John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletics professionals solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with...

Master the Hang Clean in 4 Steps

September 20, 2012 | John M. Cissik

Must See Strength Training Videos

Patrick Willis Strength Training Superset

Justin Verlander Strength Training

UNC Baseball: Upper Body Power Training

Coming Up

Patrick Willis Strength Training Superset

The Hang Clean can be complicated if not taught correctly. However, that's not an excuse to avoid the exercise, as it is one of the best ways to increase power.

I recommend performing Cleans from the hang position for two reasons:  it's easier to learn and safer to perform; and research shows that it produces the most power—so you get more bang for your buck with each rep.

Below are the four steps I use to teach the Power Clean. I've used this approach successfully with athletes in both individual and group settings.

Step 1: Learn the Initial Position

  • Stand up holding barbell with shoulder-width grip
  • Stick chest out and pull shoulders back; maintain this position throughout movement
  • Push hips back, keeping bar against body
  • Slide bar down body until it reaches middle of thighs; shift weight onto heels and position shoulders just in front of bar
  • This is the starting position

Step 2: Jump and Shrug

  • Assume starting position
  • Jump off ground and shrug shoulders; keep arms straight and bar close to body
  • Repeat four or five times, resetting after each attempt
  • Perform the same jump and shrug without feet leaving ground
  • Repeat four or five times, resetting after each attempt

Step 3: Learn the Receiving Position

  • Assume starting position
  • Perform upright row; keep elbows high
  • When bar reaches chest height, rotate elbows in a circular motion from above to beneath bar, until bar is resting on front of shoulders; upper arms should be parallel to ground

Note: If the barbell is causing wrist pain, the elbows are not high enough. Remember, this is a circular motion for the elbows. Most people get into trouble by trying to curl the barbell to their shoulders.

Step 4: Put it Together

  • Assume starting position
  • Jump and shrug without leaving the ground to propel bar upward; keep bar close to body
  • Relax arms as bar moves upward
  • When bar reaches chest height, drop into quarter-squat stance and receive bar on front of shoulders
  • Stand up and repeat for desired reps
Learn more about the benefits of Olympic Lifts.

Advertisement
John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletics professionals solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with...

Connect

Advertisement

Resources

Performance Center

Custom workouts and performance tracking

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be the fittest you ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

Varsity

High school sports community and content sharing

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes