Hang Clean vs Power Clean: Difference and Comparison

Exercise is a vital part of life, and knowing about it and doing it correctly is the most crucial aspect.

When a lifter raises the weights off the floor toward a front rack posture, the movement gets labelled as Clean.

There are numerous versions of Clean. Hang Clean and Power Clean are the favoured varieties of Clean.

Key Takeaways

  1. ‘Hang clean’ starts with the barbell at the knee level, while ‘power clean’ begins from the ground.
  2. ‘Hang clean’ emphasizes the second pull phase, whereas ‘power clean’ focuses on the entire lift.
  3. Both exercises develop power and explosiveness, but ‘hang clean’ is better for refining technique and transitions.

Hang Clean vs Power Clean

The difference between Hang Clean and Power Clean is the method. In Hang Clean, the lifter first raises the weight off the floor and then grasps the barbells at the strength of their thighs. Hang Clean is a Clean form, and it concentrates on strength training. Power Clean, on the other hand, the lifter deadlifts the barbells off the floor during each repetition and moderately descends below the bar rather than performing a complete squat. 

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Hang clean is an explosive movement.

When the lifter holds the barbell on top of the thigh, the hips need to move slightly ahead, sink under the bar, and descend into a full squat position before completing the movement (lifting the weight). In this exercise, we raise the weight directly from the hip.

It helps make the glute muscles powerful and improves the overall second part of the clean exercise.
Hang clean is not a competing event but is one of the preparatory exercises performed before a weightlifting event.

Lifters who don’t have prior experience with this exercise should not practice it alone, as it can be brutal and dangerous. 

Power Clean, as the name suggests, is more about strengthening. It focuses on less weight and more of an outright range of motion.

The first pull, which is a deadlift, focuses on your dorsal position. The second pull is an explosive clean and to lift the weight into the front rack posture.

For lifters, power cleaning is the perfect exercise. It has a superior variety to focus on power and even practice timing.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHang CleanPower Clean
SquatSquat posture is completed.Squat posture is not completed.
TimingTiming does not get much better.Timing does get a lot better.
WeightNeeds a lot of weight.A lot of weight is not needed.
Clean AspectHelps the clean aspect a lot.Does not help with the clean aspect a lot.
Arm StrengthThe pulling strength of the arms is elevated.Arms pulling strength is not much elevated.

What is a Hang Clean?

Hang clean exercise works on many muscle groups. When performing this exercise, you need to look at the correct weight you can lift, depending on your fitness.

While practising this version of Clean, you must keep your hips and core engaged. It requires constant movement, and to have a higher impact, you can pause each posture. 

Modifications of Hang Clean:

  1. Front Squat – Performing the exercise while holding the weights in a still front rack posture keeps the explosiveness of the practice at bay. It is great for beginners trying to learn more about advanced motions.
  2. Varied Postures – Before progressing to the advanced posture, one can try different positions to work on other muscles. 
  3. High Pull – If you raise the weights to chest level before putting pressure on the thighs, the stress caused to your wrists can get reduced. 

Evaluating the growth of force and Pulling strength developed:

A powerful hip drive is necessary as the weight falls on the hips. This exercise helps in increasing the power and movement required by the body to practice it successfully.

It activates the lower posture of the body and makes the entire body get to work.

During the second half of the exercise, a lot of pulling strength gets required. Practising Hang Clean will help increase the strength of our arms.

The overall pulling power developed is significant. 

Transition observed:

A Full Clean is what lifters wish to achieve after hours of practising all variations of Clean. It is beneficial for lifters wanting the perfect Clean and Jerk for international events.

Focusing on perfecting Hang Clean can be a stepping stone in achieving a Full Clean. It even helps in improving the timing. 

hang clean

 What is Power Clean?

The Power Clean is a powerful muscle-strengthening exercise.

You bend your lower body and get close to the weights while lifting them, and you grab the weights with your thumbs pushed under the other fingers (Hook Grip).

It is an advanced form of power exercise. It is the perfect exercise to perform if you want to be an Olympic Athlete. 

Modifications of Power Clean:

  1. Deadlifts – To perfect power clean, you can first enhance your ability to perform proper repetitions of the deadlifts. 
  2. Box Jumps – Another way to improve your power clean jumping ability is to practice several repetitions of box jumps.
  3. Hang Cleans – As hang cleans need a lot of force and energy, perfecting such an advanced move is beneficial for power cleans.
  4. Sumo Deadlift High Pull – It helps in focusing on muscles. It even helps in having a better focus while raising weights. 

Evaluating the growth of force and Pulling strength developed:

Power Clean exercise helps in raising power as the entire body’s muscle groups are involved.

As a lifter in power clean, you must pick up the barbells off the floor and dynamically drive them up into the front rack position.

It helps in the growth of force with time and practice, and if you are looking to improve your strength, it is the perfect exercise. 

The entire exercise focuses on strengthening the arms and dynamically raising the weights. The timing and aggression are crucial for a perfect power clean. 

Transition observed:

The power clean exercise aims to master the clean and jerk. However, the clean portion of the clean and jerk routine depends on perfecting the hang clean.

Power cleans and develops our jump ability and makes our body stronger. With proper practice, power cleans help in building dynamic strength for raising weights. 

power clean

Main Differences Between Hang Clean and Power Clean

  1. In hang clean, there is a front squat position. In power cleans squat position is not completed by a lifter. 
  2. Hang clean needs more weight. Power cleans do not require much weight. 
  3. Hang Clean is perfect for the Clean aspect of Clean and Jerk. Power cleans prove to help the first half of the Clean and Jerk. 
  4. Hang cleans do not help much in the improvement of the time factor. Power cleans help improve the timing of cleans.
  5. Hang cleans help improve the pulling strength. Power cleans also help improve the pulling power but not as much as hang cleans.
Difference Between Hang Clean and Power Clean
  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/8bd57f91fb9fb714830f08fbaf4a7ab0/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=30912
  2. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/06000/Progressing_From_the_Hang_Power_Clean_to_the_Power.8.aspx

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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