Power Clean (Hamstrings) – Exercise Guide

Muscles worked: Hamstrings

Equipment needed: Barbell


Tip: The Power Clean is an advanced exercise and requires the execution of many phases.

Phase 1: Starting Position

1. Stand with a shoulder-wide stance with the barbell 1-2 inches away from your shins.

2. Squat down and grasp the barbell with a pronated (palms facing your shins) grip which is slightly wider than shoulder-wide.

3. Your arms should be outside the knees, and the elbows should be fully extended.

4. Your back should be flat or slightly arched, back retracted, chest held up and your head in a neutral position (facing forward). Breathe in during this phase.

Phase 2: First Pull Phase

1. Lift the bar off the floor by forcefully extending the hips and knees as you exhale.

2. Don’t bend at the waist or let the hips rise before the shoulders. The upper torso should remain at the same angle.

3. Keep the shoulders over the bar, elbows fully extended with your head in a neutral position.

4. As you lift the bar, keep it as close to the shins as possible.

Phase 3: Transition Phase

1. As the barbell passes the knees, thrust your hips forward and bend the knees so that they don’t lock.

2. While holding your breath, keep your back flat or slightly arched, elbows fully extended and your head in a neutral position.

Phase 4: Second Pull Phase

1. As you inhale, forcefully and quickly extend your hips and knees and stand on your toes.

2. While keeping the bar as close to your body as possible, make sure your back is flat, and the elbows are pointing out to the sides, and the head is in a neutral position.

3. Exhale and shrug the barbell upwards forcefully when your lower body joints are fully extended, without letting the elbows flex.

4. As the barbell reaches the highest elevation, flex at your elbows to bring your body under the bar.

5. Continue pulling the bar as high and as long as possible.

6. Due to the explosive nature of this phase, your torso will be straight or slightly arched, your head will be tilted back and your feet might lose contact with the floor.

Phase 5: Catch Phase

1. As the bar reaches near maximal height and after the lower body has fully extended, pull your body under the bar and rotate the arms around and under the barbell.

2. Simultaneously, flex the hips and knees into a quarter squat position.

3. Once the arms are under the bar, lift your elbows to position the upper arms parallel to the floor while inhaling.

4. Rack the bar across your front shoulders and the collar bones.

5. Catch the barbell with a tight and erect torso, a neutral head position and flat feet. Exhale during this movement.

6. Stand up by extending the hips and knees to a fully erect position.

Phase 6: Downward Movement Phase

1. While breathing in, lower the bar gradually with a controlled descend to the thighs.

2. Simultaneously flex the hips and knees to cushion the impact of the bar on the thighs.

3. Squat down with the elbows fully extended until the barbell touches the floor.

4. Start over at Phase 1 and repeat for the recommended repetitions.

Alternate Exercises for Natural Glute Ham Raise

Clean and Press

Vidur Saini
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