The utility of the Power Clean is unparalleled. Not only does this exercise develop explosive power coupled appropriately can produce effective conditioning doses.
As a staple exercise in our gym, our coaches have mastered a simple warmup for the Power Clean. At the novice and intermediate level, the Power Clean is a hybrid exercise of both the Deadlift and a partial Front Squat. The third most crucial instructional advice we teach is how to add speed and timing to the lift.
The narrow stance and hand placement of the Power Clean are very similar to the Deadlift, plus or minus a few inches. More importantly, we teach our athletes how to initiate the Power Clean with their legs and not their back. When the deadlift is trained correctly the transition to the Power Clean is smooth.
If the start position is the DL, then the finish position is a partial front squat. Here the athletes learn approximate heights where they feel comfortable catching the bar, while learning how vital resting the bar across the shoulders is. Pausing athletes in the partial squat teaches them balance and body awareness. For coaches it allows us to see possible errors in the Power Clean before ever attempting the entire motion.
Hang Power Clean
The considerable distance from the ground to partial front squat creates multiple error points. By starting in a hang and “dragging the bar to the top of the knee” before jumping to the Front Squat works miracles in timing and lack of explosiveness. Keep it simple. “Jump and land in a partial front squat” eliminates the tendency of pausing and overthinking.
The effectiveness of this teaching progression is that we can chunk this movement into its parts before building it back up. An error in the Power Clean is usually an error in Steps 1, 2, and/or 3. Placing the athlete at the step and correcting the fault is the smartest thing a coach can do.
As you get more comfortable coaching this progression, this can be performed as a warmup. When you’re first learning this complex it acts more like an instructional piece.
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