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In weight lifting, what is the proper technique for a clean?

Stand with feet between hip and shoulder width apart and toes slightly outward. Squat down with the hips lower than the shoulders and grab the bar with a closed, pronated grip. Hands should be wider than shoulder-width apart outside the knees and elbows fully extended. Have a flat back, with chest held up and out, shoulders over the bar, and eyes forward or slightly upward.

Forcefully extend the hips and knees, being careful not to let the hips rise before the shoulders, with the elbows fully extended and keep the bar close to the shins. As the bar passes the knees, thrust the hips forward and move the thighs under the bar. Forcefully extend the hips and knees. Keep the bar close to the body, back flat and elbows out. When the lower body joints reach full extension, shrug the shoulders with the elbows fully extended.

Flex the elbows to pull the body under the bar. Pull the bar up as high and as long as possible. Flex the hips and knees to a quarter squat position. Lift the elbows up so the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Rack the bar across the collarbone and shoulders.

Catch the bar with a straight torso, shoulders ahead of the butt, and flat feet. Stand up by extending the hips and knees. Lower the elbows to unrack the bar from the deltoids and clavicles and slowly lower the bar to the thighs. Flex the hips and knees to cushion the impact of the bar on the thighs. Squat down with elbows extended so the bar lands on the floor.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Washington State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.