T Nation

Another Form Check Thread (Clean)


#1

Alright, so after 15+ years of lifting I've finally decided to learn some Olympic lifts. I had done some powerlifting but haven't been able to get my back healthy enough for powerlifting style squatting and pulling for quite some time. I've been wanting to go somewhere where I could get coached, but with a new baby that isn't going to happen. Either I'm going to teach myself or never do it. Starting by learning the clean. This is only my 4th time actually doing the lift.

I have a belt on, but it is super loose (it's actually my lever belt on its' normal setting, but un-latched). First dark video is 225 with a pause before the clean (sorry for the lighting). Second video is trying a full clean from the floor with 155. Overall, I'm having trouble getting my upper back as flat as I think it should be. I'm thinking I need to keep my head up more. 225 definitely pulled me onto my toes. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to keep posting videos and getting reviews if folks here are up for it (with better lighting).



#2

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Alright, so after 15+ years of lifting I’ve finally decided to learn some Olympic lifts. I had done some powerlifting but haven’t been able to get my back healthy enough for powerlifting style squatting and pulling for quite some time. I’ve been wanting to go somewhere where I could get coached, but with a new baby that isn’t going to happen. Either I’m going to teach myself or never do it. Starting by learning the clean. This is only my 4th time actually doing the lift.

I have a belt on, but it is super loose (it’s actually my lever belt on its’ normal setting, but un-latched). First dark video is 225 with a pause before the clean (sorry for the lighting). Second video is trying a full clean from the floor with 155. Overall, I’m having trouble getting my upper back as flat as I think it should be. I’m thinking I need to keep my head up more. 225 definitely pulled me onto my toes. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’d like to keep posting videos and getting reviews if folks here are up for it (with better lighting).



[/quote]

I couldn’t get your second video to play but your 225 clean doesn’t look to bad. When you start the clean and jerk the only part of your body that should be tense is your back and your rear delta. Maybe your lats. Think about doing a lay spread when you have engaged the bar.

Pick a lighter weight and break the lift into 2 parts. Do your pull off the ground to your hips, then lower the bar back just above the knee to where you do a hang clean with only about 4 inches of pull. You will learn to get under the bar quickly by nessecity. As you improve in this your transition into the catch/rack will be much cleaner with heavier weight. I don’t know where you started, but 225 looked pretty easy.


#3

[quote]drewc64 wrote:

I couldn’t get your second video to play but your 225 clean doesn’t look to bad. When you start the clean and jerk the only part of your body that should be tense is your back and your rear delta. Maybe your lats. Think about doing a lay spread when you have engaged the bar.

Pick a lighter weight and break the lift into 2 parts. Do your pull off the ground to your hips, then lower the bar back just above the knee to where you do a hang clean with only about 4 inches of pull. You will learn to get under the bar quickly by nessecity. As you improve in this your transition into the catch/rack will be much cleaner with heavier weight. I don’t know where you started, but 225 looked pretty easy.[/quote]

Video works for me it’s set to Public and all. It is good to hear that it doesn’t look that bad considering I’m a week into learning. I’ll practice with the abbreviated pull like you suggest. I find jumping under the bar to be a little scary. In o-lifting seems like you have to commit 100% and own it or you’ll dump even small weights.

I have to admit, this explosive jumping throwing and catching stuff is pretty fun though.


#4

Second session of the day,ddid a bunch of hip high pulls followed by the hip clean you suggested. worked up to 235 and lost core tightness completely. then I did a bunch of them at 155. on the lighter pulls should go ahead and do the full squat or just catch it as a power clean?


#5

With the lower weight, You’ll need to work specifically to catch the bar in the rack position. You’ll essentially be forced do your front squat, but catching in the power and then doing a front squat won’t hurt anything… But I wouldn’t do it for sake of wasting reps on fatigue vs on what you want to use your capacity on.

I just did a quick video for you. I caught the bar a little higher than the goal but I’m old and was about to go to bed so im not as limber as I’d like to be.

The general rule is that you should be able to rack anything you can pull to your belly button. Your target height for snatch would be your nipples.

There are a lot of arms in your pull, it’s counter intuitive when you think about pulling with less arms, but it will cause you to transfer power into no mans land.


#6

Alright, so I?m a bit confused. On the lighter weights should I purposely not pull the bar as high? With weights in the under 155 range I?ve hit myself in the chin which makes it not particularly challenging to get under. I?m finding it hard to practice with weights I could curl.

Thanks a ton for making a video.


#7

In regard to your comment about weight you can curl: think of your arms as ropes until the instance you Hit the power position where they initiate the rollover of the bar.

At this point, the hang clean is a technique teaching drill to learn the catch/rack. so yes, don’t over compensate with pull. Inch the weight up if too easy. After you learn that position the drill will immediately transition into teaching and developing power and speed.

Where are you located?


#8

[quote]drewc64 wrote:
In regard to your comment about weight you can curl: think of your arms as ropes until the instance you Hit the power position where they initiate the rollover of the bar.

At this point, the hang clean is a technique teaching drill to learn the catch/rack. so yes, don’t over compensate with pull. Inch the weight up if too easy. After you learn that position the drill will immediately transition into teaching and developing power and speed.

Where are you located?[/quote]

I live just south of Nashville and train out behind my house. Think I just need to find a place that will teach me nearby?

And yeah, I’m stronger than I am coordinated which is a problem in a way. I’m also using a slightly bent texas power bar which spins okay, but not like real Olympic bars do and is as stiff as a rock. I’m thinking my next gym addition will need to be an oly bar and bumper plates.


#9

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I find jumping under the bar to be a little scary. In o-lifting seems like you have to commit 100% and own it or you’ll dump even small weights.
[/quote]
There was a great line I read on another forum, and I can’t remember it exactly, but it was something along the lines of “It takes a certain kind of stupid to throw a barbell into the air and then try to jump underneath it.” Of course, you could argue you’re not really “jumping” under the bar, you’re pulling yourself underneath it, but I digress.


#10

Here is a 245 full clean. Any better getting under the bar?


#11

Any power clean advice?


#12

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Any power clean advice?

Some really strong people can do it, but I can’t. When you don’t take the slack out of your arms prior to starting the lift, it stops the shoulders, allowing the hips to rise and get a little out of position–ahead (time wise) of shoulders.

You’re pulling too early. Hitting the power position with bent arms reduces the power transfer. You should have your hips extended which then where you “pull yourself under the bar”. Less so with a power clean of course.

You’re feet are Star fishing. Some differing opinions on this… But Mine is that for a power clean, feet should not need to move wider.

From earlier lifts, it looks like your power is there. If you can be a little more patient before making the pull, and get those hips through, I think you could make a cleaner lift with more weight.


#13

The slack arms when I start is a habit I know I shouldn?t do. I do the same thing with deads. I?m just not comfortable starting under tension, but I can try to work on it.

Yeah, I?ve notice I?m pulling with my arms first, but I?ve also noticed some pretty decent o-lifters seem to do it too, so I don?t know how big of a deal it is. Should I really try to relax my arms, or can I flex them straight?

The starfish thing is on purpose, I can power clean more that way. I actually have to think about it to remember to do it. If my goal is to train for full clean though, it would make sense that I shouldn?t do that though.


#14

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
The slack arms when I start is a habit I know I shouldn?t do. I do the same thing with deads. I?m just not comfortable starting under tension, but I can try to work on it.

Yeah, I?ve notice I?m pulling with my arms first, but I?ve also noticed some pretty decent o-lifters seem to do it too, so I don?t know how big of a deal it is. Should I really try to relax my arms, or can I flex them straight?

The starfish thing is on purpose, I can power clean more that way. I actually have to think about it to remember to do it. If my goal is to train for full clean though, it would make sense that I shouldn?t do that though.[/quote]

The concept of the power clean is to pull without the advantage of the drop/pull underneath. You really only want to drop to be consistent with the change in direction. Otherwise it screws up standard–full drop–technique. That said, moving feet wide isn’t ideal for a power clean.

Most high level olympic lifts can clean more than they can jerk, so it allows them to be a less technical with arms. In general, your arms should be like ropes until the pull is Initiated. I pull to early sometimes and it reduces pull power, leaves bar out front, which makes clean tougher.


#15

Do my arms look any better? I also feel like I’m getting a better hit on my thigh.


#16

You’re jerking the bar off the floor and your hips are rising too fast. Basically, you’re trying to rip the bar off the floor. The first pull (off the floor to the knees) should be a smooth squeeze pull off the floor using your legs. Think of a squat as you try to push the floor away.


#17

[quote]olylifter106 wrote:
You’re jerking the bar off the floor and your hips are rising too fast. Basically, you’re trying to rip the bar off the floor. The first pull (off the floor to the knees) should be a smooth squeeze pull off the floor using your legs. Think of a squat as you try to push the floor away.[/quote]

Better on the pull. Good amount of hip contact. Your strength base is really helpful.

Like 106 said, hips are too high. If you can keep them on pace with the shoulder, I think you can get better extension. Looked like a good amount of weight and you ended up in ok position, but as the weight increases it will be tough to compensate.


#18

Thanks guys, that’ll give me stuff to keep practicing. It feels a little more awkward to try to break the bar off the ground with my hips lower, but I think it’s largely because I’m still trying to balance out my quad and hamstring strength. My hips are still shooting up once I added a bit of weight.



#19

playing around with trying to start in tension and already getting more comfortable. Hit 129kg this afternoon.


#20

Hey DoubleDuce,

Just went through this thread, it was cool seeing your progress over the months! The last few vids you posted have an improved start position and first pull.

Two of the overriding factors I noticed throughout the vids was that you were soft through most of the lift (most importantly when racking the bar) and you need to whip your elbows round a lot faster.

Hope that helps!