Technical Excellence Course

VIDEO #8 Squat Cleans

Squat Cleans are the first part of the Clean & Jerk lift performed competitively. This involved moving the bar from the floor to the shoulders in one continuous movement at speed. The key in this lift is to ensure the bar moves through the first phase, from the floor to mid thigh in the correct position ready for the explosive second phase of the lift.


The speed off the floor is irrelevant, position is key. The bar should only accelerate as it passes the knee. There should be a clear and visible change in speed through the second phase and as with a hang clean, the lifter should time the lift to catch the bar on the shoulders with elbows high before standing straight up rather than catching it high and riding it in.


This is a great movement for any athletes who are required to have a greater than 90 degree knee bend in their sport. Example include rugby players involved in a scrum., sprinters for a sprint start. Athletes who don’t need a greater than 90 degree knee bend would be fine to stick to a power clean such as cyclists. Both of these lifts will develop power in the lower body. If it’s a maximum lift you want to achieve then it’s a squat clean that will achieve this because you don’t require the bar to travel as high before dropping underneath.