Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting

Learn & Train The Bounce In The Clean For Better Recoveries

To maximize your ability to recover, learn to use and train the bounce out of the clean and front squat.

The bounce is the combination of 3 elements: the stretch-shortening reflex of the leg musculature, the elastic rebound of the bar, and to a lesser extent, the literal bounce of the upper legs off the lower legs.

This allows greater speed and less effort in the recovery, which means more energy and confidence for the jerk.

To learn the bounce, sit into the bottom of an unloaded squat with a rigid trunk and the legs relaxed to close the knee completely. Stand up a few inches, then drop back into the bottom quickly, repeating this several times to feel the elasticity helping you up.

Next, perform a squat with a controlled speed to parallel, then accelerate into the bottom and bounce out to stand again. This acceleration down means relaxing of the legs to the necessary degree, not collapsing; most importantly, never reduce the tension in the trunk. Immediately as the bounce moves you up, actively and aggressively drive with the legs.

This bounce should be trained regularly in the clean and front squat to develop the timing, condition the joints, improve the neurological elements of maximal concentric contraction, and strengthen the trunk to resist the abrupt stop in the bottom.

The typical heavy clean will reach support by the body around parallel depth, meaning that the period of actual eccentric loading and downward acceleration in the squat will be brief, and this is the timing we want to mimic in the front squat rather than accelerating down maximally from the top.

This creates more force than is reasonable to resist and will likely produce a loss of position and balance rather than a beneficial training response. Simply accelerate downward enough in the bottom to elicit an elastic rebound out.

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Olympic Weightlifting & Sports Performance by Dane Miller



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