This cycle we have a big focus on working to master the leg drive and catch the position of the power clean. One common issue most of the athletes we work with have is that they lack the technical proficiency to drive the bar vertical and to catch the bar on the body in a front rack position.
As we assess what needs to be programmed in each training phase the #1 priority we have is technical mastery in each and every one of our lifting movements. The weight room is a hazardous place and if we are going to program complex movements like Olympic lifts then we damn well better take the time to teach our athletes how to truly execute them.
Enter the Power Position Hang Clean!
This movement is one of our four focus lifts for this training phase and one that will really help us in future training cycles when we begin to load the bar heavy for our Power and Hang Cleans. In addition, for us, this movement will l be used as a technique primer in future cycles so we want to take the time to master it now.
Knowing that many of our athletes struggle to catch the bar in a ¼ squat position (or lower) with the bar landing on their bodies with their elbows in a good front rack position, one major point of emphases we will have is keeping the weight relativity light and getting comfortable pulling ourselves under the bar. What we see very often is athletes trying to catch the bar with their hands and not on their shoulders. This movement will help correct that technical glitch and set us up for long term success.
Let’s dive into the Power Position Hang Clean in a bit more detail…
- Get set up like you are about to do a Hang Clean.
- Stand tall with your arms straight and your knuckles pointing to the floor
- Without sliding the bar down your thighs dip your knees and drive the bar completely vertical into your triple extension position
- After reaching full extension pull your body under the bar and receive it in a ¼ squat (or lower) position with elbows up and the bar landing firmly on your shoulders
A couple of points to remember:
- Don’t feel like you need to crush weight with this lift, execution is the #1 priority
- If you are having trouble with catching the bar with your elbows up then incorporate some wrist mobility and lat mobility daily
- Make sure you are keeping your arms locked out from the moment you initiate the movement to the peak of your triple extension
This movement should do a lot to help fix technical flaws in the top ½ of your Power and Hang Cleans and can be incorporated into your programming as a technical primer. Don’t forget, Olympic lifting is in the Olympics for a reason. It is a hard thing to coach (especially in a group setting) so take your time, fix areas of need, and coach the hell out of it. If you do all of that, then mastery of the movement is sure to come.