Power Clean / Clean Technique Analysis Niek Kimmann with 137.5 kg
Let’s look at the Power Clean step by step.
The start position looks good, the back is flat, the chest is up, the eyes focused straight ahead and the shoulder is slightly in front of the bar (when viewed from the side).
In my opinion, Niek could sit a bit lower in the start position, but I think it’s his personal Power Clean Technique style, so I don’t want to mess around with it as long as it works.
The first pull has been a point of attention in the past, as Niek used to lift the bar forward.
Lifting the bar forward is a common technical flaw with a lot of beginners. They tend to lift the bar forward and around the knees, rather than lifting the bar straight up. The reason for that in most cases is, that they either stay too much on the front foot or aren’t shifting the body weight towards the mid foot / back foot when they initiate the lift-off.
However, you can still see the tendency, that he lifts the weight slightly forward.
Here you can see, why I am not too concerned anymore about the path of the lift in the first pull, because the moment the bar has to pass the knees, Niek is able to get the knees ‘out of the way’ and make room for the bar to pass the knee.
Once the bar has passed the knees, you can see how Niek is able to bring the knees back to the bar (which is called the ‘double knee bend’ or ‘scoop’), in order to powerfully accelerate the bar upwards in the next phase – the second pull – and effectively using the triple extension of hip, knees and ankles.
In this phase, you can see, how he makes contact on the mid-thigh. The moment the video is framed is a good example of how this position should look, where the bar is accelerated upwards.
The shoulders are right over the bar, knees, and hip slightly bend, which will allow him to execute the powerful tripe extension. The only point of attention is, that the left heel is already slightly elevated.
In the next frames you can see, a really good and powerful extension, where you can see he is fully extended and finished with a shoulder shrug in the end.
You can argue, that he could extend a bit more for a fraction of the second. You see, Niek is the final extension fully vertical with the ground. Some lifter extends a bit longer and you can see the upper body going past the vertical line with the ground.
My interpretation is and what you see fairly often in athletes who are particularly good in the catch and recovery position, that they tend to initiate the catch a bit too early and sacrifice the last part of the extension in the second pull.
And the same is true for Niek, in his Power Clean technique, he is very strong in catching and receiving the bar and the recovery. If Niek missed a lift, it is very rarely, that he misses it in the catch or recovery phase.
In this phase, you can see, how Niek pulls himself actively under the bar and brings the elbows quickly around the bar. This allows him to get the bar right in front of his shoulders, rack it on the shoulders and be in full control of the bar.
I like to use the expression, ‘The lifter should control the bar, not the other way around.’
It is very obvious, how Niek is able to control the bar on his shoulders, which then allows him to recover smoothly.
The only point of attention in the catch phase is, that Niek’s jumps slightly backward, which is a flaw he always had and seems to be kind of his ‘signature move’.
Funny enough his brother Justin has the same ‘signature move’.
The recovery is just a minor matter and the finishing touch. It is obvious that Niek has no problems recovering if you look at the smooth movement.
Actually, this video is from 2014, by now Niek has increased his 1RM to more than 140kg now and improved his Power Clean technique even further.
If you are not fully familiar with the different hases of the Power Clean technique, have a look at the article and video tutorial
More information about Power Cleans and how the Power Clean can help you in the article The Ultimate Guide to Power Cleans
More Power Clean impressions in the Power Clean video library
More information about Power Cleans
or the Power Clean video library