Power Clean Benefits

Power CleansA power clean is an Olympic weight lifting exercise that targets your shoulders, lower back, and legs. It’s an amazing compound exercise that has benefits for a bunch of different muscle groups.

One of the reasons people shy away from it is because of the difficulty involved in learning it. I know I struggled with learning it for a while, and my technique can always use some work.

With that said, if you can master this exercise, it can offer you a lot of health benefits. Even if you’re not a serious athlete, I still recommend that you work this exercise into your regime.


There are plenty of resources for learning proper technique. I’m but not trying to provide a comprehensive article about how to do a power clean. But this video is worth checking out if you’re just getting started with this exercise.

For a good in-depth guide on how to master this exercise, check out this resource.

Power Cleans: What are the Fitness benefits?

Regardless of what sport you engage in, you need to be quick, have good balance, be highly coordinated, and have top end foot speed. All of these can be developed by doing power cleans.

Here are the primary benefits of power cleans, in my humble (but biased!) view:

Power Cleans Work A lot of Muscle Groups:

When you do this exercise, you feel like you’re making use of every muscle in your body, which is as a result of the intensity of the exercise.

The truth is, for you to effectively complete this exercise, you’ve got to be able to coordinate a whole bunch of muscles. When, done properly, power cleans can add a lot of depth and power to your body, especially the shoulders and posterior chain – calves, hamstrings, glutes, etc.

They Improve Your Grip Strength:

This Olympic-style exercise requires you to hold heavy objects at high velocities. Once your body becomes accustomed to the pressure of lifting weights at this rate, you’ll see improvements in your capacity to grip objects. I personally noticed a huge improvement in my grip strength when I started this exercise.

More Explosive Power:

The strength of this exercise is its versatility and flexibility. The first part of the power clean requires intense muscle contractions, which is known to improve explosive power. If your sport is soccer, football, or basketball, you know it’s important to be fast paced.

With more explosive power on your side, you can jump higher and run faster. The second part of this exercise involves pulling and catching, which help you further develop your calves and shoulder strength. Again, this is suitable for athletes who need to move quickly on their feet.

power clean lifterDevelop Your Muscles:

Power cleans feel like a shoulder exercise. However, the legs (including the calves, glutes, and hamstrings) and the lower back also benefit from the exercise. While working on your shoulders, other muscle groups in the body are also engaged.

I’m always a big fan of compound exercises that work a number of different muscles at the same time. Power Cleans help to form balanced and uniformly developed muscles. Additionally, power cleans do not just help you develop those big muscles, it also teaches you how to coordinate them as well.

Great for Application To Sports:

Power cleans can help you develop explosive power. This is useful for so many sports and is generally superior to other types of exercises when in comes to applying your training in the gym to a particular sport or skill. 

What this means is that you will actually improve your performance in sports (unlike isolation exercises that have limited sports application).  So if you play sports like football, rugby, wrestling, etc., then power cleans should be a key part of your training regime.


While it might take a lot of practice to get it right, power cleans are amazing when it comes to developing strength and balance. Whether you are looking for a new weightlifting exercise to add to your arsenal or a sport specific exercise, you can’t really go wrong with the power clean.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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Adam Ferguson

Adam is a health and fitness writer that has a passion for helping people improve their health. He writes about subjects like nutrition, workout tips, natural remedies, and any other way to help people reach their health goals. Adam is the primary writer and editor for ThinkHealthiness.com.

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