T Nation

Hang Cleans & Neck Tightness/Pain

I’ve been working on my hang cleans 3 times a week. My technique in the lift is okay,I’m not doing the retarded novice thing of upright row combined with reverse curl!!! I’m progressing ok on it and main focus is to get my speed right for now. I’ve noticed however that after the cleans I get serious tightness in my posterior traps and this in return restricts movement in my neck and it feels absolutely shity!

It’s a real pain in the assignment because when the neck tightens up I feel uncomfortable even turning my head when driving! It resolves as soon as I do an all round back hip quad stretch and of course a bit of foam rolling and trigger points with the baseball. Has anyone else experienced the same? My impression is that these elite weightlifters would need soft tissue work with focus on upperback posterior traps at least every day!!or else they’d be moving like tin man!thanks in advance for your comments

I have felt the same pain you do but only when I do heavy OHP when Im not warmed up…hurts to turn my head even!! maybe try warming up more? shrugs and the like?

I have felt the same pain you do but only when I do heavy OHP when Im not warmed up…hurts to turn my head even!! maybe try warming up more? shrugs and the like?

Heavy cleans destroy the traps like nothing else. You will adapt and get used to it over time, if I haven’t cleaned heavy for a few weeks they will hurt the day after I do them again

I agree with ox man. if the pain was neck and not trap I would suggest whiplash ie throwing head back. maybe try some heavy pulls/shrugs eg 10-20% above 1RM for pull and approx 50% above for shrug

Actually it is likely the splenius or levator scapulae, not the traps that are inflammed. This occurs often during lifts from the hang with people who have either not build the structure to handle the shock of the drop/lowering of the bar or that do not absorb it correctly when they lower it back to the hang position from the completed clean position.

It is not likely due to the execution of the lift itself, but rather by the lowering back down after a rep. Are you letting your shoulders drop forward when you are lowering the bar back down? Do you absorb it with your legs or let it free fall? Work on the lowering back down and the problem is likely to go away.

Easy to test, just drop the bar to the floor on each rep. A video of your normal hang cleans might help too. I still think pulls and shrugs would help to a useful degree.