T Nation

Clean Technique: Knees Hitting Bar

Hey whats up I’m new to the forum. I’ve decided to take up weightlifting after injuries have stopped me from sprinting. I’m currently about 5 weeks into “a program of multiyear training in weightlifting” just trying to obtain some solid technique with light weights.

My problem during the clean is that when I enter the double-knee bend phase my knees seem to hit the bar and send it outwards, I fear that my long limbs are the problem ( I’m 6’2" ) however I’ve been analysing the technique of taller lifters such as anatoli pisarenko and despite his arm-span he doesn’t have the problem. If there are any weightlifters who can help on this one it would be great.

Many thanks

Knees hitting the bar is most often because you start with your hips too low, but that may not be your only technical issue, are you working with a coach?

Also, don’t do the double knee bend :smiley: But I guess that’s for another thread.

Just keep continuing the first pull until the bar PASSES the knees while drawing it back up the thighs with your lats and explosive lower back movement as you extend. I think you want to have the hips back and feel a big stretch before ripping the bar back towards your body- the knees will re-extend naturally from this position. That’s what I’ve been taught anyway.

I actually feel like that’s the part of my technique that has come together lately on the clean… the part that HASN’T come together is that I rip my lower back straight as I start extending so explosively that it smashes into the hips BEFORE the legs completely extend into the ground and goes flying upwards. How do I fix this and how much lower am I losing here? I’ve power cleaned 175 pounds like this w/no dip and full cleaned 220 just by exploding the bar into the thighs but not finishing the pull! Any suggestions here are welcome

[quote]supa power wrote:
Hey whats up I’m new to the forum. I’ve decided to take up weightlifting after injuries have stopped me from sprinting. I’m currently about 5 weeks into “a program of multiyear training in weightlifting” just trying to obtain some solid technique with light weights.

My problem during the clean is that when I enter the double-knee bend phase my knees seem to hit the bar and send it outwards, I fear that my long limbs are the problem ( I’m 6’2" ) however I’ve been analysing the technique of taller lifters such as anatoli pisarenko and despite his arm-span he doesn’t have the problem. If there are any weightlifters who can help on this one it would be great.

Many thanks[/quote]

forget the double knee bend. It’s not something a beginner should be thinking about IMO. Just focus on pulling explosively UP (not back) after you get past the knees. All the while you should be pulling the bar close to your body keeping your elbows up.

worrying about double knee and scoop are more distracting than anything else for beginners. just pull it up and keep it straight for now. I find that things like rebending and scooping come as natural progressions or technique. One day you will just do it and be like, “ah ha!”

Also If you have long legs then maybe point your toes and knees out at the beginning of the clean and esp the snatch.

-chris

[quote]Avocado wrote:

Also If you have long legs then maybe point your toes and knees out at the beginning of the clean and esp the snatch.

-chris[/quote]

hmm why is that? Seems a lot of supers have a wide stance but toes straight ahead, although many heavier lifters do seem to opt to point the toes out in the snatch. I’m curious why this is? and why snatch more so than clean?

stop thinking about the knee bend and life will be easier.

[quote]romanaz wrote:
stop thinking about the knee bend and life will be easier.[/quote]

I can definitely relate to this… I just stopped worrying about it and feel that big stretch and YANK the bar HARD and just extend and my knees just seem to shoot out as the bar moves, I’m always surprised watching videos of my cleans at how I end up in that position.

my issue on my cleans sometimes is what I said in my post above… hitting the thighs before the legs extend fully into th ground and in that way not finishing the 2nd pull… only in cleans too. care to give advice there? It’s weird.

Thanks for all the replys guys. In my case I don’t think about the double knee bend at all, it happens automatically if I focus on setting up correctly at the start and pulling the bar explosively. I’m very surprised when I see footage of mysely and see my knees scoop under the bar because it doesn’t feel like it at all.

I forgot to mention that I have no problems in the snatch, the bar stays relatively clear of my thighs, which makes me suspect that maybe my arms are just too long for the clean :frowning: Could someone recommend any long limbed lifters I could look at on youtube, or suggest some more advice.

Thanks again

It may just be that you need to be a little more patient and stay over the bar for longer.

As for long limb lifters to look at, try having a look at Kolecki and Cholakov. Kolecki has very long arms and legs and has a very distinctive pulling style that allows him to stay upright whilst not smacking himself in the knees, Cholakov is just a giant overall. Ivan Chakarov is pretty long limbed, but he’s got a very unusual pull where the bar actually moves in an arc around his knees.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
It may just be that you need to be a little more patient and stay over the bar for longer.

As for long limb lifters to look at, try having a look at Kolecki and Cholakov. Kolecki has very long arms and legs and has a very distinctive pulling style that allows him to stay upright whilst not smacking himself in the knees, Cholakov is just a giant overall. Ivan Chakarov is pretty long limbed, but he’s got a very unusual pull where the bar actually moves in an arc around his knees.[/quote]

Thank you, I’ll have a look at them

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
Avocado wrote:

Also If you have long legs then maybe point your toes and knees out at the beginning of the clean and esp the snatch.

-chris

hmm why is that? Seems a lot of supers have a wide stance but toes straight ahead, although many heavier lifters do seem to opt to point the toes out in the snatch. I’m curious why this is? and why snatch more so than clean?[/quote]

Think about it while holding the bar. To gain a snatch grip you must lower your shoulders/hips more to the ground. lowering them to the ground typically means pushing your knees farther over your toes and squatting lower.

This drives your knees forward. The snatch would be where your knees are more forward than the clean where your closer hand width allows your shoulders/hips to be farther from the ground. the less your knees bend the less they go over the bar, therefore the less you need to angle out with the toes/knees on the clean as opposed to the snatch.

And that is only if you have long legs or awesome abductors.

-chris

[quote]supa power wrote:
Hey whats up I’m new to the forum. I’ve decided to take up weightlifting after injuries have stopped me from sprinting. I’m currently about 5 weeks into “a program of multiyear training in weightlifting” just trying to obtain some solid technique with light weights.

My problem during the clean is that when I enter the double-knee bend phase my knees seem to hit the bar and send it outwards, I fear that my long limbs are the problem ( I’m 6’2" )

However I’ve been analysing the technique of taller lifters such as anatoli pisarenko and despite his arm-span he doesn’t have the problem. If there are any weightlifters who can help on this one it would be great.

Many thanks[/quote]

When you begin the rebending phase the bar should be WAY past your knees already… Do you mean the bar is hitting your thighs?

If it’s hitting your knees as you pass them on the first pull it means you’re not keeping your shoulders over the bar (which means you’re using your back too early). Basically, keep your shoulders over the bar until your legs are straight then begin the explosion phase.

I’m also using the Program of Multi-Year Training. Which phase are you in? Tomorrow I begin the class II block 10 pre-competition phase, week 40.

I like the program so far but some of the volume is pretty ridiculus. I’ve completed most of it though so it’s definitely do-able. What do you think of the program so far?

[quote]ninearms wrote:
It may just be that you need to be a little more patient and stay over the bar for longer. [/quote]

I agree, it sounds like staying over the bar would be a good fix despite not having vids to correctly diagnose the problem.

[quote]Yoda-x wrote:
supa power wrote:
Hey whats up I’m new to the forum. I’ve decided to take up weightlifting after injuries have stopped me from sprinting. I’m currently about 5 weeks into “a program of multiyear training in weightlifting” just trying to obtain some solid technique with light weights.

My problem during the clean is that when I enter the double-knee bend phase my knees seem to hit the bar and send it outwards, I fear that my long limbs are the problem ( I’m 6’2" )

However I’ve been analysing the technique of taller lifters such as anatoli pisarenko and despite his arm-span he doesn’t have the problem. If there are any weightlifters who can help on this one it would be great.

Many thanks

When you begin the rebending phase the bar should be WAY past your knees already… Do you mean the bar is hitting your thighs?

If it’s hitting your knees as you pass them on the first pull it means you’re not keeping your shoulders over the bar (which means you’re using your back too early). Basically, keep your shoulders over the bar until your legs are straight then begin the explosion phase.

I’m also using the Program of Multi-Year Training. Which phase are you in? Tomorrow I begin the class II block 10 pre-competition phase, week 40.

I like the program so far but some of the volume is pretty ridiculus. I’ve completed most of it though so it’s definitely do-able. What do you think of the program so far?[/quote]

Sorry, I wasn’t clear on that. I ment the bar is bouncing off my thighs. I’m currently on my fifth week of the program, which is at the very start of the book! I know it’s probably for a 14 year old but since I’m new to weights I thought I would start from scratch. Yes I like the program too, I think it’s a very logical progression and I can really feel the value of each exercise contributing to learning the technique.
However there is a lot of volume. For the beginner it recommends
“6 sets of a total of 34 lifts for each exercise” and there are usually 6 different exercises per workout, but if this is for a 14 yr old then surely I can handle it at 19!
I’m wondering if i’m wasting my time though, my initial lifts were: muscle snatch 60kg and pwr clean 85kg at 80kg bodyweight, I mean is this good enough? Do I have any talent? LOL…
Wow your really far into it, did you jump into that part of the program or start the book from scratch? Also what kind of gains have you made?

thanks

[quote]supa power wrote:
Sorry, I wasn’t clear on that. I ment the bar is bouncing off my thighs. I’m currently on my fifth week of the program, which is at the very start of the book! I know it’s probably for a 14 year old but since I’m new to weights I thought I would start from scratch. Yes I like the program too, I think it’s a very logical progression and I can really feel the value of each exercise contributing to learning the technique.
However there is a lot of volume. For the beginner it recommends
“6 sets of a total of 34 lifts for each exercise” and there are usually 6 different exercises per workout, but if this is for a 14 yr old then surely I can handle it at 19!
I’m wondering if i’m wasting my time though, my initial lifts were: muscle snatch 60kg and pwr clean 85kg at 80kg bodyweight, I mean is this good enough? Do I have any talent? LOL…
Wow your really far into it, did you jump into that part of the program or start the book from scratch? Also what kind of gains have you made?

thanks[/quote]

Just follow the loading scheme that they give you. Your talent will emerge after years, not weeks or months. I started old too (didn’t start focusing on weightlifting exclusively until I was about 20).

You should find a coach or a lifting partner who knows the technique well because that’s the main thing you won’t get out of this program (that is, a living person to check your technique instead of just using books and videos to figure it out yourself). If you’re doing the first month of the program, where the weights aren’t even listed in percentages (which is fine) then don’t really worry much about the weight. Just do what you can for 5-6 reps per set with good form as they mention.

Can you full clean and full snatch?

If you can’t learn how. If you can, go here and look at what class you fall under, which will tell you technically where you should be in the program:

http://anton.free.net.ph/siff_score-v4.xls

I’d follow the program for the first or second year of training all the way through before you go on to the percentage based training.

Your shoulders are probably behind the bar at the start, or because your hips are rising too fast your pulling them back too soon.

[quote]Yoda-x wrote:
supa power wrote:
Sorry, I wasn’t clear on that. I ment the bar is bouncing off my thighs. I’m currently on my fifth week of the program, which is at the very start of the book! I know it’s probably for a 14 year old but since I’m new to weights I thought I would start from scratch. Yes I like the program too, I think it’s a very logical progression and I can really feel the value of each exercise contributing to learning the technique.
However there is a lot of volume. For the beginner it recommends
“6 sets of a total of 34 lifts for each exercise” and there are usually 6 different exercises per workout, but if this is for a 14 yr old then surely I can handle it at 19!
I’m wondering if i’m wasting my time though, my initial lifts were: muscle snatch 60kg and pwr clean 85kg at 80kg bodyweight, I mean is this good enough? Do I have any talent? LOL…
Wow your really far into it, did you jump into that part of the program or start the book from scratch? Also what kind of gains have you made?

thanks

Just follow the loading scheme that they give you. Your talent will emerge after years, not weeks or months. I started old too (didn’t start focusing on weightlifting exclusively until I was about 20).

You should find a coach or a lifting partner who knows the technique well because that’s the main thing you won’t get out of this program (that is, a living person to check your technique instead of just using books and videos to figure it out yourself). If you’re doing the first month of the program, where the weights aren’t even listed in percentages (which is fine) then don’t really worry much about the weight. Just do what you can for 5-6 reps per set with good form as they mention.

Can you full clean and full snatch?

If you can’t learn how. If you can, go here and look at what class you fall under, which will tell you technically where you should be in the program:

http://anton.free.net.ph/siff_score-v4.xls

I’d follow the program for the first or second year of training all the way through before you go on to the percentage based training.[/quote]

Wow thats awesome, many thanks. Looking at that it seems I should be able to clean around 105 kg if I had good technique.

Right now I can finally do a full snatch and clean, but while usinig light weights only. However theres no way I can make my self drop under heavy weights at the moment, it still feels too unatural. I think it’s just a psychological thing right now though

Train with the lighter weight then and get the technique. It says right at the beginning of the book: don’t “force” strength development. Progress as you master the phases of the lifts and start to put together the lifts as a whole.

[quote]supa power wrote:

Sorry, I wasn’t clear on that. I ment the bar is bouncing off my thighs. [/quote]

ohhh

same here.

good thread. I guess that means hips are rising too fast, because I’m definitely staying over the bar long enough. I don’t know about you but when I’ve had this problem, it hits the thighs at mid-thigh when I explosively straighten the lower back. I use a lot of back power in my extension and maybe its a timing issue.

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
supa power wrote:

Sorry, I wasn’t clear on that. I ment the bar is bouncing off my thighs.

ohhh

same here.

good thread. I guess that means hips are rising too fast, because I’m definitely staying over the bar long enough. I don’t know about you but when I’ve had this problem, it hits the thighs at mid-thigh when I explosively straighten the lower back. I use a lot of back power in my extension and maybe its a timing issue. [/quote]

Your description is exactly what is happening to me. I have been working on it now for a while trying different positions but it still happens every time.
The bar should brush up the thighs but instead mine ram into it sending it outwards and blunting the transmission of upward force.
How is your technique now?