Hometips and tricksWhat's the Difference Between Power Cleans, Hang Cleans and Clean Pulls?

What’s the Difference Between Power Cleans, Hang Cleans and Clean Pulls?

Clean pulls, power cleans, and hang cleans are all explosive Olympic-type exercises that increase power in your legs and hips. Advanced lifters and athletes often include all three in their training programs. Each exercise offers different benefits and is slightly different in terms of their technique.

Hang Clean

To do the hang clean, you need to start with the barbell in front of your thighs. Standing straight up, hold the barbell in your hands with your arms extended to the side. Your hips and knees should be bent so the barbell is at your mid-thigh. Keep your arms straight and your shoulders above the barbell. To propel the barbell upward, extend your hips, knees, ankles, and ankles explosively. Continue to raise the bar with your arms and shrug your shoulders. Keep the bar close to your torso. As you lower into a squat, pull your body towards the bar. Slowly stand up after you have dropped to the lowest point in your squat.

Power Clean

The power clean is similar to the hang-clean, but the bar starts on the floor and not at your front thighs. This requires more flexion of your hips and knees in the beginning position. Place your feet under the barbell. With your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, grip the bar by holding your hands with both your fingers. Your arms should be straight. To propel the bar upward, extend your hips and knees. Once it reaches your knee, jump up and shrug your shoulders. To catch the bar at your shoulders, pull your body under it. Rotate your elbows so that your elbows are under the bar. Stand up and do a squat.

Clean Pull

Clean pulls are often used to train for power cleans and hang cleans. This exercise teaches you how to move the barbell upwards using force from your hips and legs. It can be done from either the power or hang position. The bar should be at your thighs. You can grip the bar slightly wider than your shoulders by holding your hands slightly higher than your shoulders. Push upwards, extending your hips and knees. You can simultaneously shrug and continue pushing the bar upward. Instead of pushing your body under the bar to catch the bar at your shoulders, instead land softly in a standing posture and let the barbell fall in front your thighs.

Every exercise has its benefits

Clean pulling is good for both beginners and those who are athletes or exercisers looking to reduce stress on their wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Clean pulls may be preferred by in-season football players if they feel their upper-body joint are sore from playing. The hang clean is the best choice if you are primarily interested building lower-body strength. It produces the most force and power in your hips. The only one of the three exercises that engages the stretch-shorten cycles is the power clean. This means that your muscles are active stretched before they contract. This is similar to the way your muscles work when jumping so power cleans might be best for athletes who play basketball, volleyball, or other types of jumping.

Lifting Tips

Whatever exercise you choose, do three sets of three to five reps. As you become proficient with the technique, start by using a broomstick. Then move to an unloaded dumbbell. Once you feel comfortable, choose a weight that forces you to use your hips and legs to lift the bar up. Three reps should be difficult depending on the weight.


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