How to Do Cleans: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

clean exercise technique

Muscles Worked in the Clean

Muscles worked in the clean

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Barbell Cleans

  1. Step up close to the bar, so that it is about over the middle of your foot.
  2. Lean forward and grip the bar with an overhand grip, about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hold your breath, and brace your core slightly.
  4. Lift the bar in a smooth but fast motion. Then squat down again to receive the bar on the front of your shoulders.
  5. Stand up on straight legs again.
  6. Lower the bar in front of you, with control.


The clean is an exercise that develops power and strength in your lower body, and it has long been a staple when it comes to complementary training for other sports.

The type of clean where it is possible to lift the most weight is the one where you squat deep to receive the bar – sometimes known as a squat clean. This variant can, however, be quite technically demanding, and a slightly easier variant is the power clean, where you only bend your knees slightly when receiving the bar.

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