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Know this: There is nothing you can do in the gym that will develop your ability to produce power and muscular size better than the hang power clean (HPC). It’s an explosive jump shrug, upright row and front squat all rolled up into one fully loaded movement.
According to research, the HPC produces more than four times as much power as the squat or deadlift and more than nine times that of the bench press. That’s one hell of an exercise, right? And because the move is so jam-packed, it’s extremely important to make certain that you have every phase perfected in order to avoid injury. The sooner it becomes second nature to you, the sooner you’ll begin reaping the benefits in power, strength and resulting muscle growth.
1. Grasp the bar with an overhand (pronated) grip with your hands just outside hip-width, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, eyes focused forward. Wrap your thumbs around the bar for safety.
2. Keeping your abs tight and back and arms straight, bend your knees and push your hips back, as if you were preparing to perform a vertical jump. Your shoulders should be slightly ahead of the bar.
3. Once the bar reaches about mid-thigh, begin a jump shrug by quickly and explosively extending your legs and rising onto your toes, then shrug and pull the bar upward, keeping it very close to your body.
4. Pull the bar explosively to your upper chest, keeping your elbows as high as possible and out to your sides.
5. Immediately pull your body under the bar by quickly rotating your hands and elbows around it, “catching” the bar with your hands and shoulders. As your elbows rotate around the bar, allow your hips to shift back and down slightly, as if you were sitting in a chair, as you absorb the weight of the bar.
6. You’re now in a front squat position, squeezing your legs and pressing through the floor. Note: Once you’re under the bar, your elbows should point straight ahead, with the bar resting in your hands atop your front delts and upper chest.
7. Keeping your back arched and chest up, press through your heels to extend your legs and return to a standing position.
8. Once at the top, rotate your wrists and elbows around the bar and carefully lower the bar to the start position, keeping the bar very close to your body. Reset your feet and repeat for reps.
1. Keep the bar very close to your body as you pull it toward the ceiling. This will make it much safer and easier for you to pull your body under the bar for the squat portion of the move.
2. Keep your torso tight and in proper alignment is vital. Having strong hamstrings, low back and abdominals is critical to overall success, so before performing the HPC, become proficient in the romanian deadlift, good morning and front squat.
3. Don’t pull with your arms first. Let your legs and hips initiate the movement, and use your arms to pull yourself under the bar.
4. Have a trained partner monitor your form to ensure you’re performing all portions of the move correctly.