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Olympic Lift - Power Clean

The Olympic Lifts are recommended exercises for inclusion in power and speed training programs. The objective of these exercises is to develop the large muscles of the body in an explosive action that requires the use of many joints and muscle groups in a coordinated movement. The Olympic Lifts comprise of the Clean & Jerk and the Snatch. The Power Snatch and Power Clean are auxiliary lifts that aid in the training of the Clean & Jerk and the Snatch.

The checklist is adapted from Pauletto (1991)[1].

  • Bar loaded evenly, collars in place and secure
  • Feet flat on the floor and approximately shoulder width apart
  • Bar touching shins
  • Arms locked, regular grip, thumbs around bar
  • Back straight
  • Head facing forward
  • Thighs parallel to floor
  • Shoulders over bar
  • Athlete inhales and holds breath
  • Easy pull off the floor (1)
  • Bar comes up straight (not around knees)
  • Knees move back
  • Bar stays close to the body
  • Bar passes the knees
  • Knees move back under the bar
  • Bar touching top of thighs
  • Back tight, arms straight
  • Body extends fully, athlete up onto the toes
  • Traps are shrugged to elevate the bar (2)
  • Continued upward pull by pulling with the arms (3)
  • Weight racked across the top of the shoulders (4)
  • Elbows point out and high
  • Feet spread slightly to the side
  • Athlete stands up, under control
  • Athlete exhales while lowering the bar to the start position
  • Bar lowered under control to top of thighs
  • Bends at the knees and hips to lower the bar to the floor
Power clean
(1) Start Position
Power Clean
Power Clean
Power Clean
(4) End Position

Referenced Material

  1. PAULETTO, B. (1991) Strength Training for Coaches. USA; Human Kinetics

Associated References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • COMFORT, P. (2013) Within-and between-session reliability of power, force, and rate of force development during the power clean. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research27 (5), p. 1210-1214
  • Comfort, P. et al. (2011). Comparisons of peak ground reaction force and rate of force development during variations of the power clean. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research25 (5), p. 1235-1239
  • KAUHANEN, H. et al. (1984) A biomechanical analysis of the snatch and clean & jerk techniques of Finnish elite and district level weightlifters. Scandinavian Journal of Sport Sciences6, p. 47-56

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (1997) Olympic Lift - Power Clean [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: