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Exercise Technique—A Simple Approach to Teaching the Power Clean in a Group Environment

by Joe Cruz, MS, CSCS, FMS, USAW
TSAC Report June 2017
Vol 48, Issue 6

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There are numerous complexities involved in teaching the Olympic-style lifts. This article explains one way to teach the power clean progression and some coaching cues that can be used to teach sport or tactical athletes in a group setting.

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The complexities involved in teaching the Olympic-style lifts extend beyond the strength and conditioning professional’s knowledge of the lift; they include the limitations of the lifter with regard to kinesthetic awareness, mobility, and neuromuscular coordination, to mention a few. Many strength and conditioning professionals encounter scenarios where they have to teach a group the clean progression or other variations. This can be a problematic situation because each individual in the group will have a unique set of physical constraints. For example, one may not appreciate what it means to arch their back, another might not be able to keep their shoulders retracted, etc. Typically, the time strength and conditioning professionals have with their lifters is limited, but yet they have to properly teach them the first pull, transition, second pull, catch, and the appropriate progressions.

Oftentimes this will result in the strength and conditioning professional running out of time or rushing through the steps so quickly that the lifters do not learn or consolidate the movements thoroughly. Often strength and conditioning professionals are taught the science and major teaching points of the Olympic-style lifting progressions but the art of teaching said progressions is neglected. The art of coaching is what happens when you have the right mentor, enough personal experience, and creativity to accomplish a task.

This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational, tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available for NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report 

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Jose A. Cruz, CSCS

Velocity Sports Performance, Newport Beach, CA, United States

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Jose Cruz currently serves as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Naval Special Warfare-Special Boat Team Twenty in Virginia Beach. He has ov...

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