The power clean is one of the best exercises for anyone who's interested in becoming faster or more explosive. It can teach you how to effectively produce force by accelerating the barbell upwards. The power clean can also teach you how to effectively absorb forces when you catch the barbell on your shoulders and decelerate the weight.
One common flaw athletes make when they're supposed to receive and decelerate the bar is they tend to jump into a too-wide position.
Unfortunately, this very wide position won't allow the athlete to control the weight effectively, nor does it allow adjustment to the height of the catch.
The ideal stance to receive the bar in a power clean is the same stance as you use in the front squat. This stance also gives you more margin to decelerate the load, which means you can dip a bit lower if you need to. That's not possible with a super-wide stance.
One exercise to teach the ideal receiving position and to find the right stance is the altitude landing. If performed correctly, altitude landings will...
- Help you to find the correct stance width
- Help you to learn the deceleration movement by breaking from the hip
- Help you to learn how to absorb and control downward forces
If you're struggling with the correct stance and the receiving of the weight in the power clean, give altitude landings a try as a corrective exercise.