The clean, or power clean is a full body explosive exercise that builds strength and power in the legs and hips. It is a high complexity movement that competitive lifters spend lots of time on perfecting. It’s broken down into 3 movements.
The slow pull is the first phase of the clean. Starting with the bar on the floor, your hands should be placed about thumbs distance from your hips. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. The bar starts right next to your shin. Your back should be straight and your shoulders directly over the bar. This phase is from the floor to the top edge of your knee. It’s very similar to the deadlift.
The second phase of this lift is the fast pull. It starts right above the knee and ends when your body is in triple extension. Triple extension is when the ankles, knees, and hips are all extended simultaneously to produce maximum force output. As you reach triple extension, your arms should go into a similar movement to the upright row. This explosive upright row movement can also be called a high pull.
The last phase of the clean is the catch. In this phase you swing your arms under the bar, catching the bar across the front of your shoulders. On The catch your upper arms should be parallel to the floor. As the bar lands on your shoulders, you should go into a front squat to absorb the weight before standing up with it.