by - Nic on March 28, 2011

    Hello sir smitty, I feel like this is kind of a dumb question but I’m gonna ask anyways. Would it be ok to go ahead and add an overhead press from the rack position with the elbows high and with the shoulders kind of externally rotated?

    • Smitty
      Posted by - Smitty on March 28, 2011

      You can definitely transition into a press off the rack. If it is a strict press, I would rotate the elbows down so you can engage the lats more.

  2. Posted by - Clement on March 28, 2011

    Thanks for this video series, Jim and Tom. I’ve really learnt a lot from you two and rectified my clean technique quite a bit.

    One cue you may want to add, though, is the snapping of the elbows at the rack position – or “attacking the bar” with your arms, so-to-speak.

    In the beginning of my lifting career, I bruised my collarbone pretty badly on my first attempt at cleaning, until my coach very kindly pointed out that I should be slamming my elbows up to the horizontal position so that the bar would be caught on my deltoids, instead of just lifting them to the rack position without much force.

    I’d like to see a tutorial on snatches next. The olympic movements are a tough exercise to learn, but I’d still like to practise them. Nick Horton has mentioned close-grip snatches in a very recent newsletter. I was wondering if you might also elaborate on what they are.

  3. Posted by - Jeff on March 30, 2011

    Was he bouncing the bar off the front thighs on the way up?

  4. Posted by - David on March 31, 2011

    Great video!

    However, the video I wanna see next is…The snatch!

  5. Posted by - Dustin on April 2, 2011

    Nice Tutorial! I second Clement and David with the snatch.

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