What’s an Explosive Clean? Think of the Olympic Weight Lifting competitions with those large men bouncing several hundred pounds of weight from floor to chest to above the head and back again. That’s an explosive lift. Cleans are just one part of the overall explosive lift routine, and are a good place for beginners to start. Here are some basic instructions to get you started.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Body Mechanics – Since you will be working with heavier weights than with other exercises your body mechanics are vital to providing you with an effective workout rather than causing an injury. This type of exercise should be done in front of a full length mirror or with a spotter to help assist with keeping your body in position.
- Choose the Correct Weight – Because of the bouncing motion that is required to do this maneuver your joints can take a big hit. Make sure that you are selecting a manageable weight that is not too over taxing on joints and smaller wrist and ankle muscles while performing Explosive Cleans.
- Form is Everything – The intended form for performing an Explosive Clean is to start by holding the weight at thigh level with palms towards the body. You will use clean hands, no chalk for this exercise. When you are ready, with one smooth motion you will jump slightly as you shrug bringing the weight up to catch it at your chest/shoulder region. At this point the palms should be pointing toward the ceiling. At all times legs should be hips width apart, with hands on bar positioned just outside of your body width. Keep your shoulder blades back and down. With your legs, push up into a full standing position, then release. To return the bar and weights to the floor, use a controlled roll letting the bar and weight gradually roll down the front of your body as you set it on the floor to off-set the weight and avoid too much weight on the lower back.
- How Many – Three to six repetitions performed per set, with three sets to start will provide you with a beginning workout that pushes your limits.
Explosive Cleans are an exercise best done with a trainer to guide you through the process and examine your body mechanics, form, and weight limits, for the best results and decreased chances of injury.
You might wonder why you should do Explosive Cleans if there is such a chance of injury. This type of exercise is intended for more advanced athletes who have worked hard to strengthen all areas of their body. This workout helps add an extra level of intensity and heavier weight to an already intense workout; sculpting shoulder and forearm muscles while strengthening calves and upper legs.
So whether you are a novice who is looking to add a bit more intensity to your workout, or you have maxed out your workout and are looking to hit the next level, Explosive Cleans will definitely add the burn and intensity to your workout that you are looking for.