Clean (Squat Clean) Exercise

Clean is a powerful exercise that targets the posterior chain of the lower back, hamstrings and gluteus muscles with secondary emphasis on the lats, upper back, rear shoulders and traps.

The Clean which requires you to catch the weight then assume the bottom position of the Squat also builds your quadriceps muscles.

This is a movement which builds muscle size, explosive power and coordination.

Clean (Squat Clean) Progression & Mobility

  • Assume the bottom position of the Deadlift; overhand grip, feet hip width apart and in a neutral position, hips down, shoulders above the hips and knees in front of the bar.
  • Initiate the movement by driving through your heels; at the point where the bar is below your knees shins are in a vertical position, hips are still behind the shoulders.
  • When the bar attains knee level height, explode by jumping, driving with the hips and throwing the bar up and catching it with your shoulders. Allow the momentum of the bar to bring you to the bottom position of the squat.
  • At the bottom position, your hips should be lower than your knees and behind your shoulders. Your elbows remain upright and parallel to the floor.
  • Squat up by driving through your heels; extending your knees then hips until you attain upright top position.
  • Bring the bar down and repeat the movement until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Faults, Form and Technique

Common mistakes in the Clean include starting the movement with straight legs almost like a Stiff Leg Deadlift or with a round back.

Both of these positions will place more pressure on the lower back.

During the catch, common mistakes include muscling up the weight using the strength of the arms which slows down the movement.

Another one is when you drop to the squat position with your shoulders too far forward. This will make you lose balance.

Variations: Hang Power Clean, Dumbbell Power Clean

How To Do A Clean (Squat Clean)