Video: Bob Takano – Learn the Most Difficult Phase of Clean Technique

The shift from the pull to the knees to the power position is one of the most difficult aspects of coaching technique. Here’s a simple exercise to teach the feeling of this movement.

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Every coach I know considers the shift from the pull to the knees to the power position the most difficult aspect of coaching technique. Most people don’t have too much trouble learning the hang power clean and then continuing forward to the hang squat clean. They also don’t have too much of a problem learning the pull from the floor to the knee. It’s that transition where the bar moves from the knee to the power position that seems to be the most challenging.

The key to coaching and learning this shift is to practice the halting clean deadlift where the lifter deadlifts the bar to the knee, shifts to the power position and halts for a couple of second to reinforce the feeling of the power position.

Remember that coaching technique is largely a matter of teaching the “feeling” of the movement, and the halt at the proper point is one of the best ways to reinforce that feeling. Coaching this movement also allows the novice coach to more clearly develop a more permanent visual image in the visual cortex of the brain.

Implement these during the technique learning phase with a manageable weight. Keep in mind that the purpose is to develop technique, not necessarily to get stronger, although the weakest muscles involved in this movement will be stimulated to some extent. Four sets of two or three reps after work on more dynamic exercises should aid immensely in teaching the proper positioning.