Olympic Lifting – Power Cleans
I am by no means an expert – I will add more detail here as I learn more.
Train at your own risk.
These are the best exercise, along with plyometrics, to increase explosive power. Something that’s essential in MMA.
You should start by learning basic deadlift technique, then move onto power shrugs – where you pick the bar up and in the same movement shrug the bar and jump by explosively pushing off the floor with your feet/toes.
High Pulls is a good progression after the power shrugs. Pick the bar up with a flat back, explosively extend your hips then pull the bar as high as possible towards your chin.
Then, move onto cleans.
You should use a hook grip. Where you hook your thumb around the bar first and then grasp onto your thumb with the rest of your fingers on top (two fingers touching your thumb, two on the bar).
Keep elbows pointed outwards at the starting position and grab the bar just wider than shoulder width.
1. Drive with your feet
2. When the bar approaches knee height, drive your hips through, this is where you should really exert maximal effort
3. Keep pulling the bar upwards
4. Rotate your elbows from above the bar, to beneath the bar – get them as high up as possible – you want your triceps parallel with the ground. At the same time you need to drop slightly beneath the bar, by dropping your level by bending your legs and slightly widening your stance.
One final point – try and catch the bar on the top of your chest. Your hands should take very little force/weight.
Just to illustrate the importance of the hook grip. Here is me trying to clean 80kg with a normal grip:
And here is me using a hook grip: