November 18, 2009
Full cleans can get complicated, but Bill Starr simplifies the movement into a power clean and a front squat. Get comfortable with the movements, then start refining the clean by adding speed and power.
Full cleans are one of the very best exercises for any strength athlete.
They are beneficial because they involve so many of the large muscles of the body in a dynamic fashion. When performed correctly, full cleans work the hips, legs, back, shoulders and arms. And while these groups can be strengthened with other exercises, none do so in the same manner. Primarily, full cleans force the nervous system to work much harder than any other exercise—except for full snatches.
There is a coordinated rhythm to the full clean, and when everything is done precisely, the bar will seemingly float upward effortlessly and drop in the slot on your shoulders like magic. The clean and jerk has been called the “King of Lifts” for good reason. The athlete who can clean and jerk the most weight is considered the strongest.
Anyone with athletic attributes can learn how to do full cleans. Take the time to do so and you’ll be well on your way to achieving success in the sport of Olympic lifting.