How To

1 Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell near your shins. Push your hips back and grab the barbell with palms facing your body.
2 Tense your core and drive through your heels to pull the bar quickly up to your chest then shrug your shoulders up and point your elbows forward.
3 When the bar reaches your chest, drive through your heels again and press the bar directly overhead, straightening your arms and legs.
4 Return to the starting position.

Muscle Worked in Barbell Clean and Press

Primary Muscles

Abs "Abs" refers to your abdominal muscles, which sit at the front of your trunk between your ribcage and pelvis
Calves The calves are the muscles at the back of the lower part of your legs
Chest Your chest helps you move your arms across your body and up and down while stabilizing the shoulders
Lats Your latissimus dorsi, also called the "lats," help you to move your arms and keep your shoulders stable.
Lower Back The low back helps stabilize your spinal column and connects your upper body to your pelvis.
Middle Back The middle back helps you rotate your torso
Obliques The obliques help you twist your trunk and support your core and spine.
Quads "Quads" refers to your quadriceps femoris muscles which flex your leg from the hip joint and extend your leg from the knee joint.
Shoulders Your shoulders are ball-and-socket joints which connect your arms to your torso
Traps Lie on the floor and place a foam roller below your traps and above your shoulder blades.
Triceps The triceps are the muscles on the backs of your upper arms
Upper Back Lie on the floor and place a foam roller below your traps and above your shoulder blades.

Pro Tips

  • Use solid technique. This move has a few more components than a simple lift, since it’s explosive. Make sure you use clean and controlled form for best results.
  • Make sure you can grip your bar easily. It’s a good idea to practice your wrist flexibility and grip strength to keep your barbell secure throughout the exercise.
  • Up your weight slowly each time you do this lift for safe progressive overload. Focus on smaller increments than you might think as you progress. This can reduce your injury risk.
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Benefits

  • The clean and press is a full-body exercise, making it beneficial for strengthening several muscle groups at the same time.
  • Barbell clean and presses can help to train the explosive power you need to perform in sports at a higher level.
  • This exercise can help you improve your stability.
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Common Mistakes

  • Bending your elbows is a common error many weightlifters make when performing this lift. Engage your triceps so you can extend your arms straight at the top of this exercise.
  • Lifting your bar straight over your head at the top of your clean and press is a common mistake. This can cause you to fall backwards. Instead, keep your barbell slightly in front of your body.
  • Don’t shifting your weight too far forward doing this lift. Make sure to keep the weight in your heels during the barbell clean and press.
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Warm Up & Cool Down

One you can use to warm up before the barbell clean and press is dowel shoulder openers. Warm Up Before Barbell Squat
1 Hold a dowel or resistance band, sending your hips far apart for a wide grip. Raise your arms up slowly overhead then twist your shoulders to send your arms carrying your dowel behind your body. Come back to your starting position and repeat for around 10 reps or as needed.
Cool Down After Barbell Squat You can use a child’s pose stretch to cool down post-clean and press. This will stretch out your back, shoulder and hip muscles.
1 Start on all fours, then sit back onto your heels with your arms extended in front of you. Rest your forehead resting on the floor. You can use a yoga mat if this feels more comfortable. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds or as long as you need.

FAQ

Is the clean and press better than the deadlift?
The clean and press and the deadlift serve different functions, but both can be good for your exercise routine. If you want to create an explosive quality to your movements, clean and presses are a great way to improve your training. Deadlifting is one of the best ways to build more strength in your leg muscles but doesn’t capture the same explosive energy.
Can you clean and press with dumbbells?
Yes, you can perform the clean and press with dumbbells for a full-body workout if you prefer.