Benefits of the power clean

The power clean is, for the regular gym goer, probably the most versatile and accessible of the olympic lifts. Putting in the time to learn this movement correctly will pay off with improvements in body composition, strength and power.

 

What is a power clean?

A power clean is a full-body movement in which the bar is lifted fast and explosively from the floor to a racked position on the front of the shoulders.

The power clean develops power, which will make you run faster, jump further and higher and lift more weight, faster. The movement also improves coordination and burn loads of energy.

So it’s no surprise that the power clean is extensively used by athletes, but it also has applications for fitness and fat loss. Its many benefits include:

  1. It’s a full body exercise so has a strong cardio effect, meaning that it will get you out of breath! It is one of the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ lifts for a cardio hit.
  2. The power clean develops explosive power, required in a wide range of athletic activities. If your sport involves sprinting, jumping, throwing, hitting or lifting, you need power.
  3. The movement improves fitness for daily life: the ability to lift a load from the ground to your shoulders in one powerful movement is very useful.
  4. People with office or sedentary jobs often have weak glutes and hamstrings, and the power clean is an excellent developer of these muscles.
  5. Moreover, if you run or cycle regularly, you probably have overactive quads (the front of your thigh), so you need more hamstring/glute work to balance this out. The power clean can be used for this purpose. It’ll also give you extra sprinting power at the end of a long race.
  6. The power clean improves muscle fibre recruitment and specifically targets the ‘hard to reach’ type 2B fast twitch fibres, which are the biggest and strongest muscle fibres but also the most difficult to enervate.
  7. The power clean improves whole body coordination and motor control, as there is a lot going on in the movement: several joints and muscle groups all moving in a coordinated manner under load.
  8. The power clean is fun to learn and fun to perform. Your body will benefit from the new challenge.

The best way to learn the power clean is to get some instruction from an experienced coach or personal trainer as the movement is quite technical and the better you can perform it, the more beneficial it will be for your goals.

 

By Sally Moss, UP Personal Trainer.

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