Primarily the hang power clean trains postural strength and control, rate of force development, a more complete pull, a more aggressive turnover, and confidence.
With your clean grip and pulling stance, deadlift the bar to the standing position. Brace the trunk forcefully, and lower the bar under control to the chosen hang position, ensuring proper position and even balance over the whole foot.
Initiate the lift by pushing with the legs through the floor, keeping approximately the same back angle until above the knees. Continue aggressively pushing against the floor with the legs and extend the hips violently, keeping the bar as close to the body as possible and ensuring full contact at the top of the extension.
Once you’ve extended the body completely to maximally accelerate the bar with the lower body, pull the elbows up and out to begin moving your body down, and lift and move your feet into your receiving stance as you squat partially under the bar.
Spin the elbows around the bar to establish a secure rack position, and brake hard with the legs to stop the squat as quickly as possible to ensure you remain above a parallel squat.
The following are typical hang positions:
From power position:
Vertical trunk with knee bend only and the bar hanging naturally at upper thigh, and a pause in the hang.
Identical to power position but without a pause in the dip.
Knee bend and hip hinge while keeping the bar tucked up into upper thigh or hip and the shoulders in front of the bar.
Knee bend and hip hinge with the shoulder joint above the bar and the bar naturally where it hangs at high thigh.
Same as high-hang but with the bar at mid-thigh level.
Bar at the kneecaps, more knee and hip bend, and the shoulder joint above or very slightly in front of the bar.
Below the knee:
Same back angle as knee but with the bar 2-3 inches below the bottom of the knee cap.
Plates as close to the floor as possible without touching and shoulder joint above the bar.
Generally if no position is specified, “hang” implies knee height.
The hang power clean can serve a number of purposes. Primarily, by shortening the distance and time the athlete has to pull and move under, it trains rate of force development, a more complete pull, a more aggressive turnover, and confidence. Lifting from the hang versus blocks adds postural strength work because the athlete needs to lower and support the bar in the hang position as well as change directions in the bottom; it also can improve the athlete’s sense of position and balance. It can also improve the athlete’s ability to meet the bar well in the clean turnover instead of dropping out from under it.
It can be used as a lighter clean variation for lighter training days (weights naturally limited relative to the clean, and less work for the legs and back to allow more recovery for subsequent training sessions). Finally, it can serve as a technique exercise to work on specific positions or ranges an athlete struggles with, or as part of a teaching progression for the full clean.
Hang power clean reps should generally be kept to 1-3 per set. If being used for technique work, weights should remain light (around 75-80% or lighter); for work on aggressiveness in the extension and/or pull under the bar, heavier weights should be used (75% and above); for use as a lighter clean variation on a lighter training day, weights can be as heavy or light as needed for the athlete at that time, but a loose guideline would be about 70-80%. Otherwise the hang power clean can be used just like the power clean in training.
The hang power clean can be done from any hang position—any starting point above the floor itself qualifies as a hang. The lift can be done with or without a pause in the hang position (i.e. with a countermovement or from a dead stop), with or without straps, and can be done without the hook grip to emphasize grip strength.
All Hang Positions
Lowering the Bar
Block vs Hang