T Nation

Hitting Myself in the Junk in 2nd Pull of Clean


Hi guys,

I’m having an issue that has really been throwing me off. In the second pull portion of my clean i am almost consistently making contact with my junk. It is so frustrating and extremely painful. How can i correct this technique flaw so i can enjoy this lift and perform it correctly?


What do you mean by “making contact”? Is the bar driving into your boys or are your boys flopping around on the 2nd pull and you’re clipping the tip?

Not an expert: My initial thought is to adjust hand placement. In theory, further in and you should hit lower. Further out higher.

If it’s the latter problem, wear tighter underwear or a jock strap…


Bar is driving into them



Why are you pulling up with your arms? Let your legs do most of the work. Your arms are like cables that are attached to the bar. You start using your arms wayyyy too early.

You might want to mess with your clean grip. I had to widen mine a bit (not snatch wide) to that way when I was standing tall the “contact point” was right under my junk. No more issues of having those love taps lol.

One of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced lol. Especially at very high rates of speed!


Yeah, you’re pulling with your arms way too early. This is not unusual with the snatch, as the wider grip places the bar in the spot (I’ve even seen guys put a sponge pad over the pubic bone), but relatively unheard of in the clean.

Straighter arms through the second pull and into the shrug will solve this, as you’ll come off the thighs sooner. Then, use the arms to pull yourself under the bar.


Work on your technique. I think clean pulls would help you learn how to extend with your hips before pulling with your arms.

It’s just the first pull, second pull, and shrug. No third pull (high pull).


Can you post a video from the side and from diagonal?

The folks above are right, but I think there is more too it.




Sweet. I don’t want to dig into your videos yet but here’s a tip to enable a PR.

Always start to straighten out the back a micro-second later. Just reading this will help.

Yea, relieves the knock-knock a little. Let me know!



Just post the link. The forum automatically embeds videos without needing the “[youtube]”.


my bad!


No worries.

Do you always pause at the knee? That may be throwing you off more. Does the same issue happens with standard one-motion cleans?

I agree playing with the grip may help and work on fixing the early arm bend. You could also simply be making contact with the bar too high on the thigh/jumping too late. Rippetoe discusses it around 3:45ish here:


This is just an opinion.

The actual sequence:

  1. Pull till past knees (easy for <70%)
  2. Arms while straightened, heave (claw) inwards drawing the bar along the thighs (- automatically done) with scap retraction and maintaining bar acceleration
  3. Start to use some arms -> Use a unique ratio (if you get it wrong, knock-knock happens) of knee/back straightening till bar grazes thighs slightly till 3/4th of the thigh
  4. Last stretch (jam the bar into the sweet spot) involving/(concurrently) slightly more knee straightening till your legs are almost straightened**
  5. Exert:
  • Horizontally (into the bar): with force equal to the pulling motion of the arms bringing the bar towards the hip — Newton’s Third Law
  1. While jumping
  • With a lean-back stagger stance common for this move. High performers leap vertically.
    Mechanism: Straighten the legs (causing your back to move backwards because momentum of the system but we all know its intentional) and jump (while-)
  1. Shrugging and plantar flexing in a forceful manner


  1. Wrapping of your lats around the bar is a basic cue (meaning to stay close to the bar)
  2. If weights is at 85%, past the knees is a bitch. Do it a hundred times to understand how to utilize the split-second.
  3. Don’t think of scooping up the weight (see procedure above: The scooping is explained in bold). That’s the most difficult.
  4. You can expect a few heavy hits but maybe that’ll suffice
  5. Don’t be anxious/over-enthusiastic. 80% alertness level will do. I sometimes hit during competition warm-up (actually just one). The stress man.

I hope this works well (I really tried to explain) and videos will be coming up in a few months time.

No I have not seen your technique yet. Just once. Looks knowledgeable! I didn’t want my procedure to be swayed by what I see. I’ll leave my comments here about your videos (if any) soon.


Not always, it was a prescribed exercise that entailed pausing at the knee, but yes, it happens with one-motion cleans as well! I’ve tried keeping my arms straight but that causes me to hit myself in the wrong spot every time.


Thank you!


This will actually help you the most on the junk problem. Think of it like this. You run into a wall with speed from 5 feet… pain. From a half inch… nothing. If you keep the bar tight, there should be no opposite force collision.

But, to make your lifts better, your biggest issue is the pull and transition while the arms are bent.

There also about 900 other things to help you. I’d focus on these too. Remain extended, engaged lats.


Keeps your arms straight until you get the bar to your hips. The momentum from coming off the floor should carry it past your dicknballs with no problem before it registers for your arms to start pulling. Do NOT slam it into your hips. Please. I’m trying to save you some major pain. If it doesn’t smash your nuts, it’ll dig into your hips and that doesn’t feel great either.