T Nation

Hang Power Clean Hurts Collarbone

Hey guys,

I need some advice here: I’ve doing quite a lot of hang power cleaning these last few weeks and I notice that most of the time, when I start using (relatively) heavy weights, it hurts my collarbone when I pull myself under the bar and catch it in the front squat position. Most of the time I get bruises.

What part of my technique should I work on to prevent this from happening? It really sucks to think “damn, this is going to hurt again” when I set up for a hang power clean.

It just takes time. It’s kind of like building up callouses. Also, it doesn’t hurt so much when you develop your deltoids to use as a “shelf” for the bar. Since hang cleans are a good deltoid exercise, it’s becomes kind of self-correcting.

I would also suggest working on your form with lighter weights. Sometimes when you go heavy, you don’t even realize that you’ve fallen out of your groove and the bar is landing off target.

If you’re getting bruises you’re most likely letting the bar crash onto you, rather than meeting the bar. i.e. there’s a discrepancy between how high the bar is being pulled and how far you’re pulling under it. You want to aim to meet the bar as near to the apex as possible. The further away from the apex you meet the bar the longer the bar has to generate speed.

If you can post a video it’d be useful.

You should also check this out:

http://danjohn.org/bp.pdf

GREAT stuff from Dan John.

As ninearms alluded to, it sounds like a timing issue with your catch. Get your elbows up higher and faster as you catch so you have that natural cushion on your delts.

Cleans work your deltoids?

Also not to hijack the thread, but when doing push presses, should i start with a clean, or pick it up in the front squat position. And if i do clean, do i catch it in a clean open hand grip and then switch my hands before pushing?

As for the OP, as long are your timing it right so its not crashing down on your clavicles, you’ll be fine. It may hurt and cause some bruises but I double you’ll have any more serious problems.

  1. Build some deltoids.

  2. You have to time it just right, so that your legs are absorbing the weight and not your shoulders. You don’t want to be coming up when the bar is going down.

TNT

Thanks for the advice everyone, I think it’s definitely an issue with my arm technique. I don’t think I’m letting the bar crash down onto my shoulders as these are power cleans, ie, I don’t catch the bar in a full squat or anything. I’ll try and focus on getting the elbows higher and faster.

I depends on your bar position. When I go heavy on front squats I bruise the area below my neck. I get bruised all the time, and the further in the bar is the easier it is to stay upright, so I’m not worrying about it for now.

That only happens to me when I am completely tired an exhausted. I am getting pretty good with catching the bar at the right time, but I still need to practice. Get as high on your toes as you can at the apex of the pull. That way, you will be as close to the bar as possible. Then, the bar will be close to your shoulders and the drop would not allow the bar to gain a lot of speed.

Just suck it up.

Just about anyone who has done cleans runs into this. A bit of discomfort never killed anyone.

As long as its not unbearable just deal with it until you learn to live with it. The oly lifts certainly weren’t designed for comfort.

[quote]AssOnGrass wrote:
Just suck it up.

Just about anyone who has done cleans runs into this. A bit of discomfort never killed anyone.

As long as its not unbearable just deal with it until you learn to live with it. The oly lifts certainly weren’t designed for comfort.[/quote]

Nicely put. I get bruises all the time, along with scraps, but I never bitch. Be a man

[quote]hockechamp14 wrote:
I depends on your bar position. When I go heavy on front squats I bruise the area below my neck. I get bruised all the time, and the further in the bar is the easier it is to stay upright, so I’m not worrying about it for now.[/quote]

same, although it doesn’t happen for front squats much.

I think it’s worse for powercleans though because its easier to not whip your elbows around and rack the bar properly and just smash it into you. Lately I’ve dipped down a little on my powercleans to make sure I’m catching the bar properly and I don’t get much bruising anymore.

[quote]AssOnGrass wrote:
Just suck it up.

Just about anyone who has done cleans runs into this. A bit of discomfort never killed anyone.

As long as its not unbearable just deal with it until you learn to live with it. The oly lifts certainly weren’t designed for comfort.[/quote]

Yep.

just for some variety, i’ll throw in my experience of just toughing it out

-for me, from heavy cleans and (probably more importantly) catching heavy jerks (relative to my weak body), as i didnt want to stop just because i dont have bumperplates at my gym…i man’ed up, and eventually partially separated my collarbone and had to stop all lifting for months and months because it was stickin up out of my shirt, and any stress to any surrounding musculature would pull it back out of place, and now its never been the same since-it also looks a bit ugly