#2 Op wanted to know about high pulls, I’ve been doing them about 3mths now, since CT’s article like everyone else. I was already doing cleans on squat day, 5 sets before I squat, So I added in high pulls on Dead day, I do 3 sets before deads, on the way up, and 3 sets after deads on the way back down, I do them hanging, and it works out well this way. Once I get stronger at them (above 250) but right now it works fine. here’s a week to give idea
I like high pulls in general. I can do them from about 4-5 different rack heights, and a clean, snatch or in-between grip, and I will put bungees across the power rack somewhere between about 42-54 inches to create a target height. Then I will often attack some bands to the bar as well. Pulling to 42 or 45 inches is quite low, and really a power shrug. These never cause me problems like UR rows, and they actually seem to keep my shoulders feeling good.
One exercise that helped me out a while ago was Cuban raises, done rather strictly for feel. Actualy because my internal rotators are already providing resistance, they didn’t need to be that heavy. I would do 100 Cubans alternating arms with 10-15 pounds. My shoulders never felt better, and it did correspond to my PR in the bench. I like them better than face pulls.
Anyway, clean pulls accomplish much the same thing. The problem with them is that I use metal plates so I don’t drop the weight, and it turns into a lower back exercise. I got a couple minor leg pulls when I squatted after clean pulls, and got some back soreness from the “catching” at the bottom, though the bands tended to keep the weight from drifting out too much. Also setting the bottom rack position higher will reduce the weight and put it more on the traps.
Also I don’t want to add another back exercise into my squat workout these days (one squat, one goodmorning, Zercher or dead-pull variation), and I don’t really want to add vertical loading on the spine on a non-squat day. I know though that Metal Militia and or Nazbar guys do lots of heavy power type shrugs once a week for the bench press. I hate smooth, strict shrugs though. I would prefer shrug carries, or power shrugs with some arm bend. Also a shrug can be more of a rounded back internally rotating type of move, while a pull has the scapula tilting back rather than rounding forward (which I think is good for the shoulders).