Learning the hang power clean: Kinetic, kinematic, and technical changes in four weightlifting naive athletes
National Strength and Conditioning Association
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
The investment in learning required to reach benefit with weightlifting training is currently not well understood in elite athletes. The purpose of this investigation was to quantify changes in vertical jump power production and kinematic variables in hang power clean (HPC) performance during the learning process from a naive state in a multiple single-subject research design. Four elite athletes undertook HPC learning for approximately 20-30 minutes twice per week over a 169-day period. Changes in parameters of vertical power production during squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ) were monitored from baseline (day 0) and at 3 additional occasions. Hang power clean movement kinematics and bar path traces were monitored from day 35 and at 3 additional occasions particular to the individual's periodized training plan. Descriptive statistics were reported within athletes as mean ± SD. We observed a 14.1-35.7% (SJ) and a -14.4 to 20.5% (CMJ) gain in peak power across the 4 jump testing occasions with improvements over the first 4 weeks (SJ: 9.2-32.6%; CMJ: -2.91 to 20.79%). Changes in HPC movement kinematics and barbell path traces occurred for each athlete indicating a more rearward-directed center of pressure over the concentric phase, greater double knee bend during the transition phase, decreased maximal plantar flexion, and minimal vertical displacement of body mass with HPC learning. Considering the minimal investment of 4 weeks to achieve increases in vertical power production, the benefits of training with HPC justified the associated time costs for these 4 elite athletes.