Dumbbell Clean: Great Exercise to Build Your Support Muscles

Man Performing Dumbbell Clean

Dumbbell Cleans are an extraordinary muscle building and power generating exercise to train your entire body. Are you searching for an alternative power generating exercise that you can do anywhere and work you whole body? You’ll want to try this how to tutorial and begin right away.

Dumbbell Clean Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Gluteus Maximus
  • Secondary Muscles: Adductor Magnus, Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Deltoid – Anterior, Deltoid – Lateral, Infraspinatus, Quadriceps, Serratus Anterior, Soleus, Teres Minor, Trapezius – Lower, and Trapezius – Middle
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Power
Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Dumbbell Clean Instructions

  • You should commence by picking up the dumbbells off the floor with good posture, knees bent butt out back straight and weight over your mid foot.
  • Next is an explosive motion of pressing with your legs and pulling with your back and glutes to raise the dumbbells up toward your chest.
  • Then, quickly drop back under the dumbbells by doing a squat to catch them above your chest.
  • Finally, you can squat them back up to a standing position to finish the clean.
  • Continue until you have finished a whole set of this explosive building exercise.

Video Tutorial

How To Do A Dumbbell Clean | WIT 101

Dumbbell Clean Muscles

Target (Agonist)

  • Gluteus Maximus


  • Adductor Magnus
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Brachialis
  • Brachioradialis
  • Deltoid – Anterior
  • Infraspinatus
  • Quadriceps
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Soleus
  • Teres Minor
  • Trapezius – Lower
  • Trapezius – Middle

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • Gastrocnemius
  • Hamstrings


  • Erector Spinae
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Sartorius
  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius – Middle
  • Trapezius – Upper

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • Obliques
  • Rectus Abdominis
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the dumbbell clean exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Dumbbell Clean

The Dumbbell Clean exercise is a great way to target the Gluteus Maximus muscle. This exercise strengthens the muscle and can help improve posture and reduce lower back pain. It also helps to improve balance, coordination, and agility. Additionally, the Dumbbell Clean provides a full body workout that helps to tone and strengthen the arms, shoulders, core, and legs. By performing this exercise in a strength training or fitness routine, you can reap the benefits of increased strength, improved muscular endurance, and improved overall fitness.

Tips for Performing Dumbbell Clean

If you want to achieve the best muscle development, you will need to use these basic tips. Similarly, if you wish to reduce the likelihood of having an injury, you ought abide by these tips.

  • Complete Power Sets. Is executing a set of a pair of unique lifts back to back. There are a couple of main options to do power sets, first is to focus on an individual muscle. The other is to target on the opposite muscle groups.
  • Perform At Least 3 Of 8-20 Repetitions For Hypertrophy. Now there are many theories regarding how Hypertrophy is initiated, most come to an agreement that sets using 60-80% within your 1RM are going to resulted in increased muscle size.
  • Slow Every Single Movement To 4-6 Seconds For Every Contraction And The Same For The Extension, To Boost Your Training. So that you will generate mas you need to raise the amount of time under strain of your target muscle tissue. Slowing down your rep will increase the time under tension. Multiple research papers have shown that just under 6 seconds extension and contraction is the ideal time provides optimum benefit for creating muscle gains. You should add this approach occasionally, however, not anytime you train.
  • Slow Every Repetition Down For Greater Strength Gains. When you increase the time under tension you are engaging your muscles longer and they will respond by developing strength. You can achieve this without increasing the resistance by slowing down you reps roughly 4 – 6 seconds contraction and pause then 4 – 6 seconds relaxing.

Benefits and Tips Video

Instructional: Dumbbell Clean

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

You ought to keep from making these typical errors to build and maintain quality technique and continue to develop gains. Also, when you stop these errors you will minimize the chance of having injuries.

  • Don’t Dismiss Your Own Discomfort. Tender muscles and an injury pain are not necessarily always the same. Once you come to feel painfulness any time you are working out you need to stop, or you can simply just make this injury more serious.
  • You Must Not Neglect Rest Times. Over training may certainly make you weaker in lieu bigger.
  • You’ll Do Better To Not Trai Solo. Your workout partner may be an amazing driving force. A workout buddy can certainly be also useful spotter.

Variations and Complementary Exercises

One of the great things about the Dumbbell Clean exercise is that it can be modified to provide a variety of intensity levels. Below are some variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that work similar muscles as the Dumbbell Clean.

Graphic image of Barbell Clean.

Barbell Clean: Barbell Clean is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise for Dumbbell Clean. It works the same muscles and can be used for the same purpose. It’s a compound exercise that targets the muscles of the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core. It’s a full-body exercise that is great for developing strength and power. The primary difference between Dumbbell Clean and Barbell Clean is that the barbell allows for more weight to be used and allows for a greater range of motion. Additionally, Barbell Clean places more emphasis on the posterior chain muscles and can be used to develop explosive power.

Graphic image of Barbell Dimmel Deadlift.

Barbell Dimmel Deadlift: The Barbell Dimmel Deadlift is an effective exercise that can be used as a complement or alternative to the Dumbbell Clean. It works the same muscle groups as the Dumbbell Clean, but with the added challenge of having to lift the weight off the floor from a dead stop. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to increase their strength and power. Additionally, the Barbell Dimmel Deadlift can be done with heavier weights than the Dumbbell Clean, allowing for greater strength gains.

Graphic image of Barbell Snatch Deadlift.

Barbell Snatch Deadlift: The Barbell Snatch Deadlift is a great complementary or alternative exercise for Dumbbell Clean. It is a complex, full body movement that works the entire body, including the core, hips, and legs. The Barbell Snatch Deadlift is an explosive exercise, which helps to build power and strength. This exercise also helps to develop coordination and stability in the lower body, as well as balance and control. This exercise can also be used to improve muscle activation and recruitment throughout the body, making it an effective way to increase overall strength and performance.

Check Out These Top Dumbbell Exercises

Graphic image of Barbell Sumo Deadlift.

Barbell Sumo Deadlift: The Barbell Sumo Deadlift is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Dumbbell Clean. It targets the same primary muscle groups as the Dumbbell Clean, such as the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. However, the Barbell Sumo Deadlift does not require as much coordination or explosiveness as the Dumbbell Clean, making it an ideal choice for those who may not have the same level of skill. Additionally, the barbell allows for heavier weights to be lifted, which can help to build more strength and power. Ultimately, the Barbell Sumo Deadlift is an excellent exercise for anyone looking to build strength and power in their lower body.

Graphic image of Dumbbell Deadlift.

Dumbbell Deadlift: The Dumbbell Deadlift is a great complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Clean. This exercise strengthens the same muscles used in the Dumbbell Clean, but in a different way. It works the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, while also helping to develop core strength. Unlike the Dumbbell Clean, the Dumbbell Deadlift does not require as much coordination, making it a great alternative for those who are still learning the correct form for the Clean. With the Dumbbell Deadlift, you can focus on proper form and technique before progressing to the more dynamic Dumbbell Clean.

Graphic image of Barbell Clean and Press.

Barbell Clean and Press: The Barbell Clean and Press is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Dumbbell Clean. It involves explosively lifting a barbell from the ground to the shoulders, then pressing it up overhead. This exercise works all the major muscle groups in the body, including the arms, chest, shoulders, back, and core. Compared to the Dumbbell Clean, this exercise is more dynamic and requires more coordination and balance. This makes it an excellent way to challenge your body in different ways, while still working on the same basic movement pattern.

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To further complement the exercise Dumbbell Clean and ensure a balanced workout, incorporate exercises that use opposing muscle groups. Below is a list of exercises that will provide additional strength to the muscles used in the Dumbbell Clean.

Graphic image of Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat.

Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat: The Smith Machine Frankenstein Squat is a great exercise to complement the Dumbbell Clean as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise involves standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, holding onto the bar of the Smith Machine for support. You then push your hips back and squat down as low as you can while maintaining a straight back. As you come back up, you drive your hips forward and squeeze your glutes to complete the rep. This exercise works the quads and glutes, which are the opposing muscle group to the hamstrings and upper back muscles that are worked during the Dumbbell Clean.

Graphic image of Smith Machine Front Squat.

Smith Machine Front Squat: The Smith Machine Front Squat is a great complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Clean. It works the opposing muscle group of the legs, the quads, and helps to balance out the lower body. The Smith Machine allows you to set the bar in a fixed position, ensuring proper form throughout the exercise. The front squat is also a great way to help build core strength and stability, as it requires a tight core to maintain balance throughout the exercise.

Graphic image of Smith Machine Squat.

Smith Machine Squat: The Smith Machine Squat is an excellent complement to the Dumbbell Clean exercise. This exercise works the quadriceps and glutes while the Dumbbell Clean focuses on the hamstrings and lower back. The Smith Machine Squat is performed with a barbell in a fixed position, which allows for deeper squats and more control over the movement. The Smith Machine Squat also reduces the risk of injury since it does not require balancing the weight. By doing this exercise in conjunction with the Dumbbell Clean, you can effectively train the opposing muscle groups for a balanced lower body strength.


You can now have the ability to train with dumbbell clean effectively. Right now your future phase is to conduct dumbbell clean as a piece of a steady strength training strategy to grow your Gluteus Maximus.

References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov

Pin image for dumbbell clean post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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