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Cleaning with Bent Arms


Hey guys, i have never tried to clean with an arm bend, but a few weeks ago I was training on a very smooth bar and did not have any chalk. Because of this i was griping the bar extra hard and apparently (according to my training partners) this was causing my to have a VERY SLIGHT arm bend. The think is that my cleans were actually really good that day, i couldnt pull the bar quite as high, but i usually have a problem with the bar crashing on me and messing up my timing on the squat up.

Sense then i have been cleaning with the slight bend and have not had a weight crash on me at all and my cleans have been excellent over the last 2 weeks. im not sure if this is from having the bar contact my thighs higher or what, but it seems to work for me.

Ill also note that i haven't gone really heavy with it yet, only 137.5 and my best is 150. so i still dont know if it will work with max weights.

Anyone else found this? thoughts?


Donnie Shankle and Spencer Moorman both clean with bent arms over at California Strength and it seems to work well for them. Pretty bg C&J's for both of them.


Lu yong also cleans with bent arms and he got an Olympic medal out of it. Bending the arms is meant to put the bar in the best position for hips to do their job and transfer as much strength to possible to the bar. its usually gets the bar a little higher so if your not getting it as high there might be a tech error somewhere


if it works for you, do it. plenty of lifters bend their arms to a small degree.


In the Russian manuals, I believe they say that 15 degrees of arm bend (max) is ok without hindering the bar path or sacrificing performance.


In regards to donny shankle and the arm bend... Glenn said that Donny never(or almost never) fails to rack a clean. His problems were either squatting up or the jerk. So if you can rack a clean with bent arms that you can't with unbent arms I don't see why not. Unless it somehow makes the receive bad(which it does for me when i tried it... although i think its a technique error on my part) I don't see why not. I've heard some stuff about deadlifting or cleaning with bent arms might injure you. Judging from all the videos i've seen, I'd give to it as much credit as the squatting deep hurts your knees arguement.


where did you find them?
are they translated?


I think that the hurting arms thing is more along the lines of a heavy mixed grip deadlift puts the supinated arm at risk.


what does bent arms look like with a clean? are you guys talkin about when you start from the bottom?


Pretty sure they're talking about the arms bending a little as you finish the first pull, to help get the bar higher into the hips and into a better position for the second pull. You wouldn't want the arms bent off the floor, I feel like that would rob you of power/speed off the floor.


yeah. elitefts has them. they are alright.


oh alright thanks man


At the california strength videos(unless I'm blind) spencer seems to start with bent arms from the floor. Donny seems to start bending after the bar passes the knees. I'd say try both. So far when I've tried either(although i haven't tried either of them a lot yet) it makes my lower back loosen up or I throw the bar out too far and my catch is all shit. No doubt though that if I can get it right i'd be able to rack heavier weights.