A man performing the clean pull CrossFit Exercise https://get-strong.fit/Fitness

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This article will cover what the Clean Pull is. How to correctly perform the movement and include it into a CrossFit routine. The muscles worked and the benefits you will receive by using the Clean Pull exercise.

The Clean Pull lift is a variation of an Olympic movement. It is a compound exercise (multi-joint movement) making it ideal for use in any program designed with progressive overload in mind.

When using the movement with a timed interval (Spartan Training), your form is more likely to break down. Doing this exercise with incorrect form is setting yourself up to be injured.

All of the muscles you use when you jump get strengthened by this lift, and it will help you to have greater explosive movement.

You will develop strength and explosive power in the lower body (hips, knees, and ankles) from this exercise. Your upper back and shoulders will get improved with this movement helping you to create a thicker back.

The Clean Pull has a very low rate of injury when performed with correct form making it ideal to include in your strength, power or CrossFit training routine.

This move may help you to reduce your injury rate because it increases kinesthetic awareness, strengthens your muscles, tendons, and ligaments while enhancing coordination.

To use this exercise for developing power, you should use a heavy weight with low repetitions 70% - 100% of your one repetition max. If you are trying to improve your speed, decrease the weight to 30% - 70% of your one repetition max.

Evey muscle within the posterior chain will increase in strength by including this exercise into your routine. The Primary Muscle used by this exercise(main muscle) is your Quadriceps.

When adding this lift into your routine make sure it is one of the first lifts that you are doing. Remember when you do this exercise it should be performed explosively, and you will not be able to do this when your body is in a fatigued state.

Peoples form tends to break down as they begin getting tired wich is another reason to include it early in your routine.

Benefits of Training With The Clean Pull

  • Increase in your balance and coordination
  • Helps to develop speed
  • Improved flexibility
  • Develop explosive power in the lower body
  • Growth of muscle mass

Muscles Trained By The Clean Pull

  • Primary Muscles

  • Quadriceps
  • Secondary Muscles

  • Forearms
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower Back
  • Traps
  • Deltoids


You should notice that the biceps are not listed. You should not be performing a rowing motion as many people mistakenly do.

Clean Pull Technique

How To Perform The Clean Pull Image

Man performing a demonstration on how to perform the Clean Pull Exercise

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How To Perform The Clean Pull Description

  • Begin with a barbell on the floor close to your shins.
  • Use an overhand grip with your arms outside of your legs. You can also use a wide or snatch grip.
  • Have your weight on the heels of your feet lower your hips, keep a straight back, shoulders in front of the bar, have your chest up with your head facing forward.
  • You are now in the starting position for the Clean Pull.
  • Extend your knees by driving through your heels.
  • Keep your elbows out with your arms straight and hold your back at the same angle.
  • When the bar reaches around your mid-thigh, begin extending through the hips.
  • Use a jump motion and extend your hips, knees, and ankles use speed to move the bar upwards.
  • Do not pull through your arms to accelerate the weight.
  • Continue until your body is fully extended. (full extension should be violent and abrupt).
  • When your joints reach full extension, you need to shrug your shoulders up and back (in a fluid motion) towards your ear lobes.
  • lower the weight to the floor through the same movement path and you have now completed one repition.

How To Perform The Clean Pull Video

Clean Pull CrossFit

The Clean Pull is a great exercise to add into your CrossFit routine.

CrossFit exercises get separated into three categories. The categories are gymnastics, metabolic conditioning, and Weightlifting.

If you are designing your routine and want to include the Clean Pull exercise, the clean pull will go under the Weightlifting category.

When used with a CrossFit routine the Clean Pull should be used to create strength and power and works best with a set number of repetitions and not for a timed duration.

When using lifts in a timed environment, many people will have diminished form so they can complete more repetitions.

Using incorrect form will increase your chances of receiving an injury when performing this lift. For this reason, I advise you not to use this movement for a particular duration of time.

If you do decide to use the move with a set time span, make sure you select a suitable weight that will allow you to keep a strict form.

Again make sure that the lift is included early into your routine to help prevent injuries from your technique breaking down due to being in a fatigued state.

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