Axle Clean

The axle clean (and press), may not be as well known as the atlas stones or the log press, but among strongmen this lift is as infamous as any. Not only is the axle thick, but the sleeves don’t rotate. There are several ways to clean an axle:

If you have beast-hands, you can just double-overhand grip the bar and clean it up in one motion.

If the weight prohibits you from doing this, you can do a Continental Clean. A Continental Clean entails using a mixed grip, cleaning the bar to your upper abdomen (you cannot rest it on your belt, if you wear one), switching your grip to a double overhand (this will mean releasing your supine hand from the bar and reversing its grip so that you now are gripping with a double overhand grip), and then cleaning it from your belly to the catch position.

If you’re feeling particularly coordinated, you can also perform a Continental the following way: Start with a mixed grip, clean the barbell to your stomach, but before it catches on your abdomen switch your grip to a double overhand. Then clean and press as normal. This will be tricky because if you don’t switch hands while the bar is still moving upwards or weightless, you’ll have a tough time keeping the bar balanced.

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About the Author

Zach works behind the scenes at elitefts™, but once in a while Dave lets him out of the basement to write an article or eat some human food for a change.