The Log Clean, in my opinion, is the best exercise for wrestlers looking to increase their power on the mat.
Unfortunately it’s not the most common piece of equipment at most gyms. So if you have the opportunity to use one definitely take advantage of it, especially if you want to become a mat return machine.
The hip power needed to complete a Log Clean is almost identical to that needed for a successful mat return.
Check out what I mean by watching the video below. Pause it during one of the reps when the log is halfway up my chest. Then, compare that body position to a mat return scenario.
Log Clean Video & Technique
To perform a Log Clean, start by grabbing the handles and lifting the Log to a standing position. I know it may seem like it goes without saying, but grab the handles in the center.
If you don’t get a centered grip, you won’t be able to rack (finish) the Clean.
Anyway, once you’re standing with the Log there’s one thing you’ll need to do before beginning the Clean.
Perform a counter-movement like you would do before any power exercise. As you do this pull your elbows behind you so there is a bend in your arms.
Key Log Clean Technique Point: DO NOT try to Clean the Log with straight arms. You’ll run out of room trying to roll it up your body and will never be able to rack the Clean. Notice the bend in my right arm before each rep in the video above.
As soon as you’re at the bottom of your counter-movement drive your hips forward and attempt to jump as high as possible.
At the peak of your hip extension, begin to roll the Log up your chest as you drive your elbows under it.
After you complete the Clean, return the Log to your hips and repeat for reps. Just remember, when performing power exercises it’s about quality, not the quantity. Generally speaking, keep your reps below 5 to best ensure your power output is high.
I prefer the wrestlers I train perform the Log Clean from the same power position they would use for other power exercises. However, there is another way to perform the Log Clean.
Here’s a quick video where you perform the Clean from a tabled position.
Notice how he’s almost in a full squat at the bottom and rests the Log across his quads. I learned this technique from a Strongman who trained at my gym last year. This technique is preferred by Strongmen because it enables you to Clean more weight.
However, I’ve found the increase in weight to detract from the speed of the Clean. This takes away from the purpose of the exercise, which is to develop explosive power in the hips.
Feel free to experiment with both. But, I definitely recommend the way I demonstrate in the first video if you’re looking to maximize your power on the mat.
Check out the next post: Training For Wrestling- DB Snatch.
Check out the first post in the series: Weight Training for Wrestling.