T Nation

Power Clean Form Critique

Hi guys, just joined T-Nation. I have been training for about six months (since I started uni). Anyway I recently joined the rowing team and they have us doing power cleans. I had literally started training them before I shot this video.

So any and all input or advice into what I should be concentrating on will be very much appreciated.

[quote]Alipereira wrote:
So any and all input or advice into what I should be concentrating on will be very much appreciated.[/quote]

As you have just started, you are doing great! I’m willing to bet it would improve even without any comments from me, but since you asked.

Set up (that’s when you have just grabbed the bar and you starting to lift):
Lean a bit forward, your shoulders can be a bit ahead of the bar and you can still maintain your back position during the first pull. Check your video around 25 sec, you are leaning too much back, which makes life difficult for you when you just about reach your knees. Your back is in good shape, but when you add weight make sure it stays that way (shoulders back, arched).

First pull (the bar rises to your knees):
You are doing good here. Keep calm, don’t accelerate too fast and you’ll be fine. When you fix your set up, this becomes more natural and it get’s easier to go past your knees.

Second pull:
Now because of the earlier issues, the bar is pretty far from you and it makes it difficult for you to use your back and posterior properly. Your a rower so that’s what you should use. Drive you hips forward and use your hands only to keep the bar close to your body. Try to do a couple from hang to get a good feel.

The catch:
You are too strong for that weight, use more :wink: The bar comes really high, so you don’t really have to pull yourself under it. Because the bar travels and ellipsoid before you catch it, you don’t have as much balance as you could have. Learn how to freeze for a second on the catch-position and feel how your balance is. It should be solid at that point.

And when you lower the bar, keep it close to your body to avoid jolting your back. Now you kinda bounce it.

Yeah, I’m mainly in agreement with archieandfriends. Initially though I’d just concentrate on 2 things:

Get your shoulders over/in front of the bar more. This will allow you to finish in a more upright position instead of pulling backwards.

Keep the bar closer to you. This will make a massive difference to how effective the hip drive is. This in part will be corrected by keeping your shoulders over the bar more.

Personally, if you’ve just started doing these I think you’d be better off starting them from a high hang position with the bar at mid-thigh. This way the bar will be in the correct position for the important part of the lift, which is the 2nd pull. You can always progress to lifting from just above to the knee, then below the knee, then mid-shin then finally from the floor over a few weeks as your technique develops.

Thanks for the replies. I kept trying to sit back which obviously put me behind the bar and affecting the pull. I leaned forward a bit more today with my shoulders slightly past the bar it felt much better. I’ve also increased the weight so it doesn’t feel like I’m swinging a barbell around. Overall it feels better.

One thing one of my mates pointed out is that my clean looks slower compared to the other guys who’ve been doing it a while. Is the speed something that increases with time or is this because of how I’ve trained previously doing slower movements. I have been doing mainly deadlifts, bench and overhead presses, squats and isolation exercises.

you have to try and move faster to move faster. keep the weight constant but move it faster = an increase in power.