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Does one HAVE TO catch the Clean?


When one is doing the clean and press exercise, is it absolutely necessary to clean the bar to the shoulders or is it also fine to do it like in this video of Strongman Mark Felix?


If you're asking whether this method of catching the bar is legal for an OL meet, the answer is yes, it is legal. The power versions of the lifts (power snatch and power clean) are legal in a meet. However, if you ever want to learn how to do a full clean, you will need to learn how to properly catch the bar. No way could you catch the bar like this in a squat clean. In fact, once you start getting into heavy power clean territory, you will have a difficult time trying to catch the bar like this.


Thanks, Mike.

What I'd also like to know whether there are shoulder problems to be expected when doing this often (not with maximal weights, obviously - say 50 to 70%)??


More likely elbow/ wrist issues if you catch it with your elbows as low as mark and the weight of the bar on your wrists...you should be flexible enough to rack it across your shoulders then you won't jack your wrists/ elbows up over the long run.

But if your wrists and elbows can take it do it with low elbows but it is NOT ADVISED MATE. It means your whipping your elbows through properly or your not flexible enough.



Catching it like that with high weights will break your wrists.


That's exactly how I clean. I wish I could do it properly, but properly don't half hurt my wrists. When I get to 90-95 % of my one rep max, I start to feel it in my shoulders. It doesn't hurt my wrists at all.


It's not hugely safe catching it like that over and over again mate.

Stretch your wrists out, they are tight and along possibly with your elbows. Rack the bar in a front squat position and move one up and the other down. Repeat for 35x in a set and repeat for 2-3sets. 3-4x a week and they'll be fixed in no time.

You wouldn't just drop in to a box split without serious prep work to get there. You'd destroy yourself!



You don't have to do anything.

But you can lift more if you do it right.


Cheers for that mate. Ive been practising proper form, and although it hurts, im slowly getting the technique. I was upto 90KG x 3 with shit form, now at 55KG x 3 with better form. My wrist flexibility is still letting me down, ill get there though.


I train at that gym, the reason Mark catches it like that is that due to the bulk on his chest, shoulders and biceps he can't rack a clean properly. So if you have the flexibility to rack it onto your shoulders and keep you elbows high do that.



Sorry for the bump. I havent done cleans for a few months (started a programme) but did them for the first time last night. I got upto 80kg x 3 before form issues kicked in, no problems with catching the bar until the weight gets a bit too heavy and form goes.. but this morning ive got a real problem with my elbow, ligaments or tendons are going mad and its hurting like crazy if i move it in a certain way. Do you have any idea what form issues have caused this or is it hard to tell without a video? I know youre pretty clued up on these things mate. Thanks


In addition, I've caught weight on my collarbones more than once. Hurts like hell. Am I being a wuss, or am I doing something wrong?

I've taken to powercleaning, then racking it slowly before performing the press


Timing issue mate. Keep at it and you'll find out a timing for you. It should be racked fairly tight across the neck/ shoulders. You find a balance.

The whip of your elbows hould be BLISTERINGLY FAST. NEVER SLOW.



Have you ever met an international-level superheavy? I have. Those guys are built like tanks crossed with aircraft carriers, but they still rack the bar.


I was actually about to ask this very question - my problem is having small hands. I can catch the bar on my shoulders in a clean, but I have a problem with going from that position into the press/jerk. Often I wont be able to get my hands all the way under the bar if I'm trying to jerk it from my shoulders.

For a while I was catching the bar in a push press fashion (similar to the video), but started worrying about my wrists/shoulders.

Any advice for my issue? For now I'm thinking break the exercises up into cleans/push presses instead of one exercise.


All things being equal, it is more important to have a firm contact with the shoulders than with the hands. Most lifters will not be able to completely wrap the bar and some coaches argue that closing the hand over the bar is not desired in the jerk starting position.

Try moving your elbows side to side to "walk" the hand under the bar, one side at a time. You are allowed to attempt the jerk "in your time", so no need to rush if you're not set.

You can also try shrugging hard to bounce the bar a bit so you can move your hands up. Just don't bend your knees or it might be seen as a jerk attempt.

Or you can learn to jerk from a fingertip position, which many lifters choose to do.


Ok, thank you!