Originally Posted by TrH
Paging pennglock, our subforum resident power clean expert!
So how does one develop more explosive strength in the second pull of the power clean? Leafing through ss2e, I'm still somewhat at a loss at how to get better at it. I'm not jerking the bar off the floor, I pull correctly and (relatively) slowly until I get to the hang position and then jump & rack, but I'm not progressing real quick when it comes to actual poundage.
As I understand it, one isn't supposed to catch the bar in a front squat position (hence "power" clean) - which would make cleaning heavier weights kind of easier, as you don't need to get the bar moving quite as high (but presents a flurry of other technique related questions, but I digress).
The real problem is that I'm just not getting the bar moving fast enough, and thus my elbows won't whip underneath it and there goes the rack.
Or is this just a case of grinding it out and focusing on technique, the plates on the bar will increase eventually?
I'm certainly not an expert (I can only power clean 245), but two things that I focus on for cleans....
1) Keep bar close to body -- the further away the bar is, that leverage works against you to put momentum on the bar and then you have to move your center-of-mass away from your centerline (ie, a vertical through the center of your feet) to catch it, which is unstable, so you feel as though you may need to get the bar higher to complete the catch.
2) Extend the hips -- almost like how you'd pretend to "hump" something as a child, thrust your hips forward. This should occur when the bar is above your knees from the first pull with your legs. The hip action is very important, as your hips are very strong and by extending them violently, you will impart a great deal of upward momentum to the bar.
The difference between power and regular cleans, as you noted, is the catch position-- powers should be hips above knees, full squat clean would be hips below knees on the catch. Both are important. The full squat clean allows a greater weight to be moved, but is more difficult technically because you need to move your body more in a shorter time frame, so it takes a lot of practice to get the timing and coordination down precisely.
It is good to see that you get your elbows under and up; most of the bros I see trying a clean get the bar to their armpits with the forearms vertical and elbows down and they think they're awesome. Of course, the bar doesn't stay there... they immediately have to drop it down.... I just want to scream "THAT'S NOT A FUCKING FRONT RACK YOU DOUCHE!!!!"