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Teaching thePower Clean and the Hang PowerClean

By Jeff
Johnson, Director of Strength Training ; East Carolina University

gradually adding the other steps until the whole movement is mastered, If players are taught according to the following steps, they will achieve a good understanding of the lift, and with minor adjustments, most will then be able to 'master the proper technique of the power clean. Before any ot this can happen though, the coach must develop the expertise necessary to teach this movement. The coach must picture the entire movement in his mind. Films of world elass weightlifters are available for repeated viewing by coaches and athletes.

h " e logical inethod of t.eaching the T power dean is starting with the easiest part of the movement first, then

Learning by seeing is often the best way, It is also very helpful to use as demonstrators those athletes who master technique quickly. This helps to breed a "learn from each other" atmosphere that is very important with a.large team. Finally, scheduled workouts must in-, elude times to stress technique. Early in the program, every day should concentrate on technique work. As technique is learned, the time spent in that area can be reduced to once a week and then to once a month. Of course, the coach will always work with players ort technique,

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Each of the fOIlOWiI~g#.x~r;:i~e~;~hou'ld':' be learned thorou/Sl:ilyarid-in .th~yr.c!er presented. A mistake or -lltJp'~oper ' movement in one exercise will i~Sti'!r'in ' an overcompensation in thenexcmove-: ment and thus, another impropet' movement. Each step canbe i.Is~4,<!s.~nJ ' exercise in your strength prograJfi.T;I:iiS' " provides at least seven exerc:iseS'i,ostart with (2 t03 per workout),'lntl:ie,'iniri;fl learning stages, all oftheses~vi:~ ex:erc, cises should be used at leastohte;awe'ck:" , As the players niasterte6bhiqt1e"adcl,"start handling heavier W<,;igl:lt~t i~}V'~t!I(l'i be better to limit them to;ithriee{,:maJli;' '.

Technically Proficient in the Po~er.Clean -'i{

from the power position, (# 3) ,Shnig~$~,!1\~:':~S;~9~~WI~;,,:: while extending legs and risingontoes (#4). It is easiestt6start'ili~',jjiii:<f:1-?jh~the,C blocks in this movement. You muststart from the proper po:wetp:~gfti~i;:i1'hist, entails thefollowing: " ,." ,~ :0:,,> a) Back arched. b) 'Shoulders over the bar. c) Wristscurled inwards." , d) Head' in a natural alignment with the spine. e) Bar touching (just slightly) the thighs just above the knees. f) Weight is on the balls of the feet. . g) Feet. are spaced shoulder width or slightly narrower. .:: . ".," ., , This position must be learned correctly before any of the other exercis~SsI:i0Uid .6e tried. Note the following important points: ", " " a) The shrug should be directed straight up and not in a circular IT)otion;' , b) Do not let the bar swing away from the athlete. It should always stay close to the athlete. ' ," ' c) 'Balance is important. There should be no "walking" with thebar. 2. Power Pull-The same movement depicted by the previousexercisejs..used. However, we attempt to accelerate the bar as much as possible.inthismovemerit; , thus creating a tremendous amount of true power (Power = Force x velocity). Fr.js' helpful if at the very start of themovement.the'athlete "rocks" sQth~t$e l;>aYswirigs
ever so slightly towards the lifteras.hiships "rock" backwatdsc.'This,;'I'brcesthe

Editor's Note: Jeff is currently the 4th ranked weightlifterin the U.S. via a 303 snatch and a 370 lb. cleanandjerk ..Iohnsori hopes to become one of only seven lifters in U,S. weightlifti'ng history to dean & jf!Tk over 400 lbsin the 181 lb. class.

shoulders even farther over the bar resulting iria,good",ppsltio.nA"!0\vtl1e lifter drives in and up with his hips as his upper torso straightens 'forcefully. At the same time he extends his legsand raises up high, on his toes.Iftheathli:e pulls correctly then you mayallow him to bend his arms at the top of~lj.epul1~o~lIowthe. " momentum of the bar tocarryit toits peak. If the athlete pullsl!:iCcessiveIYWith.'h~~ , arms and shoulders (tries tovmuscle'' the weight up), make him keep:;~t1sii:trii~ straight throughoutthe complete lift: (This wi.!1 forcehiirttoplillWii:hllis'pa~kaftil legs the correct way.) ;, ,; , .'c, ,:/. "'':;.'''' <:" "',:"




Important points: .... a) oftllcpointsnotedinexei'dse I should be ol>servt:dhei'~~fo(); ..... '. ' ": b) This is a.'Jumping" movement very sirrrilar toa verticaljump.i.. :;.", ,\'. " ;,.f,'::;" c) If the bar does Ilot"pop"withahigh velocity, then either theIiftel'iiliandliilgtC)?,l> .., much weight, or he is notconcentrating on speed. " " . . . ,,"" ", d) Always keep thebarclosetothe thigh (especially during the "rock"). ' .. e) Note pictures #3&#4. '. '., 3. The H(Lng Power Clean=Cmce the power puliismastered we move to the hang'f?(Jwer clean. Do the power: pull following the above instrllctionsandimportantpoints,but at the peak of the power p'uil;slicie the feet apart slightly, drop, underthe !?ar while planting the feet, alld c;:atl"ht~ebarsquarely across the deltoids and clavicle W~th the elbows high. Followpic;tutes#3.#6. . Important points: . ,.. . '.


a) Once the power pull is completed, you should feelas though you arepul!ing:! yourself under the'bar.Ttis the momentum that the bar has from thei'power, pull"-phase that keeps it rising. ... . ..... .. .:.' .,.1 b) Catch the bar atthepeakof'its flight. (Do not let the barCl'tish.).; " c) The athlete shouldfee1asthoJighheisjl1inping or hoppingwhenexecuting'this .exercise. The feet should slide to the side about six inches each. .' d) Becauseofshoulderandwris~jnAexibiliiy,someplayei'Srhighthayeto letrhe bar roll back on the. fingertips when catching the bar in orderto provide tor a solid' rack across the shoulders. ,".'. e) The "rocking" movement described in the pow~r pull segment is very irnportanr in learning the feel of driving the hips in and up. However, this isaslight' movement and should exaggerated, or an unwanted'tswinging" of the bar could result..' " , . We now have covered the hang power clean in three simple stepsPracnceihese steps separately-and rogerherunril your players become reasonably proficient at them. Then, and only then, should you proceed to the following steps. 4. The Clean Dead Lift the Knees--,-,::rhe bar is brought From the floor totheknees, held for a few seconds, and returned back to the floor.The shoulders cover the bar always, the back is arched or flat, the wrists are curled inwards, and the latisimus dorsi are contracted to help keep the bar close to the body, The bar should move slightly towards the lifter asitgoesfrom the floor to the knees. The bar is raised as aresult of . the straightening of the legs as the angle of the back in relation to the Aooti'cmains . constant (pictures #'\ &#2). i " . ,~.",



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TeachingthePower Clean' and the Hang Power Clean'

In{pbrt<int points:.
.' . -. a)-.The feet should be Hat on the Door, set atabout-shoulder width or slightly 'narrower, (About the same width as one would use if he were abour'to .do a .' .,verticaljump.) .' '". 'b)Jn this movement one should feel as though he is pushing the gr6lH'i:d or floor ,down. . "l:l;iSt~essposition (back arched, wrists curled-in, head in line with the spine, ..':.,., 1shouldei'~ over. the bar, etc.).

,'f 5;: Clean D'ec!tl,Lift to the Knees Plus Sh.ift~FolIow rh'erevious:mo,vctment, butafte~ . ~ . /;;;;p;iusin,gflt the knees fora few seconds; keep th~'bar fIlbvinifup by.51raight~nillg the .. "!~p*~k~nd/'st6bping" the knees under the hai::y~~sh'ouldnowhave attained the stariii'lg"PQWerpull or hang power clean pOi'\i~~oi1 known as the "power position" :,,(p,lpiu~e#3).pause at the power position, then,repeat(pictures # 1 - #3).' ;:'::r~ppI't~ntpoints:' . '. . ,; ,.' ;'dr\~Uinustbring the bar towards youafewillches during the.floor to the knees .:! phase so that when you scoop your knees under the bar, your shoulders will still (iibeoverthebar. ' ' ,:;' bl~Pt~~r'p6~itionis a must: Follow the previously stated rules.
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.,6:' StrzgeCleari,Pulls-Simply

. . . . add a power pull to the previous exercise; i.e.,pnll to the knees, panse,scoop, pause, power pull, repeat. .IftiPortantpoints: . a):FQ)lowaH the important points covered for-eachsegment of this exercise.'

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'. T' ..qean Pulls~Sh~hen the pauses in th~~stage de'an'pi,iIls gi;adilally until there are:T~(i .'"papses atall, One should feel control off of'thefloor and to theknees, then a shift: or ~t(jopandspringa,Jmostexactly like One feels when heisjurnping. This "double knee","':~co9P;" "shi ft,,"or whatever youcallit, is avery importanrconcepr because of it~$imilarity to the verticaljump. By using very heavy resistance training with this' ,mQvemeo,t;:one can develop-an almost unbdicvableamountof true power! Power '( 1haiwili.erii.l?lean offensive line to demonstrate tremendous explosion and drive, a .rup.ning;;:ktoexpl()de into dcfGnsivej>.layersiand,<juite siniply,p(lwerthal.wiJl "mal<!:!'anYoQe abetter football player (pictures .#1"#4) .. .ltIipo~tantpoints: ; '. . .... . . .: aj;:i'hebal' should brush the thighs as the .scoop is executed, The proper shift or . scoop is imperative. . . . . b)' Make sure the pull from she floor is not executed hurriedly as this will cause the athlete to shift improperly. . <:)FQUowall previous points that relate to the separatescgmenrs of'the clean pull.


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8. The PoioerClean=-Senv: as the-clean pull exceptthelift~rcatches the bar in the same mannerasthe hang power dean. If you have followed each step in order, you should hll.V~ little difficulty in executing a properpower dean. There are many points I equid list for tile power clean, but they have all been covered in the previous steps. 1 f sq):ne ot;yoilr athletes still have trouble with the power clean, send them back to the P;st~pors'teRs~at will help correct theirerrors(#1-#6). G00d lu~*with'ybur programs-and rernernber+technique first, then heavy weights! If you wouklHkeadditional information; con tact: . . .1;;" JeiIJohnson .

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