The 3-position power clean is simply 3 power cleans performed from 3 different starting positions consecutively.
Most common is the first rep from the floor, second from hang, and third from a higher hang position. This forces the lifter to produce more power/force on the second and third reps after having been fatigued by the previous reps, and then having progressively less time and space to accelerate the bar.
The order of the positions may be reversed in cases in which technique is more of a priority than power. That is, for a less technically-proficient lifter, starting from the hang position in which that lifter is most comfortable and then working down to the floor, trying to replicate the movement from the first hang.
Most commonly, the three positions are from the floor followed by two different hang heights, such as below the knee and above the knee. However, really a 3-position power clean can be from any three different positions desired by the coach or athlete. These positions should be chosen with reason—that is, the exercise should serve a purpose that the chosen positions address.
3-position power clean is a name for a complex that may also be written as power clean + hang power clean (hang height) + hang power clean (hang height).
If performed bottom to top, the 3-position power clean helps primarily with rate of force development, more aggressive and complete extension at the top of the pull, and more aggressive turn over of the bar. If performed from the top down, it can serve as more of a technique exercise that reinforces proper position in the pull at the hang position chosen.
When using the 3-position power clean in a training program, it’s important to note the three starting positions. This can be used to work specifically on more powerful clean extension and turnover, or as an exercise for lighter training days between heavier clean and clean & jerk training sessions. Loading would be essentially the same as power clean triples in the same circumstances, although typically slightly lighter.
Variations of the 3-position power clean include different hang positions, pauses in the hang position, or pauses in the receiving position.
All Hang Positions