Barbell Split Clean – Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Barbell Split Clean - Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Are you looking to amp up your workout routine?

Watch This Exercise Video

The Barbell Split Clean is the perfect exercise to challenge your strength and improve your explosive power.

In this video exercise guide, we'll show you the proper set-up, execution, and common mistakes to avoid.

With variations and modifications, you can tailor this exercise to your fitness level.

Follow our expert tips to maximize your results and take your fitness to the next level.

Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously (glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, core)
  • Improves overall muscle coordination and balance
  • Enhances power and explosiveness
  • Accuracy is more important than speed

Benefits of the Barbell Split Clean

To maximize your strength and explosiveness, the barbell split clean provides numerous benefits for you. One of the main advantages of this exercise is that it targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously. By performing a split clean, you engage your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles, all in one fluid motion. This not only saves time in your workout routine, but also helps to improve overall muscle coordination and balance.

Another advantage of the barbell split clean is its ability to enhance power and explosiveness. This exercise requires you to generate force from your lower body and transfer it through your upper body, resulting in a powerful movement. By regularly incorporating split cleans into your training regimen, you can improve your ability to generate force quickly, which can be beneficial in various sports and activities that require explosive movements.

However, like any exercise, the barbell split clean also has its disadvantages. It can be quite challenging to learn and master, especially for beginners or those with limited mobility. Additionally, improper form or technique can increase the risk of injury, particularly to the knees, lower back, and shoulders. It's crucial to start with lighter weights and focus on proper form before progressing to heavier loads.

Overall, the barbell split clean offers significant advantages in terms of targeting multiple muscle groups and improving power and explosiveness. However, it's essential to approach this exercise with caution and ensure proper form to minimize the risk of injury.

Moving on to the next section, let's discuss the proper set-up and grip for the barbell split clean.

Proper Set-Up and Grip

To properly set up for the barbell split clean, follow these steps to ensure a secure grip and optimal positioning:

  1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and the barbell on the ground in front of you. Position your hands just outside shoulder-width on the bar, with your palms facing down. Make sure to maintain a firm grip throughout the exercise.
  2. Bend at the hips and knees, keeping your back straight and chest up. This will allow you to maintain a strong and stable position throughout the movement.
  3. As you begin to lift the barbell, explosively extend your hips and knees, driving the barbell upwards. At the same time, simultaneously jump and split your legs into a lunge position, with one foot forward and the other foot back.

By following these steps, you can ensure a secure grip and proper positioning for the barbell split clean.

It's important to note that common grip mistakes include gripping the bar too tightly, which can lead to decreased power output and potential injury. Additionally, avoid using a thumbless grip, as this can also compromise your grip strength and stability.

Step-by-Step Execution

Start by explosively extending your hips and knees while simultaneously jumping and splitting your legs into a lunge position, with one foot forward and the other foot back. As you land in the split position, make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and your back knee is slightly bent and hovering above the ground. Keep your torso upright and engage your core for stability.

To execute the barbell split clean with proper technique, grip the barbell with a shoulder-width overhand grip. Your hands should be just outside of your shoulders. Bend your knees slightly and hinge at the hips to lower the barbell to mid-thigh level. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.

Next, explosively extend your hips and knees, driving through the balls of your feet. As you do this, pull the barbell upwards, keeping it close to your body. Once the barbell reaches chest level, quickly drop underneath it and rotate your elbows forward to catch the barbell on your shoulders. Your front foot should remain flat on the ground, while your back foot can be on the toes for balance.

This exercise activates several muscle groups, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, and upper body muscles like the shoulders and upper back. By properly executing the barbell split clean, you can improve your explosive power, coordination, and overall athletic performance.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When performing the barbell split clean, it's crucial to avoid two common mistakes: improper grip positioning and incorrect foot placement.

To ensure a proper grip, make sure your hands are positioned evenly on the barbell, with your palms facing towards your body.

Additionally, pay attention to your foot placement, ensuring that your front foot is positioned slightly forward and your back foot is positioned slightly behind, providing a stable base for the exercise.

Improper Grip Positioning

Hold the barbell with a firm grip, ensuring proper positioning to avoid common mistakes during the Barbell Split Clean exercise. Here are some grip positioning tips to help you perform the exercise correctly:

  1. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the barbell. This will provide you with a stable grip and control over the weight.
  2. Make sure your palms are facing towards your body. This grip position allows for a more secure hold and better control during the movement.
  3. Keep your fingers wrapped around the barbell, but avoid gripping it too tightly. This will help maintain a relaxed grip and prevent unnecessary strain on your hands and wrists.

Incorrect Foot Placement

To ensure proper form and avoid common mistakes during the Barbell Split Clean exercise, it's important to focus on correct foot placement. Proper technique begins with positioning your feet hip-width apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other.

Common errors include placing your feet too close together or too far apart, which can affect your stability and balance during the movement. Another mistake to avoid is having your front foot turned too far outwards or inwards, as this can strain your knee and decrease the power generated from your legs.

By maintaining the correct foot placement, you'll be able to execute the Barbell Split Clean with efficiency and minimize the risk of injury.

Now, let's delve into the variations and modifications of this exercise.

Variations and Modifications

To modify the barbell split clean, try incorporating different grip variations for added challenge and targeting specific muscle groups. Here are three grip variations you can try:

  1. Overhand Grip: This is the most common grip used in the barbell split clean. It involves gripping the bar with your palms facing down. This grip targets the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, and arms.
  2. Hook Grip: This grip involves wrapping your thumb around the bar and then wrapping your fingers over your thumb. It provides a secure grip and allows you to lift heavier weights. The hook grip primarily targets your forearm muscles.
  3. Mixed Grip: In this grip, one hand is in an overhand position and the other hand is in an underhand position. This grip helps to prevent the barbell from rolling out of your hands and targets your forearms, biceps, and upper back muscles.

Tips for Maximizing Your Results

To maximize your results, focus on proper technique and form when performing the barbell split clean.

This exercise is highly effective for building strength and power in your lower body, but it requires precision and attention to detail.

One common misconception is that speed is more important than accuracy. While it's important to perform the movement explosively, sacrificing form for speed can lead to injury and diminish your results.

Another misconception is that the split clean is only for advanced lifters. In reality, this exercise can be modified to suit different fitness levels and abilities.

Programming recommendations for the barbell split clean include incorporating it into your lower body or full body strength training routine. Aim to perform 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps, using a challenging weight that allows you to maintain proper form throughout.

Additionally, make sure to warm up properly before attempting this exercise and listen to your body to avoid overexertion.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Does the Barbell Split Clean Burn?

The barbell split clean is a great exercise for burning calories. By incorporating explosive movements and engaging multiple muscle groups, it can help you torch calories and improve your overall fitness.

Not only does it burn calories during the exercise itself, but it also increases your metabolic rate, leading to more calories burned throughout the day.

In addition to calorie burning, the barbell split clean also offers benefits such as improved strength, power, and coordination.

Can the Barbell Split Clean Help Improve My Vertical Jump?

The barbell split clean is a powerful exercise that can help improve your vertical jump. By incorporating explosive movements and engaging your lower body muscles, such as your glutes, quads, and calves, the barbell split clean can increase your leg strength and power.

This, in turn, can enhance your ability to generate force and propel yourself higher off the ground during a vertical jump. Overall, the barbell split clean offers numerous benefits for athletes looking to improve their vertical jump.

How Often Should I Incorporate the Barbell Split Clean Into My Workout Routine?

To maximize the benefits of incorporating Olympic lifts into your workout routine, it's important to properly perform the barbell split clean. This exercise not only targets multiple muscle groups, but also improves explosive power and coordination, which can enhance your vertical jump.

To get the most out of it, aim to incorporate the barbell split clean into your routine 2-3 times per week. Remember to focus on technique and gradually increase weight to avoid injury.

Can I Perform the Barbell Split Clean With Dumbbells Instead of a Barbell?

Yes, you can perform the barbell split clean with dumbbells instead of a barbell. This is known as the dumbbell variation of the exercise.

While the barbell split clean offers the benefit of building overall strength and power, using dumbbells allows for greater range of motion and unilateral training. It also engages more stabilizer muscles.

Just be sure to maintain proper form and start with lighter weights until you're comfortable with the movement.

Is the Barbell Split Clean Suitable for Beginners or Is It More Advanced?

The barbell split clean is a technique that can be more advanced for beginners. It requires coordination, balance, and strength. However, with practice and proper form, beginners can benefit from this exercise.

It helps improve explosive power, lower body strength, and stability. By incorporating the barbell split clean into your routine, you can challenge yourself and work towards more advanced movements.

Remember to start with lighter weights and focus on mastering the technique before increasing intensity.


In conclusion, the barbell split clean is a highly effective exercise for improving strength, power, and coordination.

By following the proper set-up, grip, and execution steps, you can maximize your results and avoid common mistakes.

Additionally, there are variations and modifications available to suit different fitness levels and goals.

Incorporating the barbell split clean into your workout routine will help you achieve a more well-rounded and functional physique.

workout guru author


Serg Bayracny

Years ago, the spark of my life’s passion ignited in my mind the moment I stepped into the local gym for the first time. The inaugural bead of perspiration, the initial endeavor, the very first surge of endorphins, and a sense of pride that washed over me post-workout marked the beginning of my deep-seated interest in strength sports, fitness, and sports nutrition. This very curiosity blossomed rapidly into a profound fascination, propelling me to earn a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, followed by a Sports Manager diploma from the Jagiellonian University. My journey of growth led me to gain more specialized qualifications, such as being a certified personal trainer with a focus on sports dietetics, a lifeguard, and an instructor for wellness and corrective gymnastics. Theoretical knowledge paired seamlessly with practical experience, reinforcing my belief that the transformation of individuals under my guidance was also a reflection of my personal growth. This belief holds true even today. Each day, I strive to push the boundaries and explore new realms. These realms gently elevate me to greater heights. The unique combination of passion for my field and the continuous quest for growth fuels my drive to break new ground.

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