There is no true substitute for the Power Clean. However, if you are unable to perform this exercise, alternatives exist that can offer similar benefits.
The Power Clean works a triple extension of the hip, knee and ankle, the same movement pattern you use when you jump, sprint, tackle or perform a variety of other sports skills. The faster and more explosive you are able to triple extend, the better athlete you will become.
However, there are several reasons why you might not be able to use the Power Clean. It is not the simplest exercise to perform, and if you haven’t learned the proper technique, you should not attempt it. Also, you need a facility that has bumper plates—and one that has not banned the movement due to its perceived danger.
If the Power Clean is not in your repertoire, or you aren’t in a location where it can be performed, try one of these three alternatives. They all work a similar movement pattern.
Weighted Box Jumps
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart about 18 inches in front of a knee-high box, and hold dumbbells at your sides.
- Sit your hips back and bend your knees while swinging your arms behind your body.
- Explosively extend your hips, knee and ankles, and swing your arms forward to jump up onto the box.
- Land softly on the box with a slight bend in your knees and hips.
- Step off the box, and repeat for the specified number of reps.
Note: Always use a box height you are comfortable with. If you feel a box may be too high, select a lower height.
Overhead Med Ball Throws
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold med ball at chest height with your arms fully extended.
- Lower into a semi-squat while bringing the med ball between your legs.
- Explosively extend your hips, knees and ankles to jump out of the squat and throw the med ball overhead.
- Catch the med ball off the bounce, and repeat for the specified number of reps.
- Squat down and get a solid grip with your hands under the tire.
- Drive through your heels, extending your hips, knees and ankles.
- Forcefully shrug your shoulders and catch the tire at shoulder level.
- Keep forward momentum and push through with your arms to flip the tire.
- Repeat in the opposite direction, and continue for the specified number of reps.
Sets/Reps: 3×4 each direction
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Author’s Note: Buffalo Bills running back Kendall Gaskins demonstrated the exercises shown in the photos.