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Form Check: Heavy Clean Pull


This is my beginner's attempt at a clean pull. I have slow motioned it, so I think it reaches my belt level.
Any feedback especially constructive negative feedback is appreciated. It takes a short while to load. It's vimeo.


Here is 190kg - it's not me laughing btw.


One question. What do you want to accomplish with this?

If it's to strengthen explosive vertical pulling power, I would choose the Chinese deadlift instead. High block pulls would also probably work better than what you're doing since you negate almost all pulling you are doing by bending your knees and going down immediately after you initiate the pull. The range of motion of the bar is about one inch which doesn't benefit you the slightest.


Ah I thought to the belt with the slow motion. What do you think of the second video it is a bit light and clearer.


That's not a clean pull. That's a deadlift with some weird shrugging at top.

Lower the weight. You should be doing like 110%-115% of your clean.

  1. Keep your head straight
  2. Push your knees back first. You are pulling up like a deadlift.
  3. Your back should be the same angle for much longer
  4. At full extension your traps should be much closer to your ears
  5. Don't hop when you do it
  6. Elbows go straight up from the sides. Like "you are putting on pants"

Is there a reason you are attempting to do clean pulls? You need to lower the weight tremendously and learn it again. Also do ONE clean pull and put it back on the ground. Resetup, and do it again. Don't do it the way you are doing it.

Watch this video:


Same problems arise in the second video as well. @mytittyhurts also had some damn good points.


The video above on how perform the technique is clear and concise. The one thing that i noticed was the lack of explosiveness. Bring the weight down. Work with easy light weight and nail the form. Remember weight will come with perfect form and proper technique.


Thanks for the feedback guys. I can't see that I don't make belt though. I am wrong here? I hav always been told if I can make navel height I can clean it.


That is not true. Navel height is the minimum height needed, but you need tremendous speed to get under the bar at that height. Practice full cleans and not clean pulls.


Thanks for the input guys . I will try to get up some lighter videos where I can maintain clean deadlift style a bit easier. I can lift up on my toes but I prefer the Chinese style of heel lifting .


It bares repeating. What is your goal? I love power cleans and clean pulls. My max clean is 315. I posted a video of me doing 295 in a different thread. If you take the time to find it then notice how high I catch it. Way above navel height. Don't get caught up on height "standards". Figure out your height requirement by mastering your power clean.

Back to clean pulls... I use them to overload my pull. I only jump and shrug, no high pull. Research suggests doing sets with 60-80% of your max if you actually want to improve your power. When you approach the top end of your ability the movement gets too slow. If power is your goal then lighten the load and move fast.

Good luck!


Basically this.

Personally for me, keep in mind that I'm not good in the Olympic Lifts in any way and I'm still very much a novice, I would do them them in such a way that it mimics the actual lift it is a variation of. When I first started, which was from scratch and not too long ago, I would pay special attention to my hip positioning/where I was looking/basically all the minor details.

here is an example of what I mean. If it wasn't for the name in the title, you might think she was going to do the snatch instead of a snatch high pull.

some of the cues I use are...

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast
High, high pull
keep the bar close to you
drop under the bar
weight towards the middle to back of the foot
eyes straight forward, up about 30 degrees
point your wrists down before you initate the pull

on top of this, I started off by using weights that were ridiculously light, like lighter than a weight I can muscle snatch up to work on said form. It's in my belief that when its only when you look like you can perform the lift adequately, should you start adding weight.

I would suggest you start with just the classical lifts first and work on them till you can do them smooth. The weight on the bar is irrelevant for now. Do expect some loss from strength. It took me several months before my lifts started looking like I knew what I was doing so keep at it!

keep in mind that I'm not qualified in any way and I'm only replying because you invited me here haha, I would like to know if any of the rest of y'all more experienced lifters would agree with me.

Form Check Decimation

I am taking onboard what you are saying. However, I am not quite flexible enough to catch it right now.
I am working on that with stretching and self-myofascial massage. I am still bit sore but will hit the gym today and try get some lighter snatch pulls, hopefully panda style pulls (high pulls to chest ) I think I can get about 120/130kg in that style, if not I'll go a bit lighter.

I am working getting the height to clean the weight. But I have notice my power variations are a lot lower in height than I would like. Plus my leg strength is quite bad due to the lack of squatting.


Can you catch the empty bar?


I can for the snatch but not the clean and jerk.


I am not a good deadlifter, I pulled a 205k a few weeks ago for a near max, but I am finding good opportunities to deadlift like I clean–essentially pulling the bar into the body vs leading with the shoulders and letting the bar follow any which way.

The point being, for an Olympic lifter, a “clean style” deadlift can be a great strength builder. For a power lifter, the clean style deadlift probably is a waste of time. Way less crossover benefit in that direction.

@decimation, listen to @mytittyhurts. His cues are good. You’re ability to swing that amount of weight around is cool, but it’s not going to carryover much to an Olympic lift.


I did try and learn from this. It is called the catalpult style. I think Jim Schmitz teaches it too.


I have nowhere the pedigree that McCauley or Schmitz do, but this is painful for me to watch. I coach young athletes NOT to let this happen. To create a pop into the bar there but be a point of vertical isolation in the waist (and above), taking (y axis) kinetic energy out of the lift.

I think some top crossfitters might do this, but you do not see A session olympians doing it. Jon North did it, FWIW.


Thanis Drew, sad about North(heart defect) I have watched a lot of his videos. You are right Mat Frase appears to jump back too. He was also a national champion I think. He may not lift exactly the same I can’t tell to be honest just that he jumps back .


Kashrina has a definitive jump up and back.