Power Clean

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Power Clean Technique?

Your "Power" Clean technique is not correct. Many assume that power clean comes from the floor or that you catch very low but this is false. Power clean is actually a clean without a catch. Meaning it takes more power to get the weight to that height. Here is a more accurate video of the Power Clean for your reference.

Coach X


Power CleanWe follow the Power Clean criteria provided by Dr. Lon Kilgore also reiterated with the Power Clean Strength Standards.

The Athletic-style Power Clean which does not go below 90 degree knee angle is certainly different from the Olympic Weightlifting-style Clean where the legs are much more bent during the catch.

Coach Whitney Rodden modeled those shots you see on ExRx.net. Here is her response to your email below.

James Griffing, ExRx.net


James,

I checked it out and I'm going to have to stick with Dr Kilgore's recommendation. This guy stands straight up with it which makes no sense AND he explains that there is no catch and then he demonstrates that there is a catch in the power clean. I say ask him for his credentials if you want to argue the point and then see what he says. Ask Dr Kilgore too. There is my two cents. I can send this on to the person that was with us that day....who is training for the Olympics and see what he says and give this guy our responses and see what he says!

Whitney Rodden
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach
MidAmerica Nazarene University


The guy she was referring to is Zach Schluender who was with us during our shoot. Zack has competed at many National and International Olympic weightlifting meets. Here's a video of him throwing around some weight:


We also shared your email with him and this is what Zach had to say (below).

James Griffing, ExRx.net


At first, upon reading this thread of emails, I was confused as to what the whole argument was over... Then I realized it was over a confusion of terminology, mainly by Coach X. How is there no catch in any of these videos? The catch refers to when the bar is "caught" on the shoulders. No catch would either mean only a pull was done, or the lift was a missed attempt. Power refers to the angle at which the knee is at when the bar is in the "catch" phase. All of the videos mentioned would be considered power cleans... the one in the Coach X's video is just a power clean being done by an inexperienced lifter, which is why he looks so stiff and catches it on straight legs. I reiterate, which you already obviously know Whitney, a power clean just means that the knees were bent at 90 degrees or less. Coach Rodden has beautiful technique and speed in the videos :). Coach X must be using the term catch to mean squatting under the bar, which is incorrect. If I am mistaken, or not making things clear, or am not getting the right point of what you guys are arguing over, just let me know. Hope this helps.

Zach Schluender


James,

I did not mean to attack your videos or your website, I understand what you are getting at. I actually have really enjoyed and have been learning from your website. I misspoke about the catch, I apologize I wrote too quickly. I meant to say that the power clean is a clean without the squat. Which I now know is catching a clean without breaking parallel. I struggle to get my athletes to not go below 90 degrees. They either like to go ass to the floor (not finishing their pull) or catch straight legged. The video makes it look very easy but to get kids to keep their hips back and heels to floor in the clean is quite difficult. Thank you for taking me to school, I learned from this experience.

Coach X


Thank you for your kind words on the ExRx site. I understand this can be confusing even for a coach.

Yes, Whitney makes it look quite easy. She had a great coach, Tom Cross, CSCS, USAW Sr Coach. In 2008, Coach Cross was inducted into the National Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame.

Also keep in mind that parallel, typically refers to the thigh relative to the floor as in a squat, which is significantly lower than 90 degree limit we are talking about here, which refers to the thigh relative to the shank, or lower leg.

I would like to republish our conversation (without your name) so others may also learn from these common misunderstandings.

Tell your colleagues about us. Your patronage is appreciated.

James Griffing, ExRx.net

Update: Years after this was published Coach Zach Schluender began offering his coaching services on ExRx.net. See ExRx.net Elite Consultation Services.


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