Clean & Press

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) ShouldersGlutes
Secondary Muscle(s) Abdominals, Middle Back, Hamstrings, Quads, Shoulders, Traps, Triceps
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push, Pull

Clean & Press Instructions

  • Position your mid-foot underneath the bar in an athletic stance about shoulder-width apart.
    • Toes pointed straight ahead.
  • Be in a strong athletic position: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
  • With a neutral spine, flex at the knees and hips to assume a strong pull position.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip, keep your upper back tight and shoulders pinned back. 
  • Neck is in a neutral position and the bar is close to your shins
  • Pull by your driving your heels through the floor, keeping your core tight, and using your upper back to keep the bar close to your body. 
  • Once the bar passes your knees, explode & extend your hips, knees, and ankles & shrug your shoulders to vertically elevate the bar.
  • Catch the bar at the top in a front rack position. 
  • You want to maintain a slight knee and hip bend with your core braced.
    • Your back should not be excessively arched.
  • To begin, slightly dip your knees and hips then explode upwards extending your hips, knees, and ankles to push the bar to a stabilized position overhead.
    • Imagine bringing your armpits forward to stabilize the weight overhead. 
  • At the top, the bar is directly above your head with your elbows are locked out.
    • Neck is in a neutral position with your eyes fixated straight ahead.
    • Ribs are stacked on top of your pelvis.
    • Glutes are engaged with your knees slightly bent.
  • For the downward part of the exercise, lower the bar to the shoulders in a controlled manner.


  • This exercise takes a good bit of practice, start with lighter weight and perform many sets strictly to build technique. 
  • The arms do not pull the weight up on the pull. Firing your ankles, knees, and hips raises the bar vertically.
  • Keep your core tight for the duration of the exercise.
  • Don't let the bar stray from your mid-line. You want to keep the bar as close to your body as possible.
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