Power Clean and Press to a Higher Vertical Jump

by Tony Smith on 06/19/2012

Why I love the power clean and why you should too.

Very simply, the Power Clean and Press will develop your overall body power, and this power translates to athletic performance, increasing  your vertical jump and speed.

The power Clean and press is one exercise I can do at one full session all day, as it builds your entire body from head to toe. From the pull to chest, and press up from the hips, your body will develop into a explosive force of speed and power.

It also one of the few exercises that will boost your natural growth hormone output and increase metabolism, You will lose fat and gain muscle very quickly incorporating power cleans and press into your workout.

Vertical Jump Affiliate program

clean & jerk clean & jerk (Photo credit: Amber Karnes)


This exercise is to be done in a flowing movement as stated.

Bend your knees to pick up the bar, standing with your feet hip width apart and with good posture (tummy tight; shoulders back; chest out; chin in), hold the bar with your hands shoulder width apart and palms facing into you. Take a small step back so that you have one foot in front of the other, by doing this you take the pressure of your lower back and give the body more stability.

Stage 1

Leading with your elbows bring the bar up to shoulder level in an “upright row” movement, when you have reached the highest point rotate your arms quickly whilst bending your knees so that your elbows are now below your hands and supporting barbell (your forearms should be vertical). Bending your knees allows you to rotate your arms at the shoulders without putting too much strain through your shoulders. Do not try and do it without bending the knees.

Stage 2

This is the shoulder press stage of the movement. Push the barbell up above your head, avoid locking your arms out and keep a small bend in your elbows at the highest point.

Stage 3

Now reverse the movement by lowering the barbell to your shoulder level flip the bar back over quickly so that your elbows are above your hands again and you are in the “upright row” position again. You may bend your knees to protect your shoulders during this movement as you did on the way up. Now lower the bar down until your arms are straight keeping the bar against your body. source


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The video below is a good example of performing the power clean and press.

Always start with light weights to learn technique and movement, and add weight gradually.

I would always perform power cleans and press 2x a week at the beginning of a session, no more than 4-5 sets. Keep the reps low 3-5. You are training to teach the body to explode as one unit.

This learned motion will convert to greater vertical jump height and faster running speed and total movement.

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