The Clean & Rep Efficiency: Phase 2

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Mike3By Coach Sal and Coach Mike Causer

The acceleration of the bar during this phase comes by extending. You do not need an exaggerated jump, and your feet should barely leave the floor. Your hips need to snap forward quickly as your legs finish extending. Rising up on your toes is acceptable, but this should occur naturally – do not extend your ankles to impart force to the bar. If you are extending at the ankles on purpose to provide power, you are not jumping fast or hard enough. Your entire body should straighten until you are standing completely erect, and your arms remain straight. This portion of the lift should directly mimic a vertical jump, just with the addition of a barbell in your hands. Your legs and torso straighten explosively, and your hip drive/speed is critical to imparting force to the barbell. At this point, you shrug your shoulders upward quickly to impart more power to the bar. This is where all of the power comes from: the jump, the extension of your torso  and the shrug of your shoulders. Your shrug does not need to be held; quite the opposite, in fact. Your shrug, like your jump and extension, should be quick and powerful. But the instant you complete the shrug, you must relax your shoulders or you will inhibit your ability to receive the bar.

This phase should take no more than .2 seconds to complete. At the end of this phase, you should be leaning slightly back. Not all athletes will rise onto their toes, and some coaches advise against the triple extension (extension of the ankles, knees and hips). The key to figuring out which method works best for you is simple – if you triple extend by rising onto your toes, and lack the speed to get under the bar, you need to quit triple-extending!

Here are two drills that will help you to improve hip power and speed:

Box jump with straight legs

Take a low box. Simply lean over and jump on to it. The aim to point your toes and lengthen your body fully. Very simple but affective exercise. Perform 3 sets of 5-8 reps


Hip thrust and pull with barbell

Lean over your bar and throw your hips over your toes looking to propel the bar up. Your aim is to finish on your toes with locked knees and hips with toes pointed. Look to work on your balance and keeping the bar close to the body. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.


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