The Power Position
I’ve been told there’s quite a fuss online lately over the power position, so I’m going to share my thoughts and then leave again.
First, is it the best term for the position? Probably not, but it’s been common usage for at least a couple decades and to try to change it would be futile, and totally unnecessary, so let’s focus on what matters: why the position is important enough to even have a name.
The simplest way to think of the power position is as the end of the scoop—the point at which the knees are farthest forward near the top of the pull. The trunk is approximately vertical and the bar is in its final full contact with the body—at the hips in the snatch and between upper thigh and hips in the clean.
Why this is important really comes down to bar-body interaction—this is the ideal time and position for the bar to come into that final full contact.
Full contact with a vertical trunk means there is no obstruction to keep the bar from moving up along the body as the lifter finishes the pull, and there is minimal forward force because the hips have already reached their farthest forward point and will be moving up rather than forward for the remainder of their extension.
If the shoulders are in still in front of the bar at this point, the bar will drag and/or be pushed forward by the hips or legs.
Likewise, if the athlete artificially forces the bar up and back into the hips too early, it will be slowed by longer contact and pushed forward by the hips.
On the other hand, if the trunk is past vertical here, we know the lifter got behind the bar too early, and will typically jump backward and also be incapable of fully extending because it will shift their balance too far back.
All of this means that the power position is a useful concept for evaluating lift technique, and an effective starting position for a number of lift variations focused on bar contact, leg drive and balance through the top of the pull.
So anyway, back to arguing about it if you want.