When you hit the gym to exercise, can you honestly say that you do everything in your power to vary your training and keep things fresh and exciting?
If the answer is no, then you may wish to look into trying something new.
Today we’re looking at power cleans as we’ll be examining several power clean benefits.
When you exercise at the gym, it’s important to vary your workouts and switch things up every so often.
Not only does this keep the muscles guessing and help prevent plateaus, but it also ensures that you don’t get bored.
If you walk into any conventional gym, chances are you’ll see somebody benching, somebody on the lat pulldown machine, and somebody curling a set of dumbbells.
Conventional exercises work very well, but sometimes it pays to think outside of the box.
Many Olympic-style lifters and CrossFit athletes, for example, will utilize Olympic lifts which are not only designed to promote muscle hypertrophy but to also increase functional strength and mobility.
This is where the benefits of power clean really prove useful.
Here’s a look at several important benefits.
What Are Power Cleans And How Are They Performed?
Before we can look at several key benefits, we’re first going to kick today’s article off by looking at what power cleans are and how they’re performed.
People often mistake power cleans for clean and presses.
Power cleans are exercises designed to promote mobility, explosive strength, and power.
The exercise begins with the lifter stood over a barbell on the floor, with a fairly wide stance.
It is similar to a Romanian deadlift in that the lifter will deadlift the bar, extend their hips, shrug with the barbell, drop underneath the barbell and shoot out the elbows, bend the knees slightly, and then simply stand up the bar and reset.
If you are using Olympic bumper plates you can simply drop the barbell onto the floor after each rep.
The thing to remember is that you should always take your time when setting up for the lift, so as to not rush things.
Focus on mastering your form with a very lightweight, or even just the bar until you’re confident that you can handle weights that will test you.
Power Clean Benefits
Now that you know how to perform a power clean, it’s now time for us to cover several benefits.
If you don’t yet incorporate power cleans into your training routine, you’ll certainly want to after reading this.
Here’s a look at several awesome benefits.
1. Superior grip strength
When people lift weights, they often find themselves focussing on the aesthetics associated with weight training.
Sure, it’s nice to look great, but one of the biggest benefits of functional training is the fact that many exercises help promote grip strength.
Having a strong grip is incredibly important for a whole host of different reasons.
Grip strength helps you to grip the bar or handle, meaning that you can perform more reps and get more from the exercise.
Not only that, but it also helps to keep you safe in the process.
The last thing you want is for a heavy barbell to drop from your hands because your grip gave way, and with power cleans, your grip will improve no end.
The exercise itself is very explosive, and as you transition from one part of the movement to the next, you need to ensure that you’re able to firmly grip the bar to prevent it from going anywhere.
2. Obliterate Body Fat
Thought that it was only treadmills, exercise bikes, and cardio workouts that destroyed body fat?
If you’re looking to burn body fat, you’ll find that some key benefits include the fact that the exercise is great for torching body fat.
You’re utilizing a lot of muscles in the body, and as the exercise is so difficult to perform you’ll find that you’re working extremely hard and are burning a lot of calories.
By the time you complete a working set of power cleans you’ll be out of breath, sweating, and your heart rate will be through the roof.
This creates the perfect fat-burning environment.
3. Improved Posture
Many exercises like power cleans are considered to be functional exercises.
This means that they provide benefits that go above and beyond just looking good in the mirror whilst flexing for your Instagram gym selfie.
Functional benefits of functional exercises will help you out in everyday life.
Another of the awesome benefits that we’re going to look at today, is the fact that the exercise helps to promote great posture.
Many people have poor posture nowadays, which is partly due to the fact that more of us work office desk jobs nowadays, as well as the fact that we just like to slouch because it’s more comfortable.
This can take a toll on your posture, which over time, can cause pain and discomfort, and even a little loss in height.
Power cleans primarily work muscles located in your posterior chain, which are mainly located in the back.
The stronger your posterior chain becomes, the greater your posture will likely be.
4. Full Body Workout
If you want an example of the perfect compound exercise, look no further than the power clean.
Compound exercises are exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at the same time.
This is a stark contrast to isolation exercises, which are designed to isolate just one muscle group at a time.
While there are benefits to both, you’ll find that generally speaking, compound exercises are more effective for fat burning, muscle growth, and strength development.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the fact that it serves as a full-body workout so you can work all major muscle groups in your body at once.
You’ll work the legs, the glutes, the delts, the back, the triceps, the biceps, and even a little of your chest.
Each muscle group has its own unique part to play in this lift.
5. Muscle Growth
Let’s face it, when you lift weights, one thing you expect to get out of weightlifting is muscle growth, or muscle hypertrophy if you want to get fancy.
If you are on a mission to get jacked beyond all recognition, power cleans are incredibly beneficial.
As we just mentioned, when you perform the exercise, you’ll find that you are utilizing all major muscle groups in some capacity.
This means that each muscle group is being worked.
The more muscles that are being worked, the more muscle fibers you can break down, which, after protein synthesis occurs, means the more muscle you will build.
Not only will you build muscle size, but you’ll also increase muscle strength, which brings us to…
6. Increased Strength
Being strong isn’t just useful for guys who want to show off in front of their buddies at the gym.
Being strong will make many tasks in everyday life much easier, plus it will help make you more productive in the gym.
As they’re called ‘power’ cleans, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that these exercises are indeed awesome for people looking to increase their strength and power.
To perform the lift you’re using your core stabilizer muscles, as well as power in your legs, and from the upper body.
The movement is explosive in nature, which means that more fast-twitch muscle fibers are being utilized.
The more you utilize and recruit during the lift, the more power you can generate as these are responsible for explosive strength and power.
That, combined with the fact that your grip strength will also be increased, means that overall you’ll be one strong SOB if you regularly perform power cleans during your training sessions.
7. Stronger Bones
This next example of benefits may sound a little extreme for some of you, but trust us, it’s very beneficial.
Another key advantage of performing power cleans is the fact that you will find yourself building stronger, denser, and harder bones.
This is because of a process known as ‘Epiphysis loading’.
The process causes very minuscule fractures down the shafts of the bones.
This results in a process known as calcification, which is almost like a self-defense mechanism of the bones, designed to help protect them from future damage. Calcification causes the bones to become thicker and denser.
This means that your bones will be stronger so you’ll be less likely to suffer fractures, plus bone-wasting diseases such as osteoporosis, can also be avoided.
8. Great For Athletic Performance
Generally, when people train primarily with weights for muscle growth, they’re training to look good.
Bodybuilders, for example, aren’t judged for how fit they are, how fast they can run, or how much they can lift, they’re judged on stage by how good they look on the day.
Some free weight exercises, however, will not only help you to look great, but they’ll also help you to become a better athlete in the process.
Power cleans recruit a lot of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are responsible for explosive power.
Many sprinters train to activate these fibers because they help them to run faster and generate more speed.
Athletes, in general, will often incorporate power cleans, Olympic lifts, and other functional exercises into their training routines to allow them to become better athletes.
If athletic performance is one of your goals, you’ll find that the benefits relating to athletic performance are well worth considering.
Another great reason to incorporate these exercises into your routine is that they’re fun.
They offer something different from typical free weight exercises which can seem boring and monotonous.
10. Great Assistance Exercise
Not only do the benefits involve helping you to become stronger and more muscular, it turns out that they also serve as great assistance exercises as well.
Because power cleans are compound exercises that work for several muscle groups.
This means that other lifts also benefit.
In particular, your squat, deadlift, and military press will all benefit from power cleans.
11. Great For Meeting New People
Okay, there’s no rule that says that you need to join a CrossFit class to perform power cleans, but you’ll likely see them being performed in CrossFit gyms (boxes) more commonly than you would at conventional gyms.
When you join a CrossFit class, you’ll meet new people and will instantly find yourself having a great deal of fun.
12. Better Balance
If you want to improve your balance, you can probably guess which exercise we’re going to recommend next.
Yep, power cleans are indeed great for working on your balance.
Your core will become stronger, you’ll work on your stabilizer muscles, and you’ll also find that you become steadier on your heels when you perform the lift.
13. Improved Synchronicity
When talking about benefits, we can’t overlook the fact that exercise also helps you to become more in sync with your body.
As you transition from one phase of the movement to the next, there’s a lot to consider, and at first, it will be tough as you’ll be trying to remember what to do.
Once you master it, however, the movement will be effortless, and you’ll flow from one phase to the next.
This will carry over into all of the other exercises you perform.
14. Increased Growth Hormone Production
The growth hormone is a hormone produced and secreted by the pituitary gland, that promotes an increase in muscle size.
Studies have found that relatively heavy compounds such as power cleans, will result in greater levels of growth hormone being produced and secreted.
This means more muscle, and faster recovery times too.
15. Can Be Done Anywhere
Providing you have a barbell, an open space, and suitable weights, you can perform power cleans anywhere you wish.
If you’re not a fan of the gym or don’t have the time, this is very useful.
And with that, we shall bring this article looking at several awesome power clean benefits to a close.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this exercise, and hopefully, you’ll give it a go the next time you’re training.
Whatever you decide to do in your training, be safe, and make sure you’re having fun.