Benchmark // Power Clean
The Power Clean. Sure it sounds cool, but what is it?
Proven to produce some of the highest forces a human body can create, this highly explosive movement pattern strengthens and produces explosive power throughout the posterior kinetic chain. An elite athlete can potentially produce 5,500 Watts of power in the Power Clean. That’s five times as much power produced as squatting and over eighteen times more than bench pressing (1). In one movement this lift specifically taxes large prime movers such as the quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, delts, and traps all while maintaining a supremely strong core contraction. As if that weren’t enough, the massively important spinal erectors and upper cervical extensors develop high levels of tensile resilience under explosive dynamic movement.
The reason those muscles are important is because they are the “nest egg” for your spine. In conjunction with other muscles groups they help you maintain tall posture, allow you to keep your head up while driving, and head rock like a madman when Zeppelin hits the radio. The essentials of life!!!
Power Clean How-to
1. Start in a Dead Lift position
2. Jump and aggressively shrug the bar up to the shoulders and spin the elbows upwards
3. Receive the bar in a front squat, complete the lift by returning to a standing position.
Wait, so why don’t we Power Clean all the time? Better yet, why can’t we Power Clean in EZIA class? Huh, coach? Come on tell me!!!
This movement taxes the nervous system system at an intensely high rate. Causing multiple large muscle groups to work in perfect symphony and creating multiple movements in mere seconds is very hard. It uses extreme amounts of coordinated power, is highly complex, and will eventually ‘fry the circuit’ sending the message if it’s done repetitively.
Aside from the physiological impact it takes on the body, the actual movement if done incorrectly can be very dangerous. Due to the fast movement of the bar and load moving so close to the body there is always the potential for injury. Regardless, we think that everyone should learn this move!
Want to jump higher to pull down that football or snag that rebound? How about adding an extra 50 yards to your drive?
Would you like to be able to ruck harder in rugby, sprint faster and farther then your competition, dominate tennis with an extra explosive serve?
Talk with your Coach about learning this lift! Your body, mind, and teammates will thank-you!
(1) John Grace is an Assistant Fitness Coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS. He is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and a USA Track & Field Level 1 Coach. As an Athletic Development Coach at Athletic Lab sport performance training center, he has coached high school to elite level athletes.