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Training Brief -- The Key to Building the Most Explosive Athlete -- The Power Clean

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Go to BFS Power Clean Article in Magazine Archives

A survey involving 137 Division I coaches found that 85 percent used Olympic lifting movements such as the power clean to train their athletes. In the NFL, that percentage was 88 percent. When BFS Editor in Chief Kim Goss was a strength coach for the Air Force Academy (1987-1994), he enlisted the help of the university’s math department to conduct an experiment to determine which strength training exercises had the highest correlation to the ability to play football. He compiled the results of the top three athletes on the depth chart for each position, as well as their maxes on numerous core and auxiliary exercises, for a three-year period. For defensive and offensive linemen, and in fact for almost all positions, the exercise that had the highest correlation to playing ability was the power clean.

The reason is simple.

Linemen need to be able to express a high level of strength quickly. Because the power clean allows you to accelerate your limbs over a large range of motion, it’s one of the best exercises for improving what sport scientists call the rate of force development. This is in contrast to conventional power lifts such as squats, which for safety reasons require more time to decelerate the weight – in fact, the only time maximum force can be exerted is at the beginning of those exercises. And there is practical evidence in peer-reviewed journals supporting the idea that power cleans are a superior exercise for developing power...

Download the full BFS Power Clean Position Paper in a printer friendly version from the BFS Downloads Page.

To learn even more about this valuable exercise seach the
BFS Magazine Archives for "CLEAN"



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