Log In
Challenge-banner Challenge-banner-mobile

Time to Clean Up

Learn the REAL difference between cleans, power cleans, and hang cleans

Time to Clean Up

Cleans. Power cleans. Hang cleans.

What's similar about these exercises is that they are ALL great for building explosive power in the legs, back, arms and shoulders. But do you know what the differences are between them? Don't worry if you don't.

In fact, most trainers and strength coaches don't know either.

Many think that they are all the same thing and the names can be used interchangeably. Much like some use the term triceps pressdowns, while some use the term triceps pushdowns, and others use triceps cable extensions to name the same exact exercise. But unlike the triceps pressdown: or pushdown, cleans, power cleans, and hang cleans are all different variations of the clean and NOT the same exercise.

Let's start with the CLEAN.

The exercise known as the clean, whether it's done with a barbell or with dumbbells, is done with the weight starting on the floor. You explosively pull the weight up off the floor and immediately drop down into a full squat catching the weight on top of your shoulders. Then you stand up with the weight into a fully upright position. A good example of this exercise is when you watch Olympic lifters perform the clean and jerk. The first half of the exercise is the clean. Once they have the barbell on the front of their shoulders, they perform the jerk to lift the barbell overhead. A clean would involve doing the first half of this exercise and then lowering or dropping the weight (only drop if you are using bumper plates) back to the floor.

To see me perform the dumbbell clean, as well as the barbell clean, click on the link below:


Next let's discuss the POWER CLEAN.

The proper way to do the power clean is with the weight starting down on the floor, just like with the clean. The start position between the clean and the power clean are the same. But that's where their similarities end. To do the power clean, and again this is with either a barbell or with dumbbells, you explosively pull the weight off of the floor right up to shoulder height. You do not drop down into a full squat like with cleans, but you do dip down a bit with your legs to catch the bar on the shoulders and then stand straight up. The most you will dip down on the power clean is into a ¼ squat or maybe a ½ squat at most. Once the weight is on your shoulders and you are standing fully upright you lower or drop the weight back to the floor. So the use of the word "POWER" in power clean means it is NOT a full clean where you drop into a full squat, but instead pull the weight straight up to the shoulders in one fell swoop.

And finally let's cover the HANG CLEAN.

The use of the word HANG in hang clean refers to the fact that the weight does

... Subscribe to read more!

Train With Dr. Stoppani

Related Articles