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Which Muscles Does a Dumbbell Clean Press Work?

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Which Muscles Does a Dumbbell Clean Press Work?
A dumbbell on a concrete floor. Photo Credit sakchaiphoto/iStock/Getty Images

An Olympic-style lift once primarily performed by power athletes, the dumbbell clean and press has made its way into many regular exercisers' strength and conditioning routine. This advanced move works most of the muscles in your body and enhances neuromuscular coordination. Learn proper form before executing a clean and press as the explosive nature of the move increases the risk of injury.

Muscle Specifics

Dumbbell clean and presses require stabilization from your trunk, and thus work the muscles of the abdomen, particularly the rectus abdominis, the obliques and the transverse abdominis. When you squat to pick the weights up off the floor and extend the hips, your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps activate. The jump that helps you bring the weights to your shoulders targets the muscles of your calves -- the gastrocnemius and soleus. Your back extensors, which are attached at the back of the spine and include the erector spinae, also engage as you move into a standing position. The middle back, primarily the trapezius muscles and rhomboids, and the shoulders drive the movement of curling the weights toward your shoulders and then up overhead. The triceps assist in the pressing up action.

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