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Barbell Hang Clean and Press For Explosive Shoulders and Traps

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The Barbell Hang Clean and Press is an explosive movement that is excellent for developing power and coordination in the upper body. Because it uses power and momentum, you hit your muscles in a far different way than with traditional bodybuilding exercises.

The Clean and Press is a two-part movement. The first part is the clean from the bar hanging at arms length in a standing position. The second part is the press up from the shoulders to an overhead position.

For this exercise, all you need is a barbell and a willingness to work! Perform this exercise first in your workout as it's a very technique-oriented exercise. It should be done as close to the beginning of your workout as possible.

Be sure to check out the video for this exercise - with still pictures, it's hard to see the explosiveness of the exercise.

I prefer to do this exercise in the rack, simply because it's easier to set the bar down when you're done with your set. You don't need the rack though - you can just pick the bar up from the ground to get to the start position.

Grip a barbell with a medium grip (about the same as your bench press grip or a little narrower). Start in a standing position with your arms hanging straight down. Your feet should be placed just wider than shoulder-width apart.

I'm going to show all phases of the movement from the side while I'm describing them here. Below, you'll find the rear view and front view in detail as well.

Barbell Hang Clean and Press

First, push your hips back a little bit - it'll look like you're sticking your butt out a bit. Bend your legs a bit at this point.

Barbell Hang Clean and Press

Apply explosive upward power to the bar as though trying to pull it straight up to the ceiling.

Use an explosion from your thighs and calves to get the most power possible. Imagine the bar going up in as straight a path as possible. This keeps the force of the bar upward rather than outward. If you start swinging the bar out and around, you lose some of the power that should be available for moving the bar up.

Barbell Hang Clean and Press

As the weight starts to come up, flip your arms up and back, racking the bar across your shoulders.

Barbell Hang Clean and Press

Barbell Hang Clean and Press

There are two tips to remember as you are doing the clean: drop your body down then flip your wrists back.The drop down means that the bar doesn't have to go as high and the flip helps you to rack the bar across your shoulders.

After you have completed the clean, press up from your clavicles and overhead in a military press.

Barbell Hang Clean and Press

Lower the weight back down to your shoulders, then flip it back down and around (in a reversal of the clean movement) to arms-length on your thighs and repeat.


Possible Technique Errors:

1. Not using momentum

This is one of the few exercises where you actually need momentum to do it properly.

  • To do a proper clean, you must apply upward force to the bar then drop your body down underneath it.
  • Without momentum this becomes a muscular rather than explosive movement. This is incorrect.
  • You will see this when the bar travels away from your body as shown to the right.
  • It reduces the amount of weight you are able to use and can actually lead to injury.
2. Not flicking the wrists

The wrist flick at the top is very important. It helps get the weight "around the corner" so that you can rack it on your shoulders.

3. Not dropping the body down as you rack the bar on the shoulders

Your legs should not remain stiff and stationary throughout the movement. As you flip the bar up and across your shoulders, you should bend your knees quickly and drop down as if catching the bar.

 


Windows Movie File (WMV format)

QuickTime File (Mac format)

 


Barbell Hang Clean and Press


Barbell Hang Clean and PressBarbell Hang Clean and Press

Barbell Hang Clean and PressBarbell Hang Clean and Press

Barbell Hang Clean and PressBarbell Hang Clean and Press

Barbell Hang Clean and Press

 


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