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Hang Power Clean | Weightlifting Exercise Benefits

Hang Power Clean | Weightlifting Exercise Benefits

  • May 29, 2023

The hang power clean is a weightlifting exercise that offers several benefits, including postural strength and control, improved rate of force development, a more complete pulling motion, a more aggressive turnover, and increased confidence.

To perform the hang power clean, start with a clean grip and a pulling stance. Deadlift the barbell from the floor to a standing position while bracing your trunk forcefully. Lower the bar under control to the desired hang position, ensuring proper positioning and maintaining balance evenly over your entire foot.

To initiate the lift, push against the floor with your legs while keeping a consistent back angle until the bar reaches above your knees. Maintain a strong leg drive and extend your hips explosively, keeping the barbell as close to your body as possible. Make sure there is full contact between your body and the barbell at the top of the extension.

Once you have fully extended your body to maximize acceleration with the lower body, pull your elbows up and out to start moving your body down. Simultaneously, lift your feet and transition into a partial squat position underneath the barbell.

Rotate your elbows around the bar to establish a secure rack position and use your legs to brake the squat quickly, ensuring that you remain above a parallel squat.

Here are the different hang positions commonly used:

  1. Power position: This involves a vertical trunk with only a knee bend, the bar hanging naturally at the upper thigh, and a brief pause in the hang.
  2. Dip position: Similar to the power position, but without a pause in the dip.
  3. Hip position: In this position, there is a knee bend and hip hinge while keeping the bar tucked up into the upper thigh or hip. The shoulders are positioned in front of the bar.
  4. High-Hang position: This position involves a knee bend and hip hinge, with the shoulder joint positioned above the bar. The bar naturally hangs at high thigh.
  5. Mid-thigh/Thigh position: Similar to the high-hang position, but the bar is at mid-thigh level.
  6. Knee position: The bar is positioned at the kneecaps, with more knee and hip bend. The shoulder joint is above or slightly in front of the bar.
  7. Below the knee position: Similar back angle as the knee position, but the bar is 2-3 inches below the bottom of the kneecap.
  8. Floating position: In this position, the plates are as close to the floor as possible without touching it, and the shoulder joint is above the bar.

Note that if no position is specified, “hang” generally implies knee height.

The hang power clean serves multiple purposes. Primarily, it trains the rate of force development, encourages a more complete pulling motion, fosters a more aggressive turnover, and builds confidence by reducing the distance and time required for the lift. Compared to lifting from blocks, the hang variation adds postural strength work since you need to lower and support the bar in the hang position, as well as change directions in the bottom. It also improves your sense of position and balance and enhances your ability to meet the bar effectively during the clean turnover.

Additionally, the hang power clean can be used as a lighter variation of the clean for days with lighter training loads. It helps provide adequate recovery for subsequent training sessions by reducing the workload for the legs and back. Furthermore, it can be used as a technical exercise to target specific positions or ranges that an athlete may struggle with. It can also be part of a teaching progression for learning the full clean.

When programming hang power cleans, it is generally recommended to keep the number of reps per set between 1 and 3. If the exercise is intended for technique work, lighter weights should be used (around 75-80% or lighter). For developing aggressiveness in the extension and pull under the bar, heavier weights (75% and above) are suitable. On lighter training days, the weights can be adjusted based on the athlete’s needs at that time, but a loose guideline is around 70-80%. In other cases, the hang power clean can be incorporated into training similarly to the power clean.

It’s worth noting that the hang power clean can be performed from any hang position above the floor. The exercise can be done with or without a pause in the hang position, with or without straps, and without using the hook grip to emphasize grip strength.

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