Power, Power, and Power


Power is, well, a powerful word. Can I say that? Anyway, one of my coworkers brought up a good point about the fact that “power” is used throughout the semantics of weightlifting. I have never really thought about this before; I guess because I understand these semantics from being a part of the sport. Just in case you’re one of those people that are a little confused; I’m going to clear it up for you.

Power ________

Whenever “power” is used in front of an exercise, this means that the bar starts from the floor and is received in a squat above parallel. This would include power cleans, power snatches, and power jerks.

Hang Power _______

Whenever “hang” comes before “power,” this means that the bar is supported by the lifter somewhere off the floor, usually in the power position (yes, “power” again, but we’ll get to that), mid-thigh, above knee, or below knee, and it is received in a squat above parallel. This would include hang power cleans (from whichever position desired) and hang power snatches (from whichever position desired).

Power Position

This is a distinct position where the final part of the pull happens, usually referred to as “triple extension” or the “explosive phase.” This position is one where the bar falls across the crease of the hip (inguinal fold) and the shoulders are either directly over, or slightly in front of, the bar, depending on which coaching camp you fall in. It should be noted that some lifters vary in exactly where the bar falls due to limb lengths. This is also a good position to find your grip width for the snatch, clean, and their variations; essentially where the bar should brush when leaving your arms loose.

Below, Coach Sean Waxman describes many of the position I’ve just discussed…

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