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Power Clean : Form?


I'm using Chad Waterbury's Strength-focused mesocycle.

On days 5/12/18/26 he prescribes powercleans.

I have never done this exercise so I looked for some videos :
- http://www.uwlax.edu/strengthcenter/videos/exercisevideos/Power%20Clean.mpg
- http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/cfj-nov-05/power-clean.wmv

The problem is that to me they look pretty different.

Is there any significant difference between the the two ? Or am I overanalysing ?


There is no doubt, go for the Crossfit video form.

She has perfect form all the way.


The girl in the second video has far better technique than guy in the first one. His main flaw is his rounded back and high hips in the starting position. I also don't like how he doesn't actually catch the weight on the first rep.

She looks like a weightlifter, or at least an athlete who has had training from one. Use her if you want something to copy/compare yourself to.


In the second video, Sage I think, is Mike Burgener's daughter. Burgener is a very experienced weightlifting coach. I would try to duplicate her form and look for the rest of Burgener's videos especially his warm-up video.


Well that was quick.

Everybody thinks that the girl on the second video has better form.

Good, because she's a lot better looking than the guy on the other video :wink:



The first guy was very bad. Rounded back, not enough shrug, not enough jump.

A lot of people complain that the power clean is a complicated lift and is dangerous. If you find a good coach, and you have some experience under your belt, you can learn the correct way to do it relatively quickly.

Basically, it doesn't get anymore complicated than this:

  1. Get in a deadlift position
  2. Explode up (you need to JUMP) and simultaneously shrug your shoulders up explosively.

You literally will jump and your feet will leave the ground. When you get the bar in the air after the jump, you should quickly shoot down under it to a front squat position, then stand up. The lift is now complete.


The girl's form is better than the guy's. The guy's form is one of the worst I have ever seen. I am going to challenge the girl's form. I do not like how high she catches it, she doesn't get underneath it and her catch is not smooth at all. Her elbows do not explode up and the bar almost bounces on her clavicle. Just my opinion, but I would go with the girl.


That girl looks kind of pissed. She gives the camera a "I'm fucking tired" look. Good form, though.


She has excellent form, go with the girl as the others have said. The guy's form is crap.

One thing to emphasize that wasn't really mentioned in the vid - the entire purpose of the first pull is to set up the second pull, not to generate speed. Notice that the bar's actually moving pretty slowly until it gets to around the knee, then quickly accelerates. This can seem like a small thing, but it makes a huge difference.



The guy does clean terribly. The only thing video should be used for is as a demonstration of some of the most common mistakes made when cleaning; e.g. rounded back, slow execution, not racking properly etc.

And no, a pot belly is not a prerequisite for cleans.

While the girl in the second video cleans far better, her execution is not perfect, as a poster pointed out above. Note also how she stumbles backward after her second clean -- that's a no-no.

I am sure she can execute better than shown in that video, but I am surprised they did not edit it.


I definitely agree with the statement about the guy...his form sucks. Seems like he doesn't have the flexibility to sit deep and keep his back straight.

The lady does have better form. She catches the weight high because the weight is light and therefore she doesn't have to catch it in a squat clean. The bar does bounce a bit on her collarbone because she didn't get the timing right. Seems like she bent her arms a bit on the pull, but not really a big deal.


That's true. Definitely not a happy camper.


I think I have pretty good form in this vid. Sorry about the big file and the sideways angle. Please feel free to critique the vid though.



Not bad krollmonster. The only thing i'd suggest is that your squat is very fwd, when I squat to catch it's a smaller movement but completely in the backwards plane, just like a regular squat.

I also like to stand for a few seconds in the top position, keeping my body as tight as possible, but that's just me.

But nice work and good weight!


Check this site at Ball State. It has a lot of great videos of hundreds of exercises including the Olympic lifts


Good luck


Do you clean with OL shoes? The high heel in OL shoes tilts your body forwards a bit and your knees come forward more. It isn't a problem though. I can get into a deep squat clean position if I have to.


Good site for lifting, but isn't really that good for the OL. A good place to start, just he has some technique issues that shouldn't be copied.

On snatches and cleans he lifts his feet way too high off the floor. He also shouldn't be kicking his feet back in the air like he does.

On the jerks, on his rear foot, he lets his heel hit the floor. Also, when he recovers from the split jerk, he steps with his rear foot first. This is common when someone jerks the bar too forward instead of straight up. The recovery should be the front foot stepping back first, then bringing the rear foot forwards.

I would like to see his technique when the weight isn't so light.


great, before i started Oly lifts, i probably watched that guy in the ulaw.edu lifts 100x for each movement...i guess that explains alot...

please give me my last 3 months back bearded man