Clean Critique Wanted - Not Finishing Pull?

Hey Guys:

As for background: Beginner lifter with no coach. Weight used in video is 80kg…

Thought I’d take a couple of video’s and see what my cleans actually look like (as opposed to how they feel). One thing I noticed straight away is that it looks like I’m cutting my pull short significantly. It doesn’t feel like I’m not extending properly so this came as a surprise…

Is that correct? If so, what kind of things should I do to try and rectify it. I’m thinking cleans from the first position (from Pendlay’s learning progression). Would this be right?

Also, if there is anything else that anybody is picking up on I’d love to know.

Thanks in advance!


actually you finish the pull just fine. you could guide it better with your elbows, however. elbows high and out!

Looks solid, you moved the weight quickly. Be sure to keep your back tight.

In my experience, it takes about a month to learn how to clean. Then you get it and don’t need to think about your technique during the rep and you can focus on just pulling the weight. As you move up and challenge yourself with more weight everyone’s form eventually breaks down and then you can pinpoint weaknesses.

Good luck and be safe!

hey, i was pleasantly surprised - they look really good to me!

agree with andy about really getting those elbows up fast.

i find it hard to finish the pull properly when i’m capable of powercleaning the weight without getting under it at all - but practicing the full lift. you might find it is self-correcting (that you think things look better when the weight gets to more than you can powerclean). but it might be about really whipping those elbows up faster, too.

i’ve seen people practice from the hang position. hang - drop. getting used to not pulling the bar as high as you can but rather pulling the bar high enough. getting the elbows up lightening fast. then simply trying to maintain all that at heavier weights. looking pretty good though, i reckon (though take that with however many grains of salt you need since i’m pretty crap myself).

bar path looks pretty good to me, anyway. and i’m totally obsessed with that.

Looks good overall.

You can extend more on the 2nd pull, so focus on driving your hips IN and UP.

Good speed under the bar.


The problem with this clean is the distance between the bar and your own center of gravity, which I tried to indicate in the photo (hope it attaches). Instead of pulling yourself under the bar, you are looping the bar by bouncing it off your thighs. As this weight is light for you, you finish the clean. However, with a heavy weight, the distance between your center of gravity and the center of gravity of the bar will mean that you will lose this clean forward. The clean is pulling under, not looping around. I’ll try to find pictures to illustrate what I mean.

In the attached picture of Kakhi’s pull, I tried to show that there is maybe 1-2 inches of space between the bar and his body as he pulls himself down. Do you see the difference between this clean and your style, which might as well be called a ‘power loop’? Do you see how he is already descending with the bar at his hips, while you waited to descend until the bar was almost at your clavicles?

The distance between Kakhi’s center of gravity and the bar’s COG is tiny and he doesn’t have to pull high. That’s how he maximizes his strength. You have the strength, but not (currently) the technique, to clean 110 kilos. Your job is to acquire the technique while keeping the strength.

delikurt, love the diagrams!


And, finally, here’s where you catch the bar. You ought to be a good foot lower when the bar makes contact with your clavicles.

If you want to learn how to catch the clean low and without looping, clean from pins/boxes at your waist. You can’t loop, you have to jump down, and you have to keep it close.

yeah, love the diagrams.

but one to two inches? holy crap. i do not think that would clear my boobies :-/

Thanks, Koing, I think that illustration is the best way to critique a lift. The OP is strong and fast; his clean has plenty of room to grow if he addresses these technique issues.

actually that reminds me that i have a lot of work to do on keeping the bar in close as well (which is probably why i don’t notice when others aren’t so much). i used to smash my boobs a lot. couple layers of compression helps, though. thanks for the reminder on that.

Hey, if Rezazadeh could keep the bar this close at some 160 kilos of bodyweight, anyone can :slight_smile:

hey, if i was a whole heap fatter the bar would be a whole heap closer?


(not sure about that)

Thanks for the helpful (and very prompt) responses guys. For someone who doesn’t have access to a coach this constructive criticism coupled with encouragement is exactly what I need!

Tomorrow, I’ll work on whipping my elbows up (PB Andy and Alexus) and on the direction of my hip drive (Koing).

Delikurt: I understand, and can see what you’re saying. Is there a chance that this is the kind of thing that will go away naturally once the weight starts getting heavier? Bouncing 80kg Regardless of that, do you (or does anyone else) have any recommendations as to how I can go about working on this?



Edit: took my sweet time writing this and saw that you had proffered advice as to how to go about working on my issue. Thanks! Anything else that anyone is picking up on is much appreciated!

For me I tend to drift the bar out abit also but I’m not too fussed I’m just working on staying over the bar more this will help keep the bar closer to you also.