The Power Clean is a movement you have to be excited about. There is no clowning around with this exercise. So, when you perform the clean, you should always be striving for technical perfection… EVERY REP! Perfection is knowing body placement, arching the back, engaging the posterior chain (lower back, glutes and hamstrings), Knowing how you look from the outside (this is what mirrors were actually intended for… to see your form), and performing all three pulls correctly! Yes, I said three pulls!
- Pull 1 is your initial pull from the ground. This is where you break inertia. Where your muscles overcome the gravitational pull of that weight in order to make the weight move.
- Pull 2 is when the bar crosses mid thigh (a lower pull start just above the knees will not allow you to shorten the hip angle. Let the bar travel to the upper half of the thigh for maximum hip power). At this point the arms begin their bending/pull which happens almost simultaneously with the 3rd pull.
- Pull 3 is PULLING THE BODY UNDER THE BAR. Like a reverse pull up… We could call it a pull down!? Coaches use terms like jump under the bar, but your actually pulling yourself under the bar. If you notice Olympic Athletes aiming for the GOLD, you will see how their catch is a blur. There are two forces here, gravity and your mechanical power. If you were to jump/drop under the bar you are moving the same speed as the bar towards the ground. Which makes it almost impossible to catch a heavy load. So, you must speed up the “drop” by pulling under the bar as you are pulling up on the 2nd pull. Make sense?
This can be performed with light weight, but will be more visible when the weights get heavier and you can only lift it to your belly button.