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How To Do Hang Power Clean: Muscles Worked, Benefits And Mistakes To Avoid

Achieving your athletic goals can be as simple as having a barbell and some weight plates. Today, we’ll introduce you to one of the most effective exercises – the Hang Power Clean! If you haven’t added this dynamic movement to your workout routine, it’s time to rethink your fitness strategy.

Throughout this article, we’ll be your guiding hand, showing you the ropes of the Hang Power Clean – from the proper technique and the muscles it targets, to the fantastic benefits it brings to your overall fitness. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or new to the world of weightlifting, mastering the correct form is essential for maximizing the potential of this exercise.

But that’s not all! We’ll also delve into the comparison between the hang clean and power clean variations, settling the debate on which one reigns supreme. So, let’s embark on this journey together and unveil the wonders of the Hang Power Clean, allowing you to power up your fitness game like never before!

What Is Hang Power Clean?

The hang power clean is a weightlifting exercise that involves lifting a barbell from the floor to the shoulders in a single, explosive movement. The exercise starts with the barbell hanging from the bar at the lifter’s hips. The lifter then pulls the barbell up to the shoulders, catching it in a front squat position.

The hang power clean is a more technical exercise than the hang clean, as the lifter has to generate more power to pull the barbell up to the shoulders. However, the hang power clean is also a more effective exercise for developing power and strength.

Studies have proved hang power clean to be effective at improve the athlete’s capability of power, and subsequently athletic performance which requires high power for skills such as jumping, sprinting.

How To Do Hang Power Clean

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform the Hang Power Clean:

  1. Set up the barbell with the desired weight and stand tall, holding it against your thighs. This is your starting position.
  2. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip, hands about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Engage your core and take a deep breath, bracing your midsection slightly.
  4. Begin the movement by slowly lowering the barbell below your knee line, slightly bending your legs.
  5. With explosive power, push your weight against the floor, extending your hips and legs vigorously while keeping the barbell close to your body.
  6. As the barbell rises, perform a shrug with your shoulders and catch the barbell in the front rack position.
  7. Receive the barbell on the front of your shoulders, bending your knees slightly.
  8. Fully extend your legs, performing a partial squat to complete the lift.
  9. Stand up on straight legs, maintaining control over the barbell.
  10. Lower the barbell in front of you with control.

Remember, in the Hang Power Clean, the barbell does not start touching the floor, and you won’t be required to perform a full squat after lifting the weight. Focus on explosive power and maintaining proper form throughout the movement. With practice, you can master this effective exercise and reap its benefits for improved athleticism and strength.

Hang Power Clean Muscles Worked

When performing the Hang Power Clean, you engage various muscle groups throughout your body, creating a full-body workout that builds strength and power. Let’s break down the muscles worked during this exercise:

  1. Quadriceps: Located in the front of your thigh, the quadriceps are responsible for extending the knee and aiding in lifting the barbell.
  2. Hamstrings: Found in the back of your thigh, the hamstrings flex the knee and assist in pulling the barbell upward.
  3. Glutes: Situated in your buttocks, the glutes extend the hip and play a crucial role in lifting the barbell.
  4. Lower back: The muscles in your lower back stabilize the spine and support the lifting of the barbell.
  5. Lats: The large muscles on your back, known as the lats, help pull the barbell upward and maintain an upright body position.
  6. Trapezius: Running across your upper back, the trapezius muscles are responsible for shrugging your shoulders and stabilizing the shoulder girdle during the lift.
  7. Biceps: Located in the front of your upper arm, the biceps flex the elbow and aid in catching the barbell.
  8. Forearms: Your forearms play a critical role in gripping the barbell and stabilizing the weight throughout the movement.

In addition to working these primary muscle groups, the Hang Power Clean also engages your mid-section, including the core muscles. As a result, this exercise enhances coordination, balance, and overall athleticism.

Hang Power Clean Benefits

The Hang Power Clean, being a simplified version of the clean and power clean, offers a range of benefits for athletes at different levels of expertise. For beginners, it serves as an excellent introduction to Olympic weightlifting, as it eliminates the need for a full squat or lifting from the floor, making it easier to grasp the basics of the movement.

How To Do Hang Power Clean: Muscles Worked, Benefits And Mistakes To Avoid

Advanced athletes, on the other hand, can utilize the Hang Power Clean to refine their power clean technique, allowing them to develop a better understanding of the correct contact points during the movement. By shortening the range of motion, this exercise enhances explosiveness and the ability to generate force and power more rapidly.

Moreover, athletes with mobility issues, especially taller individuals, can benefit from the Hang Power Clean as it provides an alternative for working the targeted muscles while accommodating their specific needs.

When it comes to the overall advantages of the Hang Power Clean, the list is impressive:

  1. Improved Power and Strength: As a compound exercise, the Hang Power Clean engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as the legs, hips, back, shoulders, and arms. This efficiency makes it an exceptional method for building power and strength.
  2. Increased Muscle Mass: The Hang Power Clean’s engagement of various muscle groups contributes to muscle mass growth in the legs, hips, back, shoulders, and arms.
  3. Enhanced Coordination and Balance: Performing the Hang Power Clean requires coordinated movements of multiple muscle groups, fostering improved coordination and balance.
  4. Reduced Risk of Injury: Strengthening the muscles and joints involved in weightlifting exercises and enhancing coordination and balance through the Hang Power Clean can help decrease the risk of injuries in various athletic activities.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

When performing the Hang Power Clean, it’s crucial to avoid common mistakes that can lead to injury and compromise the effectiveness of the exercise. Here are some of the most common mistakes to steer clear of:

1. Improper Weight Selection: Start with the Right Load

One of the most common mistakes when attempting the Hang Power Clean is selecting a weight that exceeds your current strength level. Lifting too much weight can compromise your form and put unnecessary strain on your body. Begin with a weight that allows you to maintain proper technique throughout the movement. Gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable and confident in your abilities.

2. Inadequate Warm-Up: Prepare Your Body

Neglecting a proper warm-up can set the stage for potential injuries. The Hang Power Clean demands engagement from various muscle groups, and a thorough warm-up is essential to get your legs, hips, back, shoulders, and arms primed for action. Incorporate dynamic stretches, bodyweight exercises, and light lifting to activate the targeted areas and enhance your performance.

3. Lifting Without a Spotter: Seek Support for Safety

Especially when dealing with heavier weights, having a spotter can provide invaluable assistance and safeguard you from accidents. A spotter can step in to catch the barbell if control is lost, preventing potential injuries and allowing you to push your limits with confidence.

4. Sacrificing Form for Weight: Prioritize Technique

Maintaining proper form is paramount in the Hang Power Clean. Focusing solely on lifting heavier weights at the expense of technique is a common pitfall that can lead to suboptimal results and increased risk of injury. Concentrate on executing each phase of the movement with precision, and the strength gains will follow naturally.

5. Rounding the Back: Keep Your Spine Safe

Allowing your back to round during the Hang Power Clean can place excessive stress on your spine, leading to discomfort and potential injuries. Maintain a straight back throughout the movement, engaging your core to stabilize the spine and protect yourself from harm.

6. Incomplete Hip Extension: Harness Full Power

The Hang Power Clean involves an explosive hip extension to propel the barbell upward. Failing to fully extend your hips at the top of the movement can hinder your power output and disrupt the smooth flow of the exercise. Focus on fully extending your hips to maximize force production and enhance your performance.

7. Incorrect Catching Position: Secure the Front Rack

The final catch phase is crucial for maintaining balance and preventing injuries. Catch the barbell in the front squat position with your elbows high and knees slightly bent. This optimal position ensures that you can control the weight effectively and minimizes unnecessary strain on your wrists.

Additional Points to Consider

Beyond the common mistakes mentioned, a couple of other issues to be aware of are not keeping the barbell in contact with your body and relying too much on your hips during the lift. By addressing all these potential pitfalls and being mindful of proper technique, you can maximize the effectiveness of your Hang Power Clean, reduce the risk of injuries, and unlock your full athletic potential. Practice with diligence, listen to your body, and enjoy the rewarding journey of mastering this dynamic exercise.

Is Hang Clean Same As Hang Power Clean – What’s The Difference Between Them?

The Hang Clean and Hang Power Clean are two distinct weightlifting exercises, each with its variations and unique characteristics. Both exercises stem from the Clean, a compound movement that engages various muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, shoulders, and arms. However, they differ in terms of the execution and the amount of power involved.

How To Do Hang Power Clean: Muscles Worked, Benefits And Mistakes To Avoid

The Hang Clean is a variation of the Clean where the lifter starts with the barbell hanging at the hips. From this position, the lifter initiates the movement by pulling the barbell upwards towards the shoulders, ultimately catching it in a front squat position. This exercise demands a significant amount of power as the lifter must generate substantial force to hoist the barbell to shoulder height and perform the front squat catch.

On the other hand, the Hang Power Clean is a variation of the Power Clean, which, in turn, is a more explosive variant of the Clean. Similar to the Hang Clean, the Hang Power Clean begins with the barbell hanging at the hips. The lifter then pulls the barbell up to the shoulders, catching it in a front squat position, but with a greater emphasis on explosiveness. This means that the lifter relies more on momentum to help propel the barbell upward, requiring less raw power compared to the Hang Clean.

The primary distinction between the two exercises lies in the amount of power employed during execution. The Hang Clean demands a higher level of power, as the lifter must exert considerable force to elevate the barbell to shoulder height. In contrast, the Hang Power Clean involves less power, as the lifter can utilize momentum to assist in lifting the barbell.

Here is a table that summarizes the differences between the hang clean and hang power clean:

FeatureHang CleanHang Power Clean
Starting positionBarbell hanging from bar at hipsBarbell hanging from bar at hips
Pulling motionExplosiveLess explosive
Catching positionFront squatFront squat
Power usedMoreLess

Both the hang clean and hang power clean are valuable exercises designed to enhance power and strength in the legs, hips, back, shoulders, and arms. While both offer benefits, it’s important to note that the hang power clean requires more technical proficiency, making it less suitable for beginners. If you are new to weightlifting, starting with the hang clean is advisable. As you build strength and gain familiarity with the movement, you can gradually progress to the hang power clean to further challenge yourself and reap its benefits.


The Hang Power Clean is a dynamic and effective exercise for building power, strength, and athleticism. By avoiding common mistakes such as improper weight selection, inadequate warm-up, sacrificing form for weight, and rounding the back, you can perform this movement safely and efficiently. Remember to fully extend your hips and catch the barbell in the front squat position with proper elbow positioning to optimize your performance and minimize the risk of injury.

This exercise offers a multitude of benefits, including improved coordination, balance, and muscle mass development in various muscle groups. Whether you are a beginner looking to master the fundamentals or an advanced athlete refining your technique, the Hang Power Clean has something to offer.

Embrace the challenge, listen to your body, and focus on perfecting your form to reap the rewards of this full-body compound movement. With dedication and persistence, the Hang Power Clean can become a valuable addition to your fitness regimen, empowering you to achieve your athletic goals and elevate your performance to new heights.


Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant. He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves. Rahul has a master's degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.

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