How to: The Power Clean

Firstly, what actually it is?

The Power Clean is a well-known and very popular olympic weightlifting exercise which consists of lifting the bar from the ground to a front rack position on your shoulders with your hips being above parallel.

Secondly, why do we perform it?

There are various reasons why you should perform this exercise but the main one, in my opinion, would be to increase power (speed and strength). Athletes should be looking to add this into there training as power is the key element that every athlete needs.

How do I perform a Power Clean with good technique?

When performing a Power Clean there are some key points to consider:

  • The bar should be above the bridge of your foot.
  • Shins should be away from the bar, continue to lower your bum down until balanced.
  • Place feet in a comfortable position but not wider then squat stance and not together either.
  • Keep your back straight and tight.
  • Keep your shoulders over/above the bar

Observe in the images below, firstly bad starting position (image 1) vs good starting position (image 2)


The movement should consist of a 3 part pull:

  1. Pull the bar up to knee level, keeping your back and hips in the same position as the initial position adopted.
  2. Explosively drive the hips forward and pull the bar up, performing a jump-like motion (the main cue for this part of the exercise being “jump”)
  3. When the bar reaches hip level, try and hit triple extension by coming up onto your toes. Note that whilst pulling this you also try and pull the bar up with your shoulders and arms. Once completed the above, move  your feet into your squat position to catch the bar.

It’s important to remember that the bar should move in a straight line until it hits your shoulders in the front rack position.

In my time as a personal trainer, I have seen many variations of the Power Clean, both good and bad and the most common mistakes that need to be avoided are:

  • Starting in a position with bent back
  • Pulling too fast from the floor
  • Not pulling your hips forward
  • Changing the direction of back angle during the first pull
  • Not reaching 3 pull.

Below a video of how the Power Clean should be performed. Why not try filming yourself during this exercise and compare to this article to give yourself feedback and improve? Of course, if you would like any further advice, please do not hesitate to book in a session with me and I can help coach you through your technique.

With much love,

Richard Turner,
Exercise Specialist,
Better Body Group Sevenoaks

By | 2017-07-19T07:47:20+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Blog, Richard Turner’s Posts|0 Comments