Rugby League Training Drill 7: Power Cleans
Rugby League is a high intensity, high speed sport that requires repetitive powerful movements to be performed in situations such as accelerating, sprinting and tackling. The power clean is primarily used to develop the players triple extension through the hip, knees and ankles in a more high speed, powerful movement. This exercise is complex and needs to be developed to maximise power output and speed of movement through a series of progressive Olympic lift derivatives such as high pulls and power shrugs. It is essential that the coordination of the movement is correct so as not to produce movement deficiencies rendering the exercise obsolete. Power cleans are an extremely complex movement involving 6 different phases. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, with a loaded barbell on the floor 1 inch in front of your shins. Squat down and hold the bar with a closed, pronated grip. Lift the bar from the floor by explosively extending your hips and knees without bending at the arms or waist yet. As the bar passes the knees, thrust your hips forward and slightly bend the knees to avoid locking them (the bar should be against your thighs at this point). Keeping the bar as close to your body as possible, extend your hips and knees once more and ‘shrug’ your shoulders rapidly upwards then flex your elbows pulling your body under the bar. Rotate your arms around the bar and simultaneously flex the hips and knees into a squat position. Once you are under the bar, with the bar resting on the front of your collar bones and shoulder muscles, stand up by extending the hips and knees. This is one repetition. In my own training programs I prescribe 3-5 sets of 2-4 reps at a load that can be moved with correct form and at speed. It is essential that load prescription is individualised to address specific movement and capacity needs i.e. strength, speed or technical emphasis. With our players, this exercise is performed by the more advanced lifters with loads ranging from 60-100kg depending upon technical proficiency and/or lifting phase. One of our best performers I any power phase is James McManus a well coordinated, strong and powerful athlete. Jeremy Hickmans Jeremy Hickmans is the Performance Director for Wayne Bennet and the Newcastle Knights Please click here to learn more about Jeremy Hickmans and purchase his Rugby League Training Programs.