Barbell Clean Press – 4 Variants, Technique & Benefits

barbell clean and press

The Barbell clean press is a fantastic exercise for increasing stamina, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and strength. Power, a combination of strength and speed, It is another benefit of the clean and press that few other strength workouts can match.

Start with smaller weights if you’re new to the clean and press and learn to do it properly. Once you’re confident with your technique, gradually increase the weight until six to eight reps leave you gasping for air. Anyone can and should do the clean and press as part of their normal strength training practice. It’s also a fantastic exercise to incorporate into a circuit routine.

Barbell and clean press

Benefits Of Barbell clean press

The barbell clean and press, which originated as an Olympic lift, engaged eight different muscle groups. The lower half of the routine focuses on hips, glutes, and hamstrings, while the upper half focuses on the shoulders, chest, back, and arms. Meanwhile, the entire exercise hinges on your core is being engaged.

Athletes that need a sudden burst of activity in their sport, such as sprinting or jumping, should focus on power training. Even people who aren’t focused on a specific sport can use power exercises to raise their heart rate to anaerobic levels, increasing their overall calorie burn.

Picking up objects from the floor and placing them on shelves is a common task in everyday life. The barbell clean and press exercises might help you develop proper form.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell about 2 inches away from your shins. Push your hips back and grab the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart, palms towards your body. Maintain a low hip position with an elevated chest, forward-looking gaze, and long arms.
  • To swiftly lift the bar to your chest just in front of your collarbone, keep your core tight and press through your heels. Maintain your spine tall. Pull the bar as close to your body as possible, being forceful and quick in your movement. Shrug your shoulders up and point your elbows forward to drag the bar underneath your shoulders.
  • Drive through your heels again as soon as the bar hits your chest, then press the bar directly overhead while straightening your arms and legs. Maintain a firm grip on your core. Control your way back to the starting position.

Rep: 6-8 times

Sets: 3-5 sets

Common Mistakes

To get the most out of the barbell clean and press workout while minimizing strain and injury, avoid making these mistakes.

Shifting Weight Forward

During the clean and press, keep your weight on your heels at all times.

Rounding the Back

As you lift the weight, keep your upper back straight and not rounded.

Grip Position

Ideally, your grip should be no more than 2 inches wider than your shoulders. If it’s too wide, you’ll get a wrist ache, and if it’s too narrow, your shoulder joints will be strained.

ALSO READ: Single Leg Press – Technique, 3 Variations & Benefits For Impressive Glutes

Tips for the Barbell Clean Press

The first rule for any lifter to perform barbell clean and the press is to concentrate on form. With such a complicated movement in barbell exercises, this is even more necessary. First, double-check your technique during all the phases of the lift. As you develop by increasing the weight and reps, you’ll be sure to train and engage the proper muscle groups while avoiding injury.

1. Weight on heels. Focus on keeping your weight in your heels to avoid tumbling over due to the weight of the barbell.

2. Back straight. Keep your back straight and don’t slump or bend over the bar. To avoid this, make sure your chest is out and facing forward at the commencement of the lift.

3. Don’t lock out your elbows. Straighten your arms but don’t lock out your elbows during the press component of the exercise.

4. Grip shoulder-width. Your hands should only be as far apart as your shoulders to avoid wrist or shoulder injury. Maintain a two-inch distance between the bar and your shins on the ground.

What muscles do Barbell clean press works? 

Barbell clean and press work on several different muscles throughout the body.


The last part of the lift, the overhead press, works the shoulders, particularly the anterior (front) and lateral (side) delts. For a safe, efficient, and successful lift, the back delts must be pinned back during the initial stage of the lift (clean).


The quadriceps are used in the clean’s initial rise off the floor, as well as the squatting component (unless you power clean the weight). When you do a push press, the quadriceps are also worked, which might help you raise the amount of weight you use. Strong quads will help you get out of the clean faster.


The hamstrings are only involved in the clean’s early pulling and hip extension phases. The posterior chain is in charge of expanding the hips and allowing you to lift more weight with more power. For best hamstring growth, include the Romanian deadlift and good morning in your barbell exercises.


The back muscles (traps, rhomboids, lats, spinal erectors, and so on) are also heavily involved in the clean and press. They work to support the scapula and keep it retracted while also extending the spine under load.


The core muscles (abdominal and oblique) connect the lower and upper bodies. As a result, for optimal total body strength and performance, these muscles must remain tight and rigid. A strong core also protects the spine and back.


The biceps and forearms are really crucial during the first part of the lift because you’re obviously pulling with your arms. The triceps then help to press the bar overhead.


Because of the overhead barbell clean and press, the chest will also be activated. In fact, the press is an excellent exercise for highlighting the upper pecs.

4 Barbell Clean Press Variations

Dumbbell clean and press

Regardless of the exercise, dumbbells are an excellent tool. The evident freedom of movement provided by dumbbells is a significant plus. Dumbbells, on the other hand, have the added benefit of allowing you to identify left-to-right asymmetries while also improving/developing your stabilization, coordination, and balance.

You won’t be able to lift as much weight, but each instrument has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, as well as some apparent benefits.

Place the dumbbells just outside of your feet and follow the same general technique as the barbell variation. Use a neutral or overhand grip if you choose. Begin slowly, as more stabilization is required, then gradually increase.

Kettlebell clean and press

Kettlebells are usually a good training tool because they’re built, which allows the weight to move about in hand. As a result, even more steadiness and technique are required. However, if done incorrectly, you risk injuring your hands and wrists less.

Single-arm clean and press

A single-arm form of the clean and press, whether done with a dumbbell or a kettlebell, has its benefits. To begin with, this is an excellent way to fix a left-to-right imbalance. Furthermore, training one side at a time is a perfect way to improve core strength and stability while increasing total-body coordination and developing/enhancing functional movement patterns that can be used in sports activities.

For this version, place the single weight on the ground between your legs or a few feet in front of you. You can do the clean and press with a swing or by lifting the weight in a straight line before doing the press.

Hang clean and press

The hang clean and press is a wonderful variation that starts with the bar on the thighs. The bar is then lowered down the thighs toward the knees, and the motion is repeated as described in the basic Barbell clean press instructions.
ALSO READ: 10 High Impact Exercises & Their Amazing Benefits


Is clean and press good for shoulder

A barbell clean and press works your traps, triceps, middle and lower back abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Still, it also works your traps, triceps, middle and lowers back abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. It is a full-body workout that can be used not just for hypertrophy but also for strength.

Are cleans better than deadlifts?

The power clean develops explosive power and force by accelerating the movement of a heavyweight. The deadlift is a strength and raw power exercise in which you lift a large weight at a slow, controlled pace. Compared to the power clean, the deadlifts barbell exercises is a more fundamental activity.

How To Include The Clean Press In Your Training Regime?

The clean and press can be exhausting. Especially when using larger weights, you may not want to combine them with other heavy compound movements in one workout. It’s possible that adding one or two more wouldn’t hurt. But give yourself enough time for healing.

When you’re fresh, and at your best, it’s also a good idea to do your sets first in a workout session. Not only will you be able to lift more, but you’ll also have a better chance of avoiding damage from weariness, which can affect your form. While this isn’t usually a terrible thing, you’re lifting a hefty bar above your head.

However, there are numerous ways to include the barbell clean and press. You can use it in a basic resistance training routine, circuit training, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), CrossFit training, and other workouts.

Wrapping Up

The Barbell clean press is a great exercise for boosting your gains. It’s not the simplest of movements, but with a bit of experience and lighter weight, you’ll be incorporating it into your weekly training routine in no time.

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