How to Do the Clean Pull for Building Power & Posture

Olympic lifting is all about harnessing energy. From the very first day you decide up a barbell, weightlifting teaches — and calls for — that you just be robust, quick, nimble, and explosive. 

All of these qualities are skilled in extra with the clear pull. For weightlifters, pulls are an adjunct meant to develop higher posture, reinforce technical precision, and bolster power. 

Woman weightlifter doing clean and jerk
Credit score: A.RICARDO / Shutterstock

Nonetheless, you need to use the clear pull to make all types of different features, even when the snatch and clear & jerk haven’t any place in your program. Right here’s how. 

The way to Do the Clear Pull

Should you’ve ever achieved a deadlift, you might have every part it’s essential carry out the clear pull. It will be clever to work with bumper plates when you’ve got them, because you’d sometimes let the barbell fall on the finish of every rep.

Additional, a pair of weightlifting footwear will go a great distance towards serving to the motion “really feel” appropriate, however they aren’t necessary. You additionally would possibly desire a pair of straps if you happen to’re pulling significantly closely, or for prime reps.

Step 1 — Set Up

a weightlifter prepares for the clean pull
Credit score: Riley Stefan

First issues first, tackle the barbell. Stand roughly hip-width aside with the barbell immediately over your foot, the place your toes connect. 

Then, sink down and hit the next beats; knees over the barbell, shoulders immediately above (or barely forward), decrease again flat, and chest up. Your hips must be somewhat greater than your knees. Repair your gaze ahead. 

Coach’s Tip: Discover a stationary object round eye degree and preserve your eyes skilled on it the entire time. 

Step 2 — Push Arduous

a weightlifter pushes into a clean pull
Credit score: Riley Stefan

When you’ve arrange, provoke the motion by pushing straight down into the ground together with your legs. Your knees ought to naturally drift out of the trail of the barbell. Preserve your shoulders stacked over the bar vertically as you push together with your complete foot firmly on the ground. 

Coach’s Tip: Your torso angle ought to stay the identical throughout this step; guarantee your shoulders and hips are rising on the identical price. 

Step 3 — Get Tall

weightlifter extends hard during clean pull
Credit score: Riley Stefan

As soon as the barbell has handed your knees, proceed to push downward. As you strategy your higher thigh, take into consideration forcefully snapping your legs and hips into extension and making your self as “tall” as attainable. 

Because the barbell flies upward, shrug laborious on the prime and permit your elbows to bend barely. Enable the barbell to succeed in its apex after which let it fall again to the ground whereas sustaining a unfastened grip. 

Coach’s Tip: The second of contact and extension must be forceful, however not impactful. Consider the way you’d skip a rock throughout the water, and attempt to mimic that. 

Clear Pull Units and Reps

The clear pull might not be essentially the most versatile train on the market with respect to programming choices, however you’ll be able to nonetheless put it to use for various functions or objectives. 

  • To Be taught the Approach: 4 to six units of three reps with a light-weight to average load.
  • For Energy Growth: 5 to eight units of 1 or 2 reps with a reasonably heavy (however not max effort) load. 
  • For Max Energy: 3 to five units of as much as 4 reps with a heavy load. 
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Frequent Clear Pull Errors

It might not be as technically intricate as a competition-worthy snatch, however the clear pull isn’t any run-of-the-mill barbell train both. Be aware of those typical technical pitfalls so you’ll be able to sidestep them cleanly. 

Treating It Like a Deadlift

Don’t get it twisted — the clear pull is not a deadlift variation. Your aim isn’t to face up with the load in essentially the most environment friendly method attainable or to emphasise hip extension to an excessive diploma.

Within the clear pull (and the clear itself), consider your legs because the engine that creates your energy, and your again because the body that helps your motion.

You want each working synergistically, so don’t attempt to apply your deadlift prowess to the clear pull

Coming Up Onto Toes Early

Whereas making your self “tall” and producing upward momentum on the barbell is essential, you need to keep away from any anxious motion.

Don’t attempt to “skip” by way of the phases of the clear pull and rush into your extension by arising onto your toes earlier than the barbell is round your higher thigh.

Doing so could throw you off steadiness and may restrict your drive output. It’s simpler to push into the ground in case your total foot is in touch with it. Your heels ought to elevate organically; don’t consider it as a calf elevate. 

Utilizing Your Arms 

Make no mistake, a overwhelming majority of all energy and movement generated within the clear pull comes out of your quadriceps and glutes. Nonetheless, your higher physique does come into play to information the barbell upward in a straight line. 

This does not imply you ought to be pulling on the bar together with your arms earlier than you’ve absolutely utilized your legs: The clear pull will not be an upright row and also you shouldn’t consider it as such.

When you’ve reached triple extension (together with your ankles, knees, and hips straightened), shrug laborious to get one other inch or so of bar peak. 

Clear Pull Variations

The clear pull requires a particular posture and grip on the barbell, however the essence of the motion may be discovered elsewhere by way of variations. Attempt these out if the clear pull isn’t doing it for you. 

Snatch Pull

The motivation, execution, and intent of the snatch pull are largely equivalent to that of the clear pull. Nonetheless, you’ll merely be adjusting your grip considerably outward. 

All of the technical parts apart from your grip stay the identical. You gained’t be capable to use fairly as a lot weight within the snatch pull, and it’ll additionally problem your grip power and hip mobility a bit extra, since it’s important to sink right into a deeper posture through the setup.

Clear Excessive Pull

A excessive pull is distinct from a regular weightlifting pull in just one (apparent) manner; the peak to which you pull the bar.

Excessive pulls emphasize upward trajectory, or bar path, greater than commonplace pulls and permit you to “really feel” your higher physique working. They’re additionally simpler to get better from, because you aren’t lifting fairly as closely. 

Block Clear Pull

If you wish to develop explosive decrease physique energy however don’t need to essentially re-learn pulling from the ground, you’ll be able to flip to the block clear pull as a substitute.

By beginning the motion together with your barbell resting on blocks (normally round knee peak), you’ll be able to zone in on the second half of the motion and never have to fret about establishing from the ground. 

See also  5 Triceps Compound Exercises to Quickly Boost Size

Clear Pull Options

It’s completely okay if the clear pull doesn’t tickle your fancy. There’s a couple of option to practice muscular energy that doesn’t entail borrowing from the technically-demanding sport of weightlifting. 

Lure Bar Bounce

You possibly can work with the entice bar to coach a really related movement to that of the clear pull. The caveat is that you could be not be capable to elevate comparably heavy weights.

On the upside, leaping with the entice bar is way simpler to be taught and will really feel extra pure to novices or these with out sport-specific backgrounds. 

Energy Clear

Should you do significantly benefit from the method and postural parts of the clear pull, you’ll be able to take it one step additional and be taught the ability clear as a substitute.

The facility clear is, basically, a clear pull that you just catch within the entrance rack. It’s harder and has a steeper studying curve, however you would possibly discover it extra rewarding to really feel your bar fly in house and catch it dynamically. 

Energy Shrug

You possibly can tune down the technical issue of the clear pull by choosing energy shrugs as a substitute. Energy shrugs are, basically, rack (or block) pulls with an entire lot of trapezius engagement on the prime.

With somewhat little bit of intentional physique English, you’ll be able to explosively shrug very heavy weights shortly to develop energy — and beef up your yoke on the identical time. 

Muscle groups Labored by the Clear Pull

The clear pull will hit nearly each muscle in your physique to some extent, making it a incredible full-body train possibility. Nonetheless, a couple of key muscle teams stand out from the remainder on this train. 


Your quads are the engine on the coronary heart of the clear pull. Because the posture and setup for weightlifting pulls are totally different out of your commonplace deadlift, you’ll sometimes find yourself utilizing much more leg drive than you may be used to.

Your quads start the elevate by breaking the barbell off the ground and assist to push your torso upright till you lengthen. 

Decrease Again & Glutes

In case your quads are the engine behind the clear pull, your posterior chain is the framework that makes all of it attainable. 

man with upper back muscles
Credit score: Rawpixels.com / Shutterstock

You want a robust and steady decrease again to tolerate the heavy weights used within the pull, in addition to energetic glutes to facilitate hip extension on the prime for max bar peak. 

Higher Again

A lot of the work carried out by your higher again within the clear pull is isometric. Nonetheless, on the very finish of the vary of movement, you’ll be able to quickly shrug your shoulders to deliver the barbell upward in a straight line.

This shrugging movement, facilitated primarily by your higher and center trapezius, may be fairly stimulating to your higher again if you happen to’re not used to coaching at such excessive velocities. 

Advantages of the Clear Pull

The clear pull isn’t applicable for everybody. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re sure about what objectives you’re making an attempt to succeed in, it may be an especially potent device. 

Reinforces Clear Posture

Olympic lifters make the most of pulls as a manner of drilling and reinforcing correct posture within the snatch and clear, with out having to carry out these actions particularly. 

And, because you sometimes can use heavier weights throughout pulls than you’ll be able to truly clear or snatch, weightlifters additionally get some free power work and progressive overload alongside the way in which. 

Develops Posterior Chain

Irrespective of the way you slice it, the clear pull is a incredible option to stress and develop your posterior chain, out of your calves to your traps. 

See also  17 Ways to Strengthen Your Hamstrings at Home (Without Equipment)
Weightlifter sets up for clean exercise in gym
Credit score: Riley Stefan

The bottom of your physique has to work each isometrically and dynamically — relying on the stage of the train — to maneuver and management the barbell because it flies by way of house. 

Teaches Energy Growth

Greater than something, the clear pull teaches you coordinate your physique and generate drive. This sort of ability is related not just for sure power athletes, however is a necessity for basic athletics as properly. 

Who Ought to Do the Clear Pull

Should you’ve already been bought on the deserves of the clear pull, you might have greater than sufficient cause to begin studying the method straight away. In any case, enjoyable is a wonderfully legitimate motivator while you’re within the gymnasium.

Nonetheless, contemplate if you happen to fall into one in all these camps, as you may be significantly properly suited to studying the train. 

Newbie Weightlifters

Aspiring Olympic lifters ought to make the clear pull (in addition to the snatch pull, frankly) a big a part of their follow within the gymnasium.

Pulling is just one half of the competitors clear, however what you do from the second the bar breaks the ground could make or break the elevate itself.

Working pulls into your classes permits you to be taught the right method with out having to fret about truly catching the flying barbell. 

Superior Weightlifters

Skilled weightlifters make the most of the clear pull as properly, however not essentially for a similar functions as a newbie would.

Should you’re already fairly tenured with the barbell, you need to use the clear pull as a part of your accent coaching to develop basic decrease physique power or as a max-effort primer near competitors. 

Conventional Athletes

Most sorts of conventional athletics — assume basketball, soccer, observe, and extra — require their athletes to be within the weight room a minimum of a couple of instances every week.

Workouts just like the clear pull are commonplace in lots of sports activities, as they’re a good way to develop hypertrophy and educate bodily coordination.

Nonetheless, chances are you’ll not have sufficient hours in your coaching week to be taught the trials of the snatch or clear. If that’s the case, clear pulls take half as a lot time to be taught and supply all of the athletic advantages, making them extraordinarily environment friendly instruments. 

Clear Up Your Pull

If you wish to be one of the best athlete, whether or not on the weightlifting platform or out on the sector, you want each power and ability. Energy helps you go the space in (and out of) the gymnasium, however you might have to have the ability to categorical it proficiently. 

The clear pull kills two birds with one stone. Not solely will it beef up your legs and again and educate you to make the most of the explosive energy of your decrease physique, it doubles down on the right posture and timing for the clear itself. 

Put it into your program and the features will converse for themselves. 


Nonetheless have lingering questions concerning the clear pull? No worries, we’ve bought solutions. 

Is the clear pull the identical factor as a deadlift?

No. A deadlift is accomplished while you stand absolutely upright with the barbell, however a clear pull requires you to increase your decrease physique and drive the bar as much as across the peak of your stomach button.

Are clear pulls protected for novices?

Completely. No train is inherently harmful; it’s all about how you utilize it. You can begin doing clear pulls with very mild weight to familiarize your self with the method.

Featured Picture: Riley Stefan

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