The Power Clean: It’s Not Just For Burly Men!
Posted on 12/12/2011 at 01:39 AM to Workout in Review
What up Fit Fem’rs? Today I wanted to talk to you about a particular exercise that’s awesome for speed and muscular power. Athlete or non athlete, women can reap the benefits from this just like men do. Please don’t get ‘scurred’ by this particular exercise; the power clean.
I’m sure ya heard of it...especially CrossFit members. If you don’t know, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning based program that focuses on cardio endurance, flexibility, speed, power, stamina, agility, balance and coordination. This method of training utilizes Olympic weight lifting and power lifting. I’ve never tried CrossFit but definitely want. I hear once you try it, you get addicted. I say this in a nice way, but it’s a freakin’ cult.
Enough ramblin’ about CrossFit! The purpose is to discuss an exercise that is staple to CrossFit routines and that’s the power clean. And no, it’s some sort of miracle vacuum cleaner that keeps your hous
e looking immaculate.
Power clean is simply lifting a barbell from the floor (bar around mid shin level), putting it on your shoulders and lifting it using explosive movement. The weight is usually on the heavy side, which is why you see a lot of steroid hungry meat heads (sorry to sound like a biotch) and respectable Olympians (totally admire you people) do these. The reason its so popular is because after you perform a power clean, you get this amazing high – you feel like you’ve conquered the world, by ‘lifting the world on your shoulders’. Super empowering! This exercise literally is a total body exercise; arms, legs, core, and shoulders are activated when performed. When you see a power clean performed properly, it can scare the bejeesus out of you. Yeaaa ladies, I’m talking to you. But don’t be afraid! Because you have the same power and strength to do this exercise and you too can gain a tremendous amount if benefits from it.
You can adjust the weight, a little at a time, until you get the desired weight that you can carry. Be careful not to do a power clean by yourself. You will need the supervision and assistance of a fitness professional to do a powerclean, if you’ve never done it before. Because of the heavy weight and the fact that you have to lift it all the way up, you can increase the risk of injuring yourself. So be smart! Consult your doctor and see if you are physically fit and able to do this exercise. If you have any medical condition that restricts you from lifting heavy weights, then please do NOT power clean.
Now, women have seen the benefit of power clean and it is becoming popular. Power clean is good for women who are looking for a fast way to lose weight. It burns a lot of body fat and tones ya up. It increases your metabolism rate thus making you burn more calories. It’s awesome cardio; you’ll feel that heart pump faster when you lift. Also you are working on whole body coordination. And let’s face it, a lot of us struggle with coordination. Side note; it frustrates me as a trainer when I give my clients an exercise and they can’t properly perform it because of a lack of coordination. No really, I can’t stand it. But of course, I have my game face on and try to control my frustration. AHH!
Here’s how it is done!
1. Start by gripping the bar evenly with your arms a little wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your back flat and in neutral spinal alignment. Please do NOT hunch over. Your shoulders should be over the bar so you have room to lift the bar, not hitting your knees. You are at hip flexion. Keep those knees soft, not locked.
2.. Lift the bar, allowing it to pass the knees and hips, and with momentum, thrust your hips to bring the bar closer to the body when it rises. The bar should not be so far away from the body, let it graze up the body.
3. Shrug your shoulders and get into a calf raise at the same time, creating an acceleration as you lift.
4. Quickly reposition your feet and drop into a partial squat to prepare yourself to catch the bar. Reposition your elbows so you are able to catch the bar and have it rest on your shoulders.
Cool?? Ok so try it! Make sure the weight is light enough for you to follow through but heavy enough to create that challenge! Let me know Fit Fem’rs!
Keeping the fun in fitness!
Your fit fem personal trainer and expert in women's only fitness,