Power clean and snatch. Are those necessary movements to increase explosive power?

  • Snatch is of course one of the best exercises to increase your explosive power! But it also depends on how heavy you're moving the weights. In order to gain in explosive power one shouldn't go too high. It would be better to have a perfect technique and do the exercises quick

  • Thanks for your answer. What you think, is snatch easier to learn than clean? I have now throwed discus for a two summers and i really need explosiveness :)

  • Would say they are very good for explosiveness but not necessary if a alternative can be used, e.g. kettle bell snatch. The Oly lifts are very technical and if you are struggling with the technique it might be safer to find an alternative explosive movement that you can do - as long as it improves explosiveness.

    • Official Post

    Thanks for your answer. What you think, is snatch easier to learn than clean? I have now throwed discus for a two summers and i really need explosiveness :)

    to clean is is definitely easier compared to snatch. The exercise is way more complex and to be underestimated...
    So if you start doing it use a mirror and work with a bar Barton get the technique perfect before adding plates.

  • I agree. Both rely on what's called a "catch" where you drop underneath the bar into an overhead or front squat position. The clean is easier because the bar moves less distance. So, master the "catch" for each exercise and you will be good at both of them

  • I think that both movements are important to throwing events. I also think that full cleans and snatches are important...full snatches are great for your mobility. Ryan Whiting has said that when hes snatching well he usually throws well too and i have found that to be true in my own training as well.

  • What's mean with power clean? heavy weights?

    I think they refer to the explosiveness of the movement with "power clean"... To do a right explosive movement with a decent weight without deforming the technique, not necessarily lifting heavy weights. I hope i help something (and sorry for my english it's not the best)

  • mmmm.... Coach Smith gave me some valuable input on this 2-3 weeks ago and I agree with him; catching isn't necessary. Think of it like this...as a thrower, what are you trying to achieve by performing high/low hangs or full power cleans? Answer: it's in the work performed to achieve a high position following the leg jerk and high pull. There is nothing achieved by catching, unless you want to knock out a jerk or follow-up with some push-presses. Therefore, the recommendation is to not even catch it; just leg jerk, pop the hips, shrug with the high pull and let it drop. As my best power cleans were only 315 several years ago, I was expecting to add poundage, not so, although my powerlifting-style compounds have gotten MUCH stronger (in college I only moved a 3x435flat bench, maybe a 550 squat and a 400/450 deadlift). Today I'm over a 500DL, 5x525BP, over 700lb squat(I still don't believe this is max effort, I have yet to feel the ceiling'). BUT my power cleans are sucking wind...

    Now as a thrower, I'm not in there to perform perfect Olympic lifts with the pretty textbook finishes =O I'm trying to reap the rewards from the work performed. Therefore, you have to ask yourself 'what is the strength/explosive advantage achieved by catching?' None. Sure, it shows you have awesome control of the weight, but what else? nothing. Therefore, I am doing hang-cleans, just popping the legs, hips, and high-pulling, then dropping it. Do I perform the full ROM? Do I reach the point of the catch? Am I still receiving the maximum benefit from the lift? Yes to all three. BUT... you can also pull more weight. And being explosive with more weight=more strength and explosivity. Check the box and move it along :D Also, this greatly reduces the risk of some funky wrist dislocation or hand/forearm injury. Personally, I'd like to throw for as long as I can; injury is a dirty-word in my book.

    Eventually, if you want to subscribe to that purist mentality, I'll bet this is going to increase your future potential for full power cleans. But remember, we were put here for the sole purpose of throwing heavy things far 8o So, whatcha gonna do? I pick the exercise or variation thereof that will yield bigger throws. Now remember, this is Coach Smith's idea, not mine, I give him full credit; I'm just utilizing some of his methods and express my thanks...because it works, people. As for snatches, I've never really dabbled there, although I can't argue their pertinence. A lot of elite-level throwers use them, guess it depends on the athlete. Til next time.

  • While I absolutely believe that power cleans and snatches can be a great tool for throwers to use because of their explosive nature, I also firmly believe that if not done correctly they can be one of the worst possible things that can be included in an athlete's program. The olympic lifts are very technical lifts and a large amount of mobility which take a lot of time to learn and perfect. If done incorrectly, just like any other lift, it heightens the potential for injury. If done correctly and with the correct loads (research says around 60%), however, they are a great tool for encouraging explosive extension and developing power.

    I think that Odysseus also brings up a great point when it comes to catching--well, not catching. Like he said, by not catching you're still reaping the benefits of developing explosiveness as well as avoiding injury to the wrists. There is also some research that suggests that athletes performing olympic lift variations such as the jump shrug (basically what Odysseus described above) were able to produce more force than when performing a full hang clean. Additionally, in some of Anatoly Bondarchuk's research concerning the transfer of training (I found this in Cal Dietz's book Triphasic Training) showed that there were exercises that had a much higher coefficient of correlation to shot put performance than the power clean. Just some fun stuff to think about. :)

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