CrossFit is its own little world filled with weird words like WOD and EMOM, and you workout in a “box” not a “gym.” I’m going to assume that if you are reading a blog post about the technique and benefits of a CrossFit Hang Squat Clean, you are not an experienced CrossFitter. So, I’m going to stick to the basics on this topic.
Don’t get me wrong, what I’m about to share is good info – but I’m approaching this as a newbie in the world of CrossFit who knows how to do her research and ask good questions. If you are interested in finding out exactly what a Hang Squat Clean is, want to know the points of performance, need some tricks and tips, and are interested in the benefits and proper techniques of the movement, then you’ve come to the right place.
So, keep reading to find out more about the CrossFit Hang Squat Clean benefits and techniques.
Table of Contents
What is a CrossFit Hang Squat Clean?
Let’s start off with a basic definition of the movement. This move gets its name from the starting position, which is the hang position. All this means is that you are starting at the top of a deadlift (the hang position) instead of starting with the bar on the ground, like you would with a basic squat clean or a power clean.
To execute this technical lift, you really want to avoid wearing every day sneakers or running shoes. For this kind of exercise make sure you check out our list of the best CrossFit shoes with extra arch support by visiting this page.
Technique For the Hang Squat Clean
You begin the hang squat clean with your heels hip-width apart, your bar in contact with your thighs, and your hands are in a hook grip just outside your thighs. Like I said earlier, it’s the top of a deadlift.
Next, you load your hamstrings with a dipping motion and then you push your hips back and flex your knees while the bar travels down to about mid-thigh. You want to maintain light flexion in the knees and keep your hips back to create vertical shins while your shoulders are forward from the bar.
When you prepare to go into your clean, you want to keep your back tight with a slight arch, your chest stays up, your core is tight, and your weight is back in the heels.
When you are ready for your clean pull, bring the bar into the body and aggressively jump, while at the same time extending your hips, knees, and ankles. You will then shrug your shoulders and your elbows will come high and outside of the bar and then back around while you pull yourself under to receive the weight in the “rack” position. This should be a quick fluid movement.
When you receive the bar, you should be in a full front squat as low as possible, and your “rack” position should have the bar resting on your shoulders with the elbows up. Next, you drive through your heels and stand back up.
Once your knees and hips are fully locked out and open at the top, that counts as one rep.
Tips and Tricks for the CrossFit Hang Squat Clean
- Since you are starting from the hang position, focus on using the full power of your hips in the movement instead of your arms between when the bar is at mid-thigh to the clean pull
- When you jump, you want to jump hard but not high. When your feet leave the ground, there should be a strong thrust, but going higher only makes the rep take longer
- The key to improving your clean is having good speed pulling under the bar
- Using the full power of your hips means pulling with long arms. If you bend your arms too early it will reduce the power of your hips
- Because you don’t have to get the bar as high off the ground for a squat clean, you should be able to move heavier weight
- Once you master the hang squat clean movement, you should be catching the bar and receiving the weight about a foot lower than you would with a power clean
8 Benefits of a CrossFit Hang Squat Clean
- Regularly performing hang squat cleans is vital to the development of Olympic weightlifting technique and strength capacities, no matter if you are a regular weightlifter, a CrossFitter, or a sports athlete.
- When you perform the hang squat clean as opposed to a power clean, it can help you with issues like early arm bending or finishing the pull. This exercise can also help you increase your rate of force development in the clean, which is your body’s ability to promote force at higher velocities.
- That’s a lot of science talk that simply means this movement will help you accelerate the barbell higher into the pull, and that gives you more time to get set underneath the clean into the full squat position.
- Finishing the pull is a common problem in Olympic lifting, and it usually happens because of lack of strength, poor timing, poor balance, or lack of proper technique. By performing a CrossFit hang squat clean, you simplify the movement to isolate a specific area of the clean pull, and that forces you to focus your energy and effort at the finish of the pull.
- Since you aren’t gaining any velocity by pulling from the floor, the hang will force you to finish the pull and maximize your energy output at your hip/thigh area to finish the lift.
- This movement also enhances leg drive and should keep you from bending your arms too soon. When you have an early arm bend, it can result in a lack of balance and usage of the legs at the end of the clean.
- Performing the hang squat clean can educate you on how to drive your feet firmly through the ground, which will maximize the velocity of your barbell, as well as its height.
- Hang squat cleans are also great for increasing your ability both mentally and physically to get under cleans rapidly and fluidly, and it can help you develop proper timing on receiving a clean.
Hopefully, knowing the proper technique and benefits of the CrossFit hang squat clean will inspire you to try them the next time you are in the gym or the “box.”