Exercise Library
Split Clean

The split clean was the traditional form of the clean until the 1950s and 1960s when the squat style now used today began to take over. Its primary use now is by masters lifters with limited mobility or injuries.    
The split clean is performed in the same way as the squat clean, but rather than moving under the barbell into a squat receiving position, the athlete moves under in a split position. Unless an athlete is practiced in this movement, a very deep split is unlikely because of the required flexibility and foot speed.
The primary modern use of the split clean is to make cleaning possible for masters lifters or those otherwise limited in their mobility or positions due to inflexibility or injuries. However, the lift can also be used as a way to include more split footwork training for the jerk without adding additional exercises—for example, a lifter who needs split practice may perform split cleans where another athlete would perform power cleans, thereby addressing both purposes with a single exercise.
If the split clean is the main clean variation used by the athlete, the programming for the lift is the same as for the squat clean. It can also be used in a similar manner as the power clean as a less taxing clean variation for lighter training days, or as a split footwork technique exercise. In the latter case, sets of 1-3 reps are recommended.

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January 24 2015
Under the "Purpose" section, you say the lift is used for "those otherwise limited in their overhead mobility"... Curious why the overhead position would prevent a normal clean ("squat").

Thank you for all of the information you provide- it has made a huge impact on my coaching career.
Ole Ortoft Jensen
April 25 2017
I'm sorry to say that your example of split style is not sufficient. I must smile when I think of the Polish weightlift Waldemar Baszanowski took 172.5 kg in lightweight class (67.5 kg) with split style. It was truly international toplift and fully competitive to "the style of today" .......