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How to Catch the Bar in a Clean?

So, I have started doing Power cleans and hang cleans and I am not catching the bar right.What I have been doing is catching the bar in a stance like yo would have if you were doing over head presses instead of sticking out my elbows and shoulders.

So, I guess what Im asking is for any tips on technique and stretches i could do to improve the lift.

If you can frontsquat with an olympic grip then stretching is unneccesary. If you can’t, simply keep a heavy bar on the rack and try to assume the position, a very specific stretch.

If you can assume position then its just a matter of “start doing it” until its automatic. Think of the catch as a frontsquat, even if you only powerclean. The trick is to lean forward like a frontsquat og quickly shooting your elbows up.

Let me know if this is unclear.

[quote]Cesium wrote:
If you can frontsquat with an olympic grip then stretching is unneccesary. If you can’t, simply keep a heavy bar on the rack and try to assume the position, a very specific stretch.

If you can assume position then its just a matter of “start doing it” until its automatic. Think of the catch as a frontsquat, even if you only powerclean. The trick is to lean forward like a frontsquat og quickly shooting your elbows up.

Let me know if this is unclear.[/quote]

That makes sense,So in the stretch im gonna load the bar but keep it on the pins and stretch.

[quote]Cesium wrote:
The trick is to lean forward like a frontsquat og quickly shooting your elbows up.

That makes sense,So in the stretch im gonna load the bar but keep it on the pins and stretch.[/quote]

Getting the elbows up is a matter of repetition as Cesium said. I’m far from good at it but I find it helps to use lighter weight so you can just perform the movement over and over to get your form down. Realize this won’t be very challenging or produce great strength gains but you have to crawl before you walk.

As far as the stretch goes, yes you can keep the loaded bar on the pins and get your hands/elbows positioned as if you were front squatting (or catching the bar from the clean) to get your body used to the feeling.

I’m curious as to what other says, hopefully more people will chime in.

It makes it easier to get your elbows through during the catch (and feels much better on your wrists) if you loosen up your grip after you finish the pull. It comes down to a matter of preference how much you loosen the grip- some people completely let go so the bar is only resting on their fingertips whereas others just release their pinky and ring fingers.

[quote]dfreezy wrote:
It makes it easier to get your elbows through during the catch (and feels much better on your wrists) if you loosen up your grip after you finish the pull. It comes down to a matter of preference how much you loosen the grip- some people completely let go so the bar is only resting on their fingertips whereas others just release their pinky and ring fingers.[/quote]

I usually let it rest on my shoulders/fingertips and pop it up at the top of the clean to regrip for the jerk. I haven’t tried fingertip jerks or jerks with a wide grip though.

one thing to help set up the proper position to rack the bar is to make sure your elbows are above your hands for the entire clean until you whip them around. I had a problem semi similar to yours in that I was receiving the bar on my collarbone and hands instead of shoulders and was beating up my collarbone pretty badly, and when I started focusing on keeping the elbows high the problem went away

Rippetoe says that you should never attempt power cleans or anything like that unless you have a coach show you proper technique.
Should i still try them or are they really that dangerous if you fuck up technically.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
Rippetoe says that you should never attempt power cleans or anything like that unless you have a coach show you proper technique.
Should i still try them or are they really that dangerous if you fuck up technically.[/quote]

use the bar to start out and practice catching it. For a few years in high school I didn’t know how to catch the bar properly and was constantly fucking up my wrists. I finally got it now though. It’s all about practice. You could also give straps a try, they always seem to take the strain off of my wrists.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
Rippetoe says that you should never attempt power cleans or anything like that unless you have a coach show you proper technique.
Should i still try them or are they really that dangerous if you fuck up technically.[/quote]

Try them with light weight but put a little weight on the bar or it will be too easy and you wont practice the proper tecnique. Unless you go far too heavy and think you’re a superstar i don’t think they are going to be harmful, just be prepared to put the practice in before you start trying to go with heavy weights.

Around 85-90% of your 5RM should be light enough to practice form while still feeling similar to maximal weight. If you also do a lot of front squats and jerks while focusing on keeping the elbows up, it’ll start to feel really natural. Just think about shouldering the bar instead of catching it with your hands.

The only way to do it is to bring your elbows up, so it should just sort of happen on its own. You really do have to feel comfortable with “letting go” of the bar.