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Olympic Lift - Power Clean

The Olympic Lifts are recommended exercises for inclusion in power and speed training programs. These exercises' objective is to develop the body's large muscles in an explosive action that requires the use of many joints and muscle groups in a coordinated movement. The Olympic Lifts comprise 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 the bar
  • Back straight
  • Head facing forward
  • Thighs parallel to the floor
  • Shoulders over bar
  • Athlete inhales and holds breath
  • Easy pull off the floor (1)
  • The 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
  • The body extends fully, the 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
  • The athlete stands up, under control
  • The athlete exhales while lowering the bar to the start position
  • Bar lowered under control to the 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


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

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

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