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Hang Clean Question

Hi Guys,

I have a question concerning the Hang Clean. I always used to do Cleans from the ground (And I don’t think I am gonna stop them as I love them to much), but after the “Strong Athlete, Zero Injuries”-Article, I thought I give the Hang Clean a try…

And I was surprised how much less weight I could handle. (From the ground: 220lbs x 2, From Hang: 155lbs x 3 [the higher rep is because I could feel that I shouldn’t go up in weight])

Now my question: Is the difference just related to learning the technique of the exercise (effeciency of the CNS), or is the discrepancy realated to a particular weakness that was covered up by the additional drive from the ground?
Or is that normal?

If it is a weakness, how could I address it? (Supplementary Exercises?)

Thanks for taking the time to answer this.


Part of the reason could be that you are new to the exercise. Much of the reason is that you are performing a partial movement compared with a full clean. You didn’t say whether you normally perform power cleans or squat cleans, but most people won’t (don’t) do a hang squat clean. The lack of depth on the catch is what really inhibits people in regards to weight used.

I normally perform Power Cleans. Regarding the being new to the exercise, should I start with lower weights and higher reps to get used to it, or what would be a good approach?

[quote]Eisenbeisser wrote:
I normally perform Power Cleans. Regarding the being new to the exercise, should I start with lower weights and higher reps to get used to it, or what would be a good approach?


hang cleans and power cleans are more about the combination of speed and perfect technique than anything else. definitely lighter weights , focus on your technique and get as fast as possible. you will never get faster if the weight is too high nor will you be able to perform a repeatable technique. and if you aren’t fast with solid form the ultimate weight you’ll be able to move will be limited. alot.

watch that dimas video.
in the c&j workout there’s one part where he power cleans 140kg and then immediately hang cleans it.(2:09-2:16) i’ve seen people who can’t hang clean the bar alone as fast and perfectly as he does w/ 308lbs.

start working with whatever weight allows you to move that quickly and smoothly. then slowly add weight, maybe 5kg at a time, while maintaining technique.

You should start off with a lighter weight, somewhere in between 50-60% of your clean from the floor, and work in sets of no more than 6 reps.

Thanks for all the answers guys, and that Video is awesome, the bar speed is incredible!

Do you have the same differences in the numbers of the power clean and the hang clean as well? Is there maybe something like a ratio? Just curious.

I will try to perfect the technique and slowly move up in the weight.
I was wondering if I shouldn’t do the power Clean for a while and concentrate more on the Hang Clean.

There definitely is a difference, because the full clean will gain as much momentum as possible from the floor.

The better your technique gets, however, the smaller that strength gap between the two lifts will be. This is because you are learning to maximize the explosiveness in your clean, which comes at the top portion of the lift; the portion performed during a hang clean.

I definitely think its a good idea to do hang cleans instead of power cleans for a cycle every now and then. It really helps improve that top explosiveness. I’ve also found that it hits your traps a bit harder than full cleans do, because you’re also learning to contribute more to the explosiveness with your traps.

As for a ratio, I don’t know of a standard one, I guess because hang cleans aren’t ever really competed in. I know for myself, I’ve been doing both full and hang cleans seriously for about 13 years. My peak level of effort in a workout for hang cleans is about 10% lower weight than my peak effort full clean. Now I don’t mean max effort, like a full clean competition lift or anything, I mean just my highest weight used in a 6x2 workout.