Weightlifting Tip: Dumbbell Power Clean

June 19, 2019
June 23, 2019

Weightlifting Tip: Dumbbell Power Clean

The dumbbell power clean is not only a great conditioning tool, but can elicit an improvement in strength, while simultaneously improving an athlete’s coordination, balance, speed, and power! Similar to the barbell power clean, the dumbbell version only adds more difficulty and focus that makes it a necessary tool in any gym routine.


Dumbbells fit into a general-physical-preparedness (GPP) program because they force unilateral work. Many people have strength or mobility imbalances from one side of the body to the other, and working with dumbbells is a great way to iron out these differences. Plus the dumbbells are to the barbell what the rings are to a gymnastic bar. They offer an increase in difficulty that adds elements of stabilization challenges that aren’t present in a symmetrical barbell. Get good with the dumbbell and you’re more then likely going to get drastically better with the barbell from a strength and neuromuscular standpoint.

“When I started using dumbbells, they exposed a huge difference in my strength from one side to the other. You don’t need to be a physical therapist to know being imbalanced isn’t beneficial for health or performance. I’m a former baseball player, and I had been dominant on one side of my body for so long. Using dumbbells helped fix a lot of this.”

Ryan Grady, head coach at CrossFit KLEW in Somerset, New Jersey

Points Of Performance of the DB Power Clean.

  • Stand on feet with hip-width apart
  • Grip the center of the dumbbells
  • Dumbbells start on the ground at the outer sides of both feet
  • Shoulders over or slightly in front of the dumbbells at set-up
  • Lumbar curve maintained
  • Hips and shoulders rise at the same rate
  • Hips extend rapidly
  • Heels down until hips and legs extend
  • Shoulders shrug, followed by a pull under with the arms
  • Dumbbells are received in a partial squat position
  • Complete at full hip and knee extension with the dumbells on the shoulders

“Whether it’s strength or flexibility, the dumbbell doesn’t allow you to favor your more mobile or stronger side. It requires greater stability so your core has to work to stabilize more. They also require greater motor complexity and motor recruitment. Dumbbells force you to refine your movement because controlling two objects is harder than one, so the nervous system has to work harder. This also means your coordination gets taxed more.”

Josh Everett, CrossFit Workshop: Dumbbell Instructor

Here’s a great example of the dumbbell power clean from Julie Foucher of the CrossFit seminar staff:

Not sure if you’re doing this? And, you want to make sure you’re getting it right so you don’t get injured? Then come in and schedule a training session through the calendar below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *