T Nation

Newb Power Clean Form Problem

Yep, it’s one of those threads. I’ve tried the power clean on and off several times, but I’ve never really been able to get my elbows up on the catch. After doing front squats for a few months, I figured my wrists would be plenty conditioned and flexible for the life.

Anyway, I’m using CT’s Mutation Series and am currently on my final period, which incorporates a lot of explosive lifting, including power cleans.

I tried them today - the form was no better.

If I had to try and describe my lift, I can get the bar up pretty easily without thrusting too hard or having to dip low (I’m more concerned with form than heavy weights at this point,) but again, I just can’t get my elbows up.

On a side note, it doesn’t bother my wrists at all to do front squats with a clean grip.

So, does anyone have any tips?

One thing I notice many beginners do is attempt to catch cleans fully gripping the bar which is rather difficult unless you have great wrist flexibility to begin with. Loosening the grip (ie catching with the fingertips), using hook grip, and practicing wrist flexibility usually remedy the situation. One good way to work on wrist flexibility is to take a clean grip on a racked bar and have someone push your elbows up as far as they’ll go (without moving the bar).

I had the same problem for a while. Try to whip your elbows in front of you at the top. Try a slightly wider grip on the bar. Also if your having trouble catching the bar with a full grip, try catching it with just 2 fingers on the bar or even just one finger. You will get better with time and practice.

Remember to catch the bar on the meaty part of your shoulders. You should be able to just stand there in that position for a while. It is hard to learn, but once you get the flexibility, its like riding a bike.