The Clean – The Key Movements

Here are the basic movements/ positions you need to be mastering in order to make your Clean as effective as possible. The key positions are; the first pull, the second pull and the receiving position. It's worth noting that this is a very basic guide but will help you understand what is required at each key stage of the lift.

The First Pull

Taking the bar from the floor to your hips.

​- Shoulders over the bar

- Using just your legs from the floor​

- Head up

- Back tight and flat​

- Arms straight​

- Feet hip width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards​

The Second Pull

Taking the bar from the hips (hip explosion) to a full body extension.

Pre hip drive

​- Shoulders over the bar

​- Arms straight

​- Hips ready to make contact with the bar

Post hip drive

​- Arms pulling upwards

- Shoulders shrugged

​- Full extension of the body

- On to toes

The Receiving Position

Catching the bar in the squatting position.

- Head up

- Chest up and slightly forward

- Elbows up

- Knees over feet, feet shoulder width apart

- Squeezing your glutes and driving up

End of the Clean. Ready for the Jerk.

Take a look through our next post, The Jerk for a similar break down of the key positions. The Jerk naturally follows on from the Clean. There must be a pause, no matter how small, between the Clean and the Jerk as they are two separate lifts!

Pictures: Jack Oliver, London 2012 Olympian from the 2015 IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) World Championships.

Thank you for reading.