The Muscle Clean

This is the first step in learning the correct technique for a proper Clean.

  • Have the athlete find their correct grip, reinforcing utilizing a hook grip
  • The athlete will maintain an upright torso, hinging slightly at the knee and hip joints, leaving arms long, but lats engaged
  • Reinforcing this position with a pause to correct torso, knee or hip angles can lead to better execution later in the movement
  • Once Position 1 has been established, cue the athlete to violently extend knees and hips without jumping off the ground to their rack position.
    • This reinforces an aggressive triple extension in the 2nd pull of the movement, and can translate to a better understanding of timing and when to extend the knees and hips together.  This is a very common problem with inexperienced lifters, so this exercise can help athletes understand the timing and full extension of the 2nd pull.
    • Ensure that the athlete keeps the bar as close as possible, shrugging up and letting the bar float until pulling into the rack position is necessary.  This feeling is often uncomfortable or foreign to new lifters, so this can help them experience it.
    • Cueing “push through the floor” can allow athletes to create more force when extending the bar.  Because the first pull is eliminated in the muscle variations, athletes must feel the entire push in order to move the bar.  If they lack this push, they’ll end up using their arms too much which will ultimately lead to other issues.

To progress this exercise add a front squat after the Muscle Clean.