It should also be noted that lifters of this style will all "hit" at slightly different heights, some will be just above the knee, some will be closer to just below mid-thigh
Anecdotal story: At the last Risto Sports USAW competition held at Risto Sports Headquarters, I spoke with Yasha Kahn( who was instrumental in bringing both Dimitry Klokov and Ilya Ilyin to the US for seminars) about where Klokov and Ilyin hit. He described that, although both lifters believed they hit at the same spot on the leg before turning over, one would hit a little lower, one a little higher.
Side by Side comparison of the two styles
For your viewing pleasure, here is a side by side comparison of the two styles. Style 2, what I'm calling "pop and drop", is illustrated by a sequence of Dimitry Klokov, photos by Rob Macklem. Below him is myself doing style 1, what I am calling a "full extension" (Yes, I'm audaciously using photos of myself). The differences are really clear in the second photo of the sequences. We are at the same phase of the lift, yet, the bar is at my chest, while the bar is at Klokov's hips. Both are assumed to be around 90% of max lifts.
|Comparison of two different viewing styles of clean and jerk. Dimitry Klokov photos by Rob Macklem. Gwendolyn Sisto photos by Risto Sports|
BUT, what about standing up with the bar?
In the full extension style (style 1), the lifter is pulling the bar higher, so the potential energy of the system will be higher at the top of the pull vs style 2. If the lifter achieves an elastic collision with the bar-- that is they catch the bar perfectly with the hamstrings flexed, then extending as the bar springs upward-- the lifter will have more energy available to ride the bar up into a standing position. In short, you can pull the bar a little higher so its easier to stand-up with.
Which style should you or your athletes use:
Simple: whichever style you can execute flawlessly. This will depend on your start position, which in turn depends on your body's conformation - the angles between your hips, knees, and ankles.
For me, personally, I hate style 2. I tried it. Some days I would miss cleans with 80%, and it was no matter of leg strength. I felt like the bar was too far away from me and crashing on me. I felt that the reflex reaction was less natural, and I felt a loss of connection with the bar.
I find that style 1, the full extension, comes naturally to me. By doing the full extension, I can point my knees out in the clean pull, by pointing my knees out in the pull I can initiate more power from my glutes and hamstrings, and, lately, when I rack a bar I will bounce right up with it. I'm also fairly small build (I have tiny girly wrists, my feet are small for my height), long legs, shorter torsos, and average length arms. If I was an anatomy geek, I would probably detail how the shape of my hips joints result in my need to point my knees out to get maximum hamstring recruitment, like many lifters on the Chinese National Team.
On the other hand, there is a lifter at my gym, Jesse, who does style 2 like a champ. From day 1 of learning to clean, he just naturally starts to go into the pull under just past the knees. It works for his mechanics--shoulders on the broad side, points his toes straight in the start position.
My advice to coaches is to be aware of these differences-- that your lifters will have anatomical differences that will bias them towards one style or another. And, with in each style, there will be a little variation lifter to lifter. The most interesting part is that both styles follow the same general principles- keep the bar close to you, turnover the elbows quickly, time the bar with the extension of your legs out of the bottom rack position.