Home / Movements / Clean


Why: In addition to strength and power, the clean requires speed, flexibility, coordination, accuracy, and balance. Only the snatch rivals the clean when it comes to functional barbell movements.

Set-Up: Start with your feet at a hip-width stance. Set your hands on the barbell so they are approximately one thumb’s distance from the hips. Grip the barbell with a hook grip. Brace your core.

Execution: Your hips and shoulders should rise at the same rate on the pull. Extend the hips and knees rapidly and fully. Shrug your shoulders and pull yourself under the bar. Receive the bar in the front rack position, at the bottom of the squat. Stand tall to reach full hip and knee extension at the top of the movement. Keep the bar in the racked position until your hips/knees have fully extended. (If the WOD calls for a “power clean,” receive the barbell in a ¼ squat or ½ squat position. If the WOD calls for a “muscle clean,” receive the barbell in an upright position. If the WOD calls for a “hang clean” or a “hang power clean,” begin the movement with the barbell anywhere above the knees.)

Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– The barbell starts on the floor (unless a “hang” position is required)
– Your hip crease drops below your knee crease at the bottom of the squat (unless a “power” or “muscle” clean is required)
– You reach full hip and knee extension at the top before bringing the bar back down to the ground
– In the front rack position, your elbows remain in front of the bar

Pro-Tip: The first pull of the clean (when you lift the bar from the ground to mid-thigh) should be a controlled, balanced pull. If you rip/yank the bar from the ground, you can shift your position and get off balance. The result will be a missed lift, especially if the weight is heavy.

Clean Scaling & Progressions

The Medicine-Ball Clean
Power Clean Progression (C)
Dumbbell Hang Power Clean
Instructional: Dumbbell Clean

Clean Warm-Ups

Great Barbell Clean Warm-up (WODprep Tutorial)

Clean Demos

The Clean
Movement Demo - The Power Clean
The Hang Clean
Dumbbell Power Clean (Exercises.com.au)