Q: I’ve started doing power cleans, but I pull with bent arms. I’ve tried locking my arms, but it just seems to cause me to swing the bar out front. Any ideas?
A: I suggest that you break down the lift into a three-part drill as a warmup set, working from the top down and using relatively light weights. Perform the first repetition from the hang position—midthigh.
Without returning the bar to the platform, perform the next rep from just below the knee.
For the third rep go from the floor. Breaking down the lift in this manner enables you to focus on keeping your arms straight and relaxed during the lift.
When you move to lifting heavier weights from the floor, you should find that the new technique pattern carries over.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.com. IM