Muscle activation under different loading conditions during the power clean

Ian Dryburgh, Stelios Psycharakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The power clean is a component of the clean and jerk Olympic lift and is also commonly utilised in training programs for several sports. Few studies have explored electromyographical (EMG) activation of the major muscles used during this exercise. The aim of the present study was to examine muscle activation during the power clean for the following muscles: gastrocnemius (GS), vastus lateralis (VL), transversus abdominis (TA), multifidus (MU), erector spinae (ES) and trapezius (TR). Eight experienced lifters performed five maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) exercises followed by three sets of three power clean repetitions at 70%, 80% and 90% 1RM. There was a significant increase with load for peak EMG of ES and GS and mean EMG of GS and VL. This suggests that athletes targeting the ES, GS and VL in their strength training could potentially benefit by increasing intensity from 70 to 90%. There was no evidence to suggest that this intensity increase benefits the TA and MU muscles. The power clean produced significantly higher peak values than the MVC exercises for the MU and ES muscles, suggesting that it could be used as both a strength training exercise for these muscles and an MVC exercise in future studies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-474
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • biomechanics
  • resistance
  • strength
  • training
  • weightlifting


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