“Hang cleans* can be tricky business for athletes who are just starting a legitimate strength training program. Without a good strength coach on hand, getting the clean technique down can be a daunting task. But the good news is that the learning curve is relatively steep and once you start getting the proper feel for the basics, it won’t be long until you’re ready for more complex variations and higher weights. This article is intended to call out five important elements of a good hang clean. Take them to heart and you will be on your way to cleaning up your technique (see what I did there???).
*At Volt, we heavily emphasize the Hang Power Clean in programming for our athletes, but the same tips can apply for regular ol’ hang cleans as well.
1.) LOAD THE HAMSTRINGS
To achieve the power output you are looking for out of the clean, you have to make sure you’re utilizing the most powerful extensors in the body. How do you do that? Get in a good hang position with the hamstrings and glutes engaged. This results in an efficiently-recruited posterior chain and you’re set up to produce maximal force. To get into the hang position, hinge your hips backwards until the hamstrings are good and taught. A common mistake is to bend the knees as if you are sitting down, which just ends up pushing the knees forward. Don’t sit down. Push your butt back instead. Sitting down pulls recruitment away from the hamstrings and puts the majority of the work load on the quadriceps. That’s not what you want.” Continued…