Mastering Crossfit Cleans For Improved Performance

CrossFit cleans are an exercise technique that has become increasingly popular due to its ability to build strength and improve overall fitness. This article will discuss the benefits of CrossFit cleans, how to master them, common mistakes when performing a CrossFit clean, which muscles they target, and safety tips for performing this exercise. It is important to remember that anyone looking to incorporate CrossFit into their training routine should always check with a doctor before starting any new activity.

What is CrossFit Clean?

CrossFit Cleans are exercises used in strength-training routines based on Olympic weightlifting movements. They involve quickly lifting a barbell from the floor up to your shoulders (the “clean”) and then pressing it overhead (the “press”). These lifts require explosive power and quick movement, engaging multiple muscle groups throughout the body. The goal of CrossFit cleans is to increase total-body strength, power, balance, coordination, and stability.

Benefits Of Crossfit Cleans

There are many benefits to performing CrossFit cleans regularly, including improved muscular endurance and strength. The explosive nature of the movement also helps develop power, agility, and coordination. By incorporating CrossFit cleans into your workout routine you can get strong without having to lift heavy weights as well as increase mobility through dynamic stretching. Additionally, CrossFit cleans burn calories faster than traditional weightlifting exercises since it engages more muscle groups at once.

Tips For Mastering The CrossFit Clean

Before attempting to perform CrossFit cleans, it is important to learn proper form so that you do not injure yourself or fail to maximize your gains from the exercise. Start by practicing with light weight first until you have mastered the technique and increased your strength enough to move onto heavier loads. During each repetition focus on keeping your elbows high and chest open while driving your feet into the ground during the drive phase of the lift. Make sure to practice full range of motion and maintain control throughout the entire lift.

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The Science Behind Crossfit Cleans

Crossfit cleans activate multiple muscle groups simultaneously resulting in a higher metabolic demand than traditional weightlifting exercises. According to research published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, CrossFit clean exercises engage several different muscle groups such as the trapezius, deltoids, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abs and back. All these muscles must be recruited in order for the lifter to properly execute the lift. This means that every rep of a Crossfit clean activates all of those muscles making it very effective for building strength.

Types of Cleans Used In CrossFit Training

The two most commonly performed cleans used in CrossFit training are the hang clean and the power clean. The hang clean starts from a deadlift position below the knees whereas the power clean involves lifting the barbell from the floor up to the hips. Both variations allow for maximal recruitment of muscle fibers which translates into greater potential for strength gains. However, both require good technique in order to safely and effectively complete each rep.

Common Mistakes When Doing A Crossfit Clean

One common mistake made when doing a Crossfit clean is failing to keep the bar close to the body throughout the entire lift. Keeping the bar close allows for maximum efficiency when performing this exercise because it reduces momentum which leads to more effective recruitment of muscle fibers. Another mistake often made is failing to engage the core and keep it tight throughout the entire lift which results in poor form and a decrease in power output. Lastly, it is important to ensure that the elbows remain bent throughout the entire lift in order to avoid injury or premature fatigue.

Incorporating Crossfit Cleans Into Your Workouts

When adding Crossfit cleans into your workouts make sure to include other compound movements like squats and deadlifts in order to optimize your gains from each session. Aim for 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps using moderate weight for each exercise. Rest for 45-60 seconds between each set in order to fully recover and maintain proper form throughout each set. If possible use a spotter who can help you stay safe and assist if needed.

Which Muscles Are Targeted With CrossFit Cleans?

Crossfit cleans are a great way to work out multiple muscle groups at once. The primary muscles targeted during this exercise include the traps, delts, quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs, and lats. These muscles need to be worked together in order for optimal performance and power output. Working all of these muscle groups together results in better athleticism overall and makes this exercise great for improving functional strength.

Safety Tips For Performing Crossfit Cleans

It is important to take certain precautions when performing Crossfit cleans in order to reduce risk of injury and maximize effectiveness of this exercise. Always warm up prior to beginning your workout in order to prevent unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints. Make sure to use correct form when executing each rep as incorrect form can lead to injuries such as strains or sprains. Finally, be sure to use lighter weights when learning proper technique as heavier weights could cause improper form or damage to your joints or muscles if done incorrectly.


Crossfit cleans are a great way to develop total body strength and power without relying solely on heavy weights. They provide numerous benefits such as improved muscle endurance and strength as well as improved agility and coordination. Before beginning any exercise program make sure you consult with your physician first as everyone’s health needs may differ. Follow proper form when performing each lift and aim for light to moderate weights with short rest periods between sets in order to achieve maximum results from this exercise.

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