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F 09-15-2003 04:15 AM

I think I know what a hang-clean is...body upright, arms straight with bar on upper thighs, explosively drive the bar up, minimal body-dip, bar arrives in the rack position.

But what's the difference between a clean and a power clean? I understand the "clean" as described in the July CFJ, but power cleans are still a mystery.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Chris Doughty 09-15-2003 06:17 AM

You're right about the hang-clean - the lift starts with the bar around the thighs. Without the "hang" it's supposed to start on the floor.

My take on the "power clean" is that it involves making the catch with a minimal dip of the body. A regular "clean" is catching the weight in a full squat and then performing a front squat to get back to the standing position.

Michael Cooley 09-15-2003 08:35 AM

To clarify a bit, F, you're correct re the starting point for a hang clean, but you drop all the way down to catch it. Minimal dip would be a hang power clean. The key distinction is power vs. squat versions of the lift. Power cleans are caught with minimal dip (the standard is anything caught high enough that your thighs never break parallel, but you don't want to drop nearly that low to catch a power clean). Squat cleans go all the way down. Therefore, a hang clean starts from the "hang" and goes all the way down. Power cleans are caught higher.

The following depends on your specific training goals, but generally speaking, hang cleans are beneficial (at least to O-lifters) for training and developing speed under the bar. Power cleans are beneficial to O-lifters (and particularly to non O-lifters) for developing power generation from the floor.

If you're looking to develop your pulling power, your best bet would probably be powercleans from the floor. Hang power cleans won't permit you to use as much weight, and you'll be pulling through a much shorter range of motion. Hang cleans, frankly, aren't much good to a non O-lifter, as their main benefit is in teaching the lifter to drop under the bar as fast as possible.


Lincoln Brigham 09-15-2003 08:51 AM

The downside to power cleans is that if you learn power cleans first and then 'specialize' on them, it becomes almost impossible to learn squat cleans later. On the other hand, if you learn squat cleans first, learning power cleans later are a no-brainer.

F 09-15-2003 01:36 PM

Crystal clear! Thanks!

David Wood 09-15-2003 06:40 PM

I'll vouch for what Lincoln says. Being completely ignorant, the only cleans I learned were "power cleans" . . . I didn't even know about doing them any other way. Frankly, it's easier (for me) to do the clean with only a minimal body dip.

A couple of weeks ago, the WOD asked for multiple sets of 21 "squat cleans" . . . done real deep. To someone who had only trained in power cleans previously (e.g., me), they were very, very difficult, and a hell of a workout.


Per Nyberg 09-17-2003 01:58 AM

I have limited mobility in my left foot caused by a injury when I played football (yes we have american football here in Sweden to ;-) ). So I have problems doing cleans (power cleans work fine). Do any of you have the same problem and if so, how did you do to be able to do cleans?

Robert Wolf 09-17-2003 09:49 AM


Really start working your front and everhead squats to help return mobility to your foot. It will take time but you should be able to improve your range of motion.

Brad Hirakawa 09-17-2003 02:27 PM

Is it okay to squat deep during the catch phase of the squat-clean? I've noticed that often, notably when fatigue sets in, I end up squatting down until my *** almost hits the floor.

Thanks in advance.

Lincoln Brigham 09-17-2003 08:03 PM

Heck yes, it's okay.

At the gym I belong to, we discourage power cleans. We want them to squat clean instead. We figure if they learn squat cleans first they can always learn to power clean later. But if they learn power cleans first, you've gotta pay the devil to get them to learn squat cleans. So we tell them that if they accidentally power clean a weight, they have to squat the bar down all the way anyway.

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