The Difference Between a Muscle Clean, a Power Clean, and a Squat Clean
There are three cleans we utilize here at A4 fitness in Los Angeles: the Muscle Clean, the Power Clean, and the Full Squat Clean. When you execute these exercises in your crossfit training, you will want to make sure that you are using a manageable amount of weight, practicing with a spotter from your gym when you are starting out.
All three cleans start in the same position. Your hips should be just above your knees. Avoid using a snatch grip, as this can cause you to lose the bar. Instead, use a hook grip: it helps to keep your arms straight and allows you to get a big pull from your traps as you extend your hips. Your chest should be up and your head & neck should be in a neutral position. Now you are ready to begin.
A straight, light catch, the Muscle Clean is fairly simple to pull off. The bar is driven up into a clean position with your legs as straight as possible. Your back should remain firm throughout each of the cleans. Because you will not be using much leg or hips in this exercise, the Muscle Clean is excellent for improving upper body strength.
The Power clean is a tad different from the Muscle Clean. It is considered a bent-leg catch, where only a slight squat is needed for proper execution. Power cleans can vary in the amount of movement in the lower body: some prefer only a minor knee bend, where others prefer to move closer to a squat, just above parallel. The bar is immediately then lifted into the final position.
While it is the most rigorous of the three cleans, the Full Squat Clean actually uses a little less energy on the initial pull. This makes the Squat Clean more of a full body exercise than the other two. Come up with the bar to the top of the position and pull your hips through into your shrug, and finally drop quickly into your squat. Maintain the catch, and stand upright. These movements should be executed in one fluid motion.
Determine what areas of your body require the most attention for your crossfit workout, and decide which of the three cleans works best for you.
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding hundreds of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.