The Clean And Press

The clean and press is an incredible compound exercise, requiring a high degree of strength, speed and coordination. When performed correctly, this exercise can positively impact on numerous major muscular groups. Primarily, this is the anterior deltoids – although the traps, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals are also brought into action during the required movement.

Unfortunately, all too often this exercise is performed poorly, potentially resulting in a serious long term injury. The lower back is particularly vulnerable during execution of the movement. Consequently, we’ve decided to break down the methodology and technique behind this incredible exercise so that you can safely and efficiently add it to your workout routine;

Starting Position:
  • Place an Olympic bar, loaded with the relevant weight on the floor in front of you
  • Ensure that you have plenty of room and that there are no persons stood behind you
  • Ensure that your feet are shoulder width apart and that the bar is over your feet
Preparation Phase:
  • Bend down and grasp the bar utilising an overhand grip position
  • Ensure that your knees do not protrude in front of your toes
  • Lower your buttocks until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Do not arch your back
Execution Phase:
  • Contract your shoulder blades and explode in an upward direction from the floor up
  • Ensure that you look straight ahead at all times
  • In a single rapid movement, snap the bar up to chest level
  • Utilising your shoulders, triceps and trapezius, push the bar upwards in a straight line
  • Just prior to your arms locking, slow the exercise momentum

From the execution phase; slowly, in a controlled manner, lower the bar back down to its original position on the floor. This here marks the end of one repetition. Repeat until you complete the required number of repetitions.

Video: The Clean And Press Technique

Final Word

Individuals often seem intimidated by compound exercises and tend to shy away from them in exchange for machine based isolation movements. The clean and press is an incredible exercise, targeting both the upper and lower body, and if performed correctly provides numerous benefits.

As long as you follow the above exercise guide to the letter and never substitute good form at the expense of a little extra resistance, then you shouldn’t go far wrong.