Are Power Cleans Better Than Deadlifts? Consider With These 5 Things

The question “Are Power Cleans Better Than Deadlifts?” is one that is asked rather frequently, and I must say that I was somewhat shocked to see it.
Don’t get me wrong, both of those are great ways to get your body moving in their own right.

But, in order to answer the question of which exercise is superior to the other, you need to first acknowledge that the two workouts share a great deal in common.

I’ll be the first to concede that there are some parallels.

But are there sufficient benefits to contemplate switching to power cleans instead of deadlifts?

Let’s find out.

Are Power Cleans Better Than Deadlifts

What Is The Power Cleans?

The power clean is a movement in weightlifting that consists of explosively lifting a barbell from the ground to the shoulders in a single fluid motion. The muscles of the legs, hips, back, shoulders, and arms are the primary focus of this exercise.

Start by placing the barbell on the ground, standing with your feet hip-width apart, and making sure that your hands are grasping the bar just outside of your knees. This is the starting position for a power clean.

After that, you will perform a powerful extension of your hips and knees while simultaneously pulling the barbell higher.

When the barbell hits the middle of your thigh, you swiftly shrug your shoulders and draw the bar up. You then continue to lift it with your arms as you drop down into a position that is halfway between a squat and a lunge.

At last, you stand up, and then, utilizing the momentum from your last movement, you pull the barbell up to your shoulders.

Athletes in a wide variety of sports, including football, basketball, and track and field, routinely perform power cleans because they are an excellent exercise for developing explosive power as well as strength and coordination.

Nonetheless, it is crucial to obtain help from an experienced coach or trainer if you are new to this exercise because it can be tough to learn and perform correctly. If you are unfamiliar with this exercise.

What Is The Deadlift?

The deadlift is a type of weightlifting exercise that consists of lifting a weighted barbell or another type of weight off the ground while standing in an upright position. The primary muscle groups that are worked by performing deadlifts are those located in the hips, back, and legs.

To do a deadlift, place the barbell on the ground in front of you, position your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart, and place your hands on the bar so that they are grasping it just outside of your legs.

Next, you will arch your back, bend your knees, and push your hips back in order to descend your body toward the barbell while maintaining a straight back and a raised chest.

As soon as you get a firm hold on the bar, you should drive your feet into the ground and then lift the bar above your head. At the same time, you should straighten your legs and use the muscles in your back and hips to pull the bar closer to your thighs.

At this point, you will finish the exercise by standing up tall and elevating the bar to a position in which both your hips and knees are fully extended.

One of the most common exercises for building total strength and power, particularly in the muscles of the lower body and back, deadlifts are becoming increasingly popular.

But, in order to perform them in a manner that is both safe and effective, they require correct form and technique. If you are unfamiliar with this exercise, it is imperative that you seek the instruction of an experienced coach or trainer.

deadlift for build muscles

Are Power Cleans Better Than Deadlifts?

Both power cleans and deadlifts are great workouts, but because they work distinct muscle groups and are performed for different reasons, it is difficult to conclude that one is objectively superior to the other.

The power clean is an explosive exercise that primarily works the muscles of the legs, hips, back, and shoulders. The power clean places a strong emphasis on developing explosiveness and power while doing the movement. These call for a great level of ability and technique to be performed correctly, and they can be difficult to master for novices who are just starting out.

On the other hand, deadlifts are a more straightforward exercise that primarily target the muscles of the legs, back, and hips, with an emphasis on the development of total strength. Because they are in general simpler to master than power cleans and because they can be performed with greater weights, they are a useful exercise for improving overall strength as well as muscle mass.

Last but not least, a well-rounded strength training program should include both power cleans and deadlifts. Which one you choose to focus on will depend on your specific objectives, personal preferences, and current degree of expertise.

Power cleans are an excellent alternative for anyone who wants to improve their explosive power as well as their overall athleticism. It’s possible that deadlifts are the best exercise for you to do if your goal is to increase both your general strength and your muscular mass.

Yet, both of these workouts can be useful for increasing one’s strength and power, and include them both in your regimen can assist you in developing a physique that is more well-rounded and balanced overall.

1. They Are Not a Like-For-Like Exercise

I’m going to hazard a guess and say that the primary motivation behind this inquiry is that you are considering switching from deadlifts to power cleans.

In point of fact, additional study indicates that some individuals have either reached a plateau in their progress or have lower back pain when performing deadlifts.

When it comes to issues with the lower back, on the other hand, it may be necessary to cut back on the number of times per week that you perform deadlifts.

Having said that, deadlifts should never really give you any problems with your lower back; therefore, this is more of a problem with your technique.

Yet, I am aware that some of you could be interested in finding an alternative to the deadlift.

Notwithstanding of this, power cleans are not even quite comparable to the exercises described above.

Both of these exercises focus on the hip hinge area of the body.

The beginning of the lower portion of the lift is exactly the same.

Yet, this is pretty much the last point where the two things have anything in common.

Thus, let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the primary distinctions that exist between power cleans and deadlifts.

2. Deadlifts Are Superior For Establishing Base-Level Strength And Power.

To begin, the deadlift allows you to load much more weight onto the bar than the power clean does.

The fact that the power clean action stops at shoulder level is enough to tell you that there is no chance you will be able to pull the same weight.

Both workouts target the glutes and legs, two muscle groups that share a significant amount of similarities.

On the other hand, performing deadlifts will unquestionably result in much improved strength and unadulterated, raw power in certain areas of the body.

I would also suggest that you can expect much more meaningful strength and size gains in the lats and spinal erectors with deadlifts, and that is something that you can look forward to with these exercises.

In addition to this, a more effective workout for the core will be provided.

Anatoli Chernyak, a coach and writer from Russia, published some statistical studies in the year 1978.

He investigated the ideal correlations between the “big two” exercises, which are the squat and the deadlift, and the “two Olympic lifts” (snatch and clean).

In a nutshell, the findings indicated that the ideal weight for your clean should be somewhere in the range of 54–56 percentage points of your deadlift weight.

Hence, you should be able to clean somewhat more than half of the weight that you are capable of deadlifting.

These findings, I believe, tell us everything we need to know about the gains in raw strength and raw power that the deadlift provides.

3. When It Comes To Overall Strength And Explosive Power, Power Cleans Are Superior.

It is believed that when you perform power cleans, you work roughly 200 different muscles in your body.

A little less than a third of the body’s total muscle mass is represented here.

That right there is what’s known as a compound movement.

The fact that you can target all of these different muscle groups with just one exercise demonstrates how effective power cleans are in increasing your overall strength.

In addition to this, you will experience a crazy anabolic surge, which is really necessary when it comes to gaining muscle.

To put it simply, if you want to bulk up, you should execute power cleans.

The power clean is a movement that requires significantly more explosiveness than the deadlift does.

You force the hips into full extension, which is the best position for enhancing athletic performance, and you do this in a really aggressive manner.

In point of fact, there is an extension of the hips, knees, and ankles in a manner that is incredibly explosive while still being synchronized.

This “explosion” translates exceptionally well into other events like jumping and sprinting.

Lifting for power and explosiveness will help you achieve a ripped and athletic body, which is helpful whether you are preparing to become an athlete or just want to look like one.

Power cleans, on the other hand, are far superior to deadlifts in this regard.

4. Power Cleans Are Better For Your Traps.

power clean for build muscles

In the realm of trap exercises, shrugs are widely considered to be “the best.”

In point of fact, though, shrugs work the upper traps, which are the show muscle in the traps.

The upper trapezius muscle is the muscle that practically “pops out” of the neck of your shirt and is a very impressive-looking muscle to have.

On the other hand, the trapezius muscle in your back actually runs the entire length of the middle of your back.

The entire trapezius muscle will be worked when performing power cleans.

Hence, power cleans are a much more effective exercise for building traps than shrugs are.

Curiously, the greater the overall level of development of the trapezius muscle, the more weight you are normally capable of lifting when performing a range of pull-based exercises.

They include chin-ups, pull-ups, rows, and, of course, the traditional deadlift.

You might therefore conclude that performing power cleans on a regular basis will really assist you in lifting greater weight when performing the deadlift.

5. Deadlifts Require Less Technique Than Other Lifts.

I believe that one of the most significant benefits that deadlifts offer over power cleans is the fact that they call for a much lower level of technical expertise.

In order to perform a deadlift, you must first load a barbell with weight, then take it up off the ground, and finally place it back where it was.

Yes, it is true that the deadlift involves a greater number of technical considerations than this, but I’m hoping you understand what I mean.

The power clean is an exercise that requires complete body coordination as well as the ability to flawlessly synchronize a number of different actions.

In point of fact, the vast majority of weightlifters who engage in power cleans most likely have not yet reached the point where they have completely mastered the exercise.

Power cleans have skyrocketed in popularity in the CrossFit community, and we don’t want to point the finger at any one particular movement or technique.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every Crossfitter executes the workout incorrectly, but I’ve seen enough evidence to indicate that those assertions are false.

When it comes to the power clean and the many technical facets that are involved in the movement, there is a significant learning curve.


The verdict is still out on whether power cleans or deadlifts are more beneficial to your overall strength.

These moves are really impressive in their own right.

And in all honesty, I believe that BOTH of them ought to be a part of your weekly fitness routine.

Having said that, I’m aware that a lot of individuals prefer to steer clear of deadlifts either because they have a history of injuries or simply because they are concerned about the possibility of getting hurt.

The deadlift, on the other hand, should never actually give you any discomfort if it is executed correctly, as I explained before in this paragraph.

Dave Dellanave is the person you should consult first if you ever find yourself in a situation in which you require additional information regarding the deadlift.


Can cleans replace deadlifts?

The deadlift is the most effective exercise for developing pure explosive power since it allows you to lift more weight than any other exercise. Power cleans are a good way to build strength, but they aren’t nearly as efficient as other exercises. What is this, exactly? Hence, if you want to be able to lift high weights, deadlifts are the exercise you should focus on.

Are power cleans the best exercise?

Because it is a high-intensity activity that involves the participation of the whole body, the power clean is one of the most efficient ways to reduce body fat and burn calories. The power clean is a great exercise for burning body fat and losing calories, which can help you attain a look that is leaner and more defined in your muscles if it is performed with lesser weights and higher reps.

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