power clean benefits

6 Power Clean Benefits

Power clean benefits include the ability to develop explosive strength, build muscle mass and that’s just the beginning! This page explains exactly what this full body exercise has to offer.

But first, it’s important to note that power cleans are a little tricky to get the hang of. So I strongly advise you to study how to do power cleans and read these power clean tips, in order to safely achieve the benefits.

Power Clean Benefits. The advantages of this lift include the following:

  1. Muscle Development. Power cleans are technically considered a shoulder exercise, but they do more than build up your deltoids. They hit your posterior chain hard, giving you well-developed muscles in the legs including the calves, glutes, and hamstrings. The power clean technique also targets the muscles in the lower and upper back and traps.
  2. Explosive Power. If you are looking for weight lifting exercises that improve explosiveness quickly, then look no further. The 1st pull portion of the power clean motion builds explosiveness rapidly. The rest of the motion also builds general strength and speed, which equates to yet more power and explosive potential.
  3. Burn Body Fat. Power cleans are tremendously effective in burning calories and body fat, which helps you achieve a lean physique including impressive muscle definition and size. That said, power cleans are best performed for low reps. High reps inevitably leads to quickly deteriorating form.
  4. Great for Athletes and Trainees. The initial phase of the power clean, which mimics the first half of the deadlift, requires intense muscle contractions. This trains your explosiveness from the ground, which helps in any fast paced sport with running or jumping, such as football, soccer or basketball. The second part of the power clean motion (the scoop, 2nd pull and catch) is extremely useful for athletes who need to move quickly on their feet.
  5. Bone-Shattering Grip Strength. Since the exercise requires you to hold onto heavy weights at high velocities, you can greatly improve your grip strength.
  6. A Full Body Workout. This Olympic-style exercise requires the coordination of every muscle group in the body. In time, the exercise adds muscle density and functional strength over your entire body (with an emphasis on the shoulders and posterior chain – traps, back, glutes, hams, calves).

So whether you are looking for a highly effective sport-specific exercise or just another great exercise to add to your weight lifting arsenal, you simply cannot go wrong with the power clean.

About the Author Alex

Hey! My name is Alex, and I'm the owner and author of King of the Gym. I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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2 comments
Mariah Cooney says September 8, 2016

In the last 50 years weight training has become increasingly popular. Currently all professional and college athletes participate in some type of strength and conditioning training. Even most high school athletic programs have a strength and conditioning program that their athletes participate in. The increase in popularity has resulted in an increase on research and knowledge about strength and conditioning. There are new studies and statistics that are released daily. Today many of the lifts that are found in every strength and conditioning program are outdated. Strength and conditioning programs are starting to fall behind the research.

Each sport has individual movements that should require a specific set of lifts that correlate directly to that sport. Think of it this way, if students go to a math class to learn about math all semester and are given a reading exam at the end of the year it is unlikely that the students will be successful. The same goes for weight training. It is important to teach to the test. More specifically the power clean is an Olympic style lift that many programs teach because it “practices explosiveness.” What movements from a power clean translate to any sport? Power cleans are most often practiced by football teams. However, studies have shown since the 1960’s that the power clean is a very dangerous lift. The power clean does not replicate any movements that are found in athletics and the momentum used to perform the lift result in an increased amount of injuries.

Lifts done with momentum are not as hard or effective as lifts that are done with slow controlled movement. A power clean is a movement that requires momentum to perform the lift. Compare a strict pull up in comparison to a pull up performed with the swing of ones legs. The strict pull up isolates the muscles requiring a greater amount of strength. Similar comparison can be made to a power clean. Other lifts can be substituted that use slow controlled movements are not only safer but also more effective on strengthening the same muscles.

Momentum based lifts are uncontrolled movements that result in many injuries. The heavier amount of weight that is lifted the increased risk of injury and severity of injury. In conclusion power cleans put athletes of all ages at risk. In this case the risk is greater than the reward. There are many other lifts that can isolate the same muscles for more effective results at a much lesser risk.

Reply
    Alex says September 20, 2016

    Mariah, wow, that was quite the post! Very thorough and a well thought out viewpoint. It’s great to hear the argument against power cleans (and other momentum-based lifts).

    I certainly agree that it’s not necessary for most people–And if someone wants to learn it, they should do so intelligently, slowly and gradually with light weight, and (if at all possible) with the help of a skilled coach.

    Best,
    Alex

    Reply
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