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The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

Breakdown of the difference between power clean and hang clean in terms of both execution of the lift and strength benefits.  

The conventional wisdom when it comes to strength training is that the more weight you can squat, the stronger you will be. And while this may be true, there is another type of lifting that is just as important, and that’s the power clean. Power cleans are an iconic lift in Olympic weightlifting, and for good reason: They’re one of the best ways to build strength and power.

The key to a good power clean is speed. When you go faster than your opponent, you can overcome their strength advantages. The difference between a power clean and a hang clean is that with a power clean, you hit the ground before the bar has fully come down. This creates more force throughout the movement and builds greater explosiveness.

In terms of benefits, a good power clean will help you improve your explosiveness and your ability to move heavy loads quickly. It will also help you build muscle mass around your hips and thighs because you’ll be using these muscle groups constantly throughout the lift.

What is the difference between power clean and hang clean?

The power clean and hang clean are two different types of clean-and-jerk exercises that work the same muscle groups. The power clean is performed from standing, with the barbell held in the hands at shoulder-height, while the hang clean is from a hanging position with the barbell pulled up to the shoulders. 

The power clean is done with more speed and explosiveness, while the hang clean is more challenging in terms of strength.

Hang Clean vs. Power Clean: 

One way to differentiate between a hang clean and a power clean is the position of the legs during the exercise. A hang clean primarily uses the quads, glutes, and hamstrings while a power clean relies more on the shoulders and back. In addition, a power clean will involve more explosive movement than a hang clean. 

The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

The main difference between these two exercises is that a hang clean emphasizes muscle recruitment at the bottom of the lift while a power Clean pulls from the ground up. This can create different effects on your body depending on what areas you target with each type of clean. For example, if you want to tone your quadriceps, you would use a hang clean technique to target those muscles; whereas, if you are looking to build muscle through your entire leg, then a power clean would be better for you. Ultimately, it depends on what goals you have in mind when performing either type of clean.

Why do weightlifters perform this exercise style?

The hang clean is a more difficult movement than the power clean. Here’s why:

When performing the power clean, most of the weight is pulled off of the ground and then moved into an upright position in one motion. When performing the hang clean, the weight is lifted from the ground, held for a second or two, and then moved into an upright position. This increases the resistance to lift and makes it a more challenging exercise. 

The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

In addition, the hang clean is activation based. This means that the arms must be actively pulled upward in order to complete the movement. This increases the workout requirement on the biceps and shoulders.

Why should an athlete consider one over the other?

Power Clean: 

-The power clean is a technique that is used to perform heavy weightlifting. It is an explosive movement that uses the entire body to lift the weight. 

-The hang clean is a less powerful variation of the power clean. It uses less gear and relies on the momentum generated from the execute of the power clean to carry it through to the finish line. 

While both variants are effective, there are some key differences between them that should be considered if an athlete wants to optimize their performance. First, the power clean is more explosive and allows for heavier loads to be lifted. This makes it better suited for larger athletes who want to move heavier weights quickly. Hang cleans are also good for smaller athletes because they require less weight and can be executed more quickly, making them ideal for conditioning workouts or for multiple lifts in a row. 

Ultimately, which variant an athlete chooses depends on their own goals and fitness level. Power cleans are better suited for those who want to use heavier weights quickly, while hang cleans are better suited for smaller athletes who want more Josephson fields per workout or who need multiple exercises in a row without resting between sets. 

Hand Clean: 

-The hand clean is a variation of the power clean that uses one hand instead of two.

-This technique is beneficial for athletes who have difficulty performing the power clean with two hands, or who want to focus on one specific muscle group. 

-The hand clean can also be used as an exercise for targeting the quadriceps muscle group. 

The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

The hand clean is a good variant for athletes who want to improve their powerlifting skills, or who have difficulty performing the power clean with two hands. It is also good for athletes who want to train one specific muscle group, such as the quadriceps. However, the hand clean is not as powerful as the power clean, and it may be difficult to convert this into a lifting workout using heavier weights.

Examples of exercises that use this method

Power Clean and Hang Clean are two different types of clean and Jerk are an example of an exercise that uses the power clean. The difference between the power clean and hang clean is the way you move your hips. With the power clean, you hinge at the hips, extending your arm upward. With the hang clean, you keep your back pressed against the bar and simply pull your arms down to your sides.

The jerk is an explosive movement used in weightlifting. The barbell is lifted from the ground to a standing position by explosively flexing the knees and hips. This action tears muscles in both legs as well as throughout much of the lower body. 

Another example of an exercise using this method is the Goblet Squat. To do a goblet squat, you must first determine your stance. For the conventional squat, stand with feet about hip width apart and shoulder-width apart. Place hands on hips for balance. For the goblet squat, keep feet together but hold a weight at your chest with both hands.

The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

How often can I perform these types of cleans and workouts?

Power Clean:

-First, assume the power position with your feet shoulder-width apart, your back straight, and your hands near your hips.

-With your arms fully extended, lift your torso up so that all of the weight is on your thighs and shoulders – do not arch your back. Keep your glutes pulled to ensure maximum power.

-Drive through your heels to explosively extend your hips, and pull the barbell towards you until it is in front of chest (or as close as possible).  

-Now squat down, keeping the bar over your head and in line with shoulders. Drive through heels to explosively extend hips again and rise up to original starting position. That’s one rep.

Hang Clean: 

-Assume hang position with feet together and knees bent slightly, toes pointed downward. 

-Without shifting weight onto feet or toes, push off floor with legs to quickly jump into hang position. 

-Extend arms fully overhead while maintaining height in hang position; do not let arms come down before full extension is complete (approximately lockout).

The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

Alternatives to the Power Clean

One common exercise often done with the power clean is to substitute it for a hang clean. 

The hang clean is done by grabbing the bar from just below the end of the pull-up bar and pulling the bar above one’s head while hanging, then dropping back under the bar. Compare this movement to the power clean where you stand in front of a squat rack and lift a heavy weight off the ground, then slam it back down into place. Both movements use your legs and upper body to generate force, but there are some key differences that warrant consideration when choosing which one to do. 

First, with a hang clean you can more easily change direction once you’ve pulled the bar up. Because you’re not slamming the weight back down as hard as you would be with a power clean, if you want to go laterally instead of vertically your chances are better. This is especially important when training for explosive moves like jumping or reaching behind your body—going laterally allows you to cover more ground quickly while maintaining efficiency.

Another major difference between these two exercises isthe amount of time spent in the bottom position of each. With a power clean, most people will spend around 2 seconds in bottom position before starting their ascent; with a hang clean, most people will spend around 4 seconds in bottom position before ascending. This difference becomes even more pronounced when performing lifts using multiple sets (for example, 3 sets of 5 reps): Power cleans will leave you feeling significantly heavier than

Alternatives to the Hang Clean

There are several alternatives to the hang clean that can be used in Cross Training.

The front squat: The front squat is a great alternative to the hang clean because it mimics the movement of the hang clean, albeit with more weight and power. The front squat can be done with barbells or dumbbells, and it can be used for strength or conditioning purposes.

The Difference Between Power Clean And Hang Clean

The high-pull: The high-pull is another great alternative to the hang clean that can help improve your overall strength and conditioning. The high-pull is similar to the front squat, but you instead use your hands to pull the weight up towards your chest. This exercise is great for developing back muscles and glutes.


Power clean and hang clean are two of the most foundational movements in strength training, and they both play an important role in overall fitness. However, they do have a few key differences that you need to be aware of if you want to progress with either movement properly. In this article, we’ll explore these differences so that you can make the best possible choices for your personal progression.

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