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Kinetic Comparison of Free Weight and Machine Power Cleans

Jones, R Murry1; Fry, Andrew C2; Weiss, Lawrence W1; Kinzey, Stephen J3; Moore, Christopher A1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - pp 1785-1789
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318185f068
Original Research

Jones, RM, Fry, AC, Weiss, LW, Kinzey, SJ, and Moore, CA. Kinetic comparison of free weight and machine power cleans. J Strength Cond Res 22(6): 1785-1789, 2008-The purpose of this investigation was to compare the kinetic characteristics of the power clean exercise using either free weight or machine resistance. After familiarization, 14 resistance trained men (mean ± SD; age = 24.9 ± 6.2 years) participated in two testing sessions. During the initial testing session, one-repetition maximum performance (1RM) was assessed in either the free weight or machine power clean from the midthigh. This was followed by kinetic assessment of either the free weight or the machine power clean at 85% of 1RM. One week after the initial testing session, 1RM performance, as well as the subsequent kinetic evaluation, were performed for the alternate exercise modality. All performance measures were obtained using a computer-interfaced FiTROdyne dynamometer (Fitronic; Bratislava, Slovakia). Maximum strength (1RM) and average power were significantly greater for the free weight condition, whereas peak velocity and average velocity were greater for the machine condition (p < 0.05). Although peak power was not different between modalities, force at peak power (free weights = 1445 ± 266 N, machine = 1231 ± 194 N) and velocity at peak power (free weights = 1.77 ± 0.28 m·s−1, machine = 2.20 ± 0.24 m·s−1) were different (p < 0.05). It seems that mechanical limitations of the machine modality (i.e., lift trajectory) result in different load capacities that produce different kinetic characteristics for these two lifting modalities.

1Human Performance Laboratories, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee; 2Human Performance Laboratory, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; and 3Department of Kinesiology, California State University-San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California

Address correspondence to Andrew C. Fry,

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association