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What Makes This Power Clean Better!

ultimate sandbag

If you asked me when I first started training that you would see Olympic lifts in commercial gyms I would have said you were crazy! In fact, when I would actually teach my clients some of the Olympic lifts like high pulls, power cleans, and even power snatches, other trainers (I started in the commercial gym like so many others) would actually follow my clients to their cars and the bathroom to tell them I would hurt them #truestory.

I believe kettlebells changed a lot of that as they removed a lot of the perceived complexity of the Olympic lifts, especially drills like the power clean. That allowed us as coaches to bring important power training to our clients that needed it! Whether it was to improve bone density, insulin sensitivity, build greater functional strength, and so much more, power training is a big part of developing not just performance, but health.

Sadly though, people have begun to think that if something is accessible then it can be all that good! Of course that AND combined with the fact that tools like Ultimate Sandbags and kettlebells have lower loads than the barbell. That is a trap though as the leverage and the instability of these tools make lighter loads MUCH more difficult than that of the barbell.

power clean

While I could make a strong case that the power clean of the Ultimate Sandbag is superior to the barbell version because we have to pull a longer distance (needing to create more power and for longer), the dimensional component adding greater challenge and instability, would be enough, there are two concepts that I think make such training even more powerful.

Probably THE most common mistake in our DVRT power clean is what happens when it comes to bringing a weight down. You see a lot of people catch the weight with their arms. Not only does this put excessive stress in the elbows, shoulders, and even back, it is also a missed opportunity to build great strength!

DVRT Master, Greg Perlaki, shows the MOST common mistake in our DVRT power clean. 

That is because for us, the power clean is both up AND down. The deceleration strength that we build during such a movement is so powerful in developing strength and injury resilience. I’ve had renowned strength coach, Robert Dos Remedios, on our blog mention that most injuries occur due to lack of deceleration strength more than anything else!

That means not only do we risk creating issues in our body, we also lose a great opportunity to build a highly underrated quality in our power clean. Once you realize how important this part of our power clean is, you also realize that it makes our movement progressions THAT much more challenging.

Yes, we actually want to develop power more than up and down! Why? Hopefully it is obvious because we move in complex ways in real life! We don’t want to do it randomly as DVRT Japan Master, Taizo Omuro, shows our power clean matrix. The order he performs is how we would teach individual component. What is very complex he makes look simple which is what strength skill is all about. Also, notice how he catches every rep with his hip and NOT his arms!

Only AFTER mastering those patterns do we introduce more advanced concepts like our power clean coming into rotation and from positions like our MAX lunge!

Greg shows how we start going inside out before we go outside in!

The most important part of course is how we build progression. Sometimes people see these power clean variations as “cool” however if you don’t think you can use them then what good are they to have available? That’s why I broke down these ways to help build success in these power clean variations.

Hopefully this allows you to see how not just power training, but proper performance and progression of our DVRT power cleans are important in developing all around fitness.

Take advantage of the chance to save 30% on our DVRT education, training tools, and so much more with code “fall” HERE (excludes live events). 

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We have some pretty awesome drills in #DVRT . Each drill though is layered upon something else and that is what makes our system so unique. Sadly, people sometimes see the “cool” exercise and don’t realize that progressions is the foundation to everything. How we get to the more sophisticated movements isn’t by accident and we always think about how we can build incremental success to the next level. A great example of a common mistake by people is when we move into more complex power clean patterns. ________________________ 💪🏻 Lifters often think that the goal of such movements is to simply clean the weight up. That is only the halfway mark of the lift. The REAL goal is to demonstrate body control, strength, and deceleration ability of both bringing the weight up correctly and also coming back down in the right manner. Too many people catch the Ultimate #Sandbag clean with their arms. This places A LOT of stress in the elbow, shoulder, neck, and back. We want to catch the weight with our hips so when we move to more complex stepping patterns we have to plan how we are going to react to decelerating a weight in the right way! _______________________ 💪🏻 One of the easiest ways to bridge from our stable and foundational bilateral position to these stepping patterns is to come back and clean in that base position. We can focus on just learning to clean well in driving from the ground, keeping the elbows high, and not throwing the weight at our body, but efficiently bringing the weight up to the front load or fist load position. This allows us to build success and proficiency in these new unstable positions. _____________________ 💪🏻 Once we use this strategy for awhile we can use incrementally longer steps to learn how to also decelerate the weight. Starting with a really long step is too aggressive and often leads to compensation of using the arms and not the hips to lower the weight. We have to possess a combination of stability, mobility, and strength to catch the weight in the right manner. So, begin with a slow step and slowly build on the length of step (this is like adding more weight). This leads to success and getting the benefit of the exercise!

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