The past couple weeks we have been talking about power, what is it, how that applies in the sport of weightlifting, and how to develop and improve power. If you haven’t already, go back and check out our past two blogs on power. So now that we now what power is in weightlifting and some exercises outside weightlifting that complement power, we can dive into how to improve power with weightlifting training.
Improving power can be as simple as doing more power variations of the lifts such as the power snatch, power clean, and power jerk. A power variation of a lift is catching/receiving the bar in a higher position where the hips are above parallel (hips are above the knees). In order to catch the bar in a higher position, we must drive and pull the bar higher. The more drive, the more powerful. This translates very well over to the full lift because the higher we can drive a bar, the more time we have to get under it. A way to work on this might be performing 4-6 sets of 2-4 reps at 60-70% of your best. Be sure to make the movement feel as similar as possible to the actual lift or it will be pointless to do this.
Hang/Block Power Variations (Snatch & Clean)
Performing hang/block variations are also a very good way to improve power. Both below knee and above knee variations can be done, but we are going to focus on above the knee variations. With the above knee hang/block variation, we take out the first pull (floor to knee) and we get to really focus on the second pull (knee to hip) where the most power is generated. Since the movement is much shorter, it will be less taxing on the body and will allow the lifter to perform more working sets. At the same time, it also makes the movement more challenging because you do not have that much room to generate power, whereas, in a lift from the ground, you might feel stronger because there is much more room to generate power. Hang/block variations can be either harder or simpler, depending on the lifter, but regardless, the focus should be on driving the bar as high as possible with the legs. 4-6 sets of 2-4 can be done and adjust the load as need depending on how it feels.
Behind The Neck Jerks
Behind the neck (BTN) jerks are also a great way to improve power. Typically jerks are performed from the front of the shoulders, and then we drive it up and behind the ears. With the bar behind the neck, now we don’t have to worry about driving it back, we just drive it straight up, since the bar is already positioned behind the ears. Now we can really just focus on the leg drive of the jerks. Performing both BTN power and/or split jerks will be very beneficial. Just drive that bar as high as possible and follow it with fast hands to the lock out.
Try these exercises out if you feel like to cannot generate enough power and let us know how it goes!