“A lot more attention tends to be paid to the third pull or turnover of the snatch than the clean, likely because the consequences of poor execution tend to be more dramatic and obvious, but the turnover of the clean deserves its own share of attention. The timing and precision of the turnover in the clean can be the difference between a make and a miss, or can prevent the recovery from being so taxing that a subsequent jerk fails.
An idea I commonly talk about with my lifters is attempting to make the clean resemble the front squat as much as possible. Even the most technically proficient and athletic lifters can front squat more than they can clean. The primary reasons are simple: it’s easier to establish and maintain balance and stability, barbell positioning is ideal, and there is a longer eccentric segment.
So to make cleans more successful, we’re trying to optimize balance and stability, position the barbell as well as possible in the rack, and ensure enough of an eccentric movement to create tension and a stretch reflex to aid in the recovery.
Balance and stability are affected by every part of the lift from the moment the bar leaves the platform, and arguably even before that. If the lifter’s balance is off during any phase of the lift, it’s very likely to remain off for the rest of the lift. If the lifter is balanced and stable early the lift, it’s very likely that he or she will remain that way. With regard to the turnover specifically, the maintenance of balance requires that the lifter and barbell remain in immediate proximity to each other and extraneous movement is minimized or eliminated; this is one part of the precision element of the turnover. Consistency among lifts is also critical because it makes the movement predictable and reliable, which minimizes the need for adjustments during the very limited time during a lift.” Continued…