It’s something that you may never achieve, but you should always strive for. The perfect movement, or close to it, is what all of us as athletes and coaches should always be inching toward. This goes for all movements that we use in the gym, but what steps we take to achieve these are rarely discussed.
Many times coaches are on one of two sides, focusing more on technique or strength. I learned from Olympic Coach Kyle Pierce that they cannot be separated, instead “they are one.” Does an athlete get pulled forward on the first pull because they have bad technique, or have a weak back? We must fix the weaknesses as they occur so proper technique can continue to be achieved. This of course means that once technique breaks down you do not go heavier, even if you are close to a personal record. Do not inhibit the continuation of gains for one PR. Constantly working on weaknesses will give you the ability to perfect your technique as you get stronger, so you can lift more weight correctly! There are some simple exercises we can do based on weight that create a problem with your movements.
Let’s say you are getting pulled forward when you pull the bar off the ground, or “bottoming out” in the bottom off the catch. Both of these are due to Leg/Back weakness. If the weight was 100 kg (220 lbs), we would work off of that weight and try to work up to a Front Squat with a 3 sec pause in the bottom for 3 sets of 3 at 100% (220 lbs). Theoretically this should help fix the weakness at that weight in the clean so we can continue to progress.
This is just one of the ways we continue to get our athletes stronger and more technically sound in SouthSide Weightlifting.