Exercise Library

The Clean


The clean is one of two lifts tested in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting, where the athlete lifts the barbell from the ground to the shoulders.
The grip for the clean is slightly outside shoulder width, to get into the correct set up position from the floor the athlete starts standing with the bar in the “hang” position. From there, keeping a tight, engaged core, the athlete bows forward with the lats engaged and arms loose bending the knees and the hips moving back and down until the bar (with bumper plates either side) is on the floor. The weight should be even through the feet and the knees should be pushed out towards the forearms.
The head and eyes should be forward and the bar should be against the athlete’s shins.
To initiate the clean the athlete pushes against the floor with their legs to begin standing, they should maintain the same angle of the back until the bar reaches the mid to upper thigh; the arms remain straight and do not pull.
As the athlete comes to the mid or upper thigh they continue to push aggressively through the ground and extend their hips, this extension should create contact of the bar with the body. As the athlete reaches full extension the feet leave the floor and the athlete’s elbows pull up and to the side aggressively to move themselves under the moving bar. The elbows need to whip through quickly and the athlete should land in a full squat, ensuring to try and stand again as quickly as possible without the elbows dipping.


To move the bar from the ground to the shoulders, often in order to jerk the bar overhead.


The clean can be used in many various forms in the workouts. The weight can range from very light for high repetitions to 1 rm or very heavy for few lifts. It can be part of the clean and jerk or part of a complex. It is also used frequently in strength sessions and during barbell cycling sessions.


There are many variations of the clean in Crossfit including the hang clean, power clean, cleans from the blocks, paused cleans and clean pulls.

Posted: 13/07/2016 16:42:29 by Llara Romanowski | with 0 comments