Exercises You Shouldn’t Be Doing: Cleans


Now before everyone starts getting all huffy and puffy over this one, let me start off by being direct…This is for the baseball population. We’re in full swing at BucksFit with the baseball guys and this is a question that I get asked pretty regularly, “Why don’t we do hang/power cleans?” We don’t do them because the juice ain’t worth the squeeze, plain and simple. If you’re a baseball player, or your son/family member is, these guys spend a majority of the year jacking up their shoulders from the large amount of competitive games. The last thing we want to do is take time in the gym jacking those shoulders up even more. Take a look at these and apologies up front for the classy ending…

We performed hang cleans all..the…time when I was playing in college. It’s no wonder I had rotator cuff and labrum surgery!

The only Olympic movements we use for the baseball players are the deadlift and squat. When coming up with a players off-season training program, keep in mind the rigors of the season they’ve just wrapped up. Most high school players play spring, summer, and fall if they are competing for college scholarships. Most college players will play a full spring and summer, along with fall intersquads. Professional players will play anywhere from 142-162 games through the spring, summer, and fall. You get the point, they’re playing a TON of games. It’s our job as strength coaches to correct their imbalances and put them in low risk/high reward situations in the gym during their off-season. To me, cleans are a high risk/low reward exercise. Tell me your thoughts! Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you soon!

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4 comments on “Exercises You Shouldn’t Be Doing: Cleans

  1. Scott Williams says:

    Appreciate this post. Some guy in the gym the other day was chewing my ear off about how cleans are one of the best exercises for baseball and almost convinced me to try them

  2. Rob says:

    What about the jump shrug? Fundamental movement for transferring energy.

    • chriskurtz says:

      Rob,
      Again, I don’t like the jump shrug because of the difficulty of keeping the humeral head locked in, especially for pitchers. For energy transfer work, I would look more towards medicine ball throws in baseball specific movements, focusing more on the mechanics of the movement as it applies to the player.

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