Hometips and tricksHang Clean vs. Power Clean - Which Lift Should You Do?

Hang Clean vs. Power Clean – Which Lift Should You Do?

This is what you should know before you decide whether to do power cleans or hang cleans.

The clean is a key component of any lift that measures power. A clean is simply when a lifter takes weight off the ground and moves it up onto a front rack. There are many variations to clean. The power clean and the hang clean are popular options.

There is no one right answer to the question of which exercise someone should do. Like most fitness decisions, the answer is almost always “it depends.”

We’ll break down the benefits and differences between each clean so you can make an informed decision about which one to choose. It’s up to you.

Power Clean vs. Hang Clean — Form Differences

Two common clean variations that are used in Olympic weightlifting or CrossFit are the power clean and hang clean. Both movements can be beneficial for athletes and lifters. They offer similar but distinct benefits that athletes and coaches should be aware. Here are the differences between these movements.

The Hang Clean

The hang clean requires that the lifter pick up the weight from the floor or from a power rack with J hooks at hip height and then hold it at their thighs. The lifter will then drive their hips forward and dip under the bar to do a full squat before exploding up. This movement is different from the power clean in that the weight begins at the hip. This requires a more explosive hip drive. The hang clean is a great way to strengthen your glutes, and for weightlifters, it can also improve the second half their clean.

The lifter must also complete a hang clean. This builds leg strength and helps with the clean & jump for Olympic weightlifters.

The Power Clean

The clean variation allows the lifter to deadlift the weight from a floor each rep, and then only slightly sink below the bar rather than doing a full squat. The power clean’s focus is on power development, as the name suggests. Although you can use slightly less weight than the hang clean, you will be moving through a wider range of motion. Your posterior chain will be more engaged in the fist pull, which is basically a deadlift. To get the weight up to the front rack, you will forcefully go into the clean. This variation is great for weightlifters as it allows them to increase their strength and timing for the clean & jab.

Power Clean Vs. Hang Clean – Performance Differences

Although power and clean are very similar, they have different effects on certain aspects of performance. We’ll be discussing five performance differences below so you can choose which exercise to do.

Rate of force development

Hang Clean: The hang clean eliminates momentum in the first phase of generating force. To lift weight, the hips are where the weight begins. The lifter must generate extreme hip drive in order to increase the weight. Even if you return to traditional cleans, your new, stronger hip drive power will continue, making you a more powerful lifter in the second part of the clean.

Power Clean: This clean increases force production during the entire movement. The lifter must first drive the weight off the floor, then drive it up to a position on the front rack. You will become stronger off the ground and at the front rack.

Tie: Winner (it all depends on your focus and weak points).

Drawing Strength

Hang Clean: This strengthens the second pull from the hips to front rack position. It has no effect on the first pull, as that part of the exercise is not included.

Power Clean: This clean covers all phases of pulling and encourages aggression and timing to maximize bar height. These factors can often result in smoother transitions between the first pull and the second pull than the hang clean.

Power Clean is the winner

Transitioning into Full Cleans

Hang Clean: Some lifters struggle to transition into a clean. This could be due to poor timing, finishing the pull, lack of confidence or finding a safe front rack position. Hang cleans are a great way to improve your timing. The lifter can focus only on the clean because they have a smaller ROM. They should be able to drive the bar into the front rack position with some practice.

Power Clean: While the power clean is essential for learning the full clean and jerk, it’s not as effective in improving the clean portion. There are just too many moving parts. It can be difficult to concentrate on the clean while also doing deadlifting or driving up from this position. The hang clean is the best way to learn the clean.

Winner: Hang Clean

Clean Strength

Hang Clean: A more skilled puller will typically be able to handle 90% of their one rep max for the clean. Each move will help strengthen your clean. It all comes down to what you are weak in. If you have difficulty completing the second pull, you should focus on your hang clean.

Power Clean: Most lifters can handle slightly less weight during a power clean (85 to 90% of their one rep max). Your overall clean may be heavier than your power cleanse. This could indicate weak pulling strength. The power clean is a good option.

Winner: Tie

Timing the Clean

Hang Clean: Although the clean is multifaceted, the hang clean focuses only on the two main components of the clean. The second pull and the squat are the most important. The hang clean will improve your ability to do these two movements, but it won’t be as effective in improving overall timing and clean ability.

The Power Clean: This is the most effective method. Because you are working on more aspects of the overall clean. You must master the deadlift and clean to be able to do the power clean. Although it is not traditional, you can add the squat to your power clean (though you will need to reduce the weight of the barbell).

Power Clean is the winner


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