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Power Clean Form Help (Vid)

Did power cleans today in my yard. I’m not very good, I just started doing them recently on my own. Can someone give me some advice?

Explore Fuckarw Assha

I know I’m doing the catch phase horribly–my elbows aren’t up at all. Where does the bar rest though if done right? On your shoulders with your wrists bent exactly like a front squat? What else am I doing wrong with regard to the rest of the movement?

I also have a habit of pulling the bar perhaps too close to my shins:

Ouch. Thanks for any feedback.

Get a coach, to teach you the proper way to do em.

If you can’t get a coach, lower the weight and practice A LOT.
Check these videos out no matter what you do.

Part 1

Part 2

This is a good video too.

good vid, kinda quick and didn’t see him do much. It was like a flash lol. Probly just my computer. All the porn making it slow, jk

As far as the catch is concerned it should be resting on your shoulders like a front squat do you have the flexibility to hold it in that position? Also it doesn’t look like you are extending your hips far enough.

Like XB-C was sayin if you cant get a coach watch tons of vids and study the lifts for a little while. As far as your shins are concerned thats exactely how they should look you can always some hang cleans if you want to give them a break.

[quote]sig805 wrote:
As far as your shins are concerned thats exactely how they should look you can always some hang cleans if you want to give them a break.[/quote]

That is absolutely not correct. Cutting your shins is indicative of a form problem - it means either your starting hip position is too low or you are pulling with your back too early.

If you are performing the first pull properly by extending the legs and not the hips and are still cutting you shins, your stance might need to change to being a bit wider or turning your toes out slightly to allow your knees to get out of the way.

In the case of the OP, it looks like your hips are a bit low (as is evidenced by the fact that your hips rise before the bar leaves the ground). You also need to do work on some flexibility as your back is far from even being flat during your pull.

Thanks for the honest feedback. Be as blunt as you want to be, all I want to do is get better.

I didn’t realize my back wasn’t flat during the pull. Shux. That kinda pisses me off a little bit to be honest because I’ve always prided myself on having at least safe form, even if it wasn’t great. What kind of flexibility work would you recommend Manhattan?

As for the cut on my shin, it was actually from the bar grazing a scab I had on my leg from something else, so it probably looked a lot more severe than it was. That being said, I know I have fundamental problems with my cleans.

As for the catch position, I guess its still awkward because I’m not even that great at the front squatting position in the first place right now.

I wish I could get a coach, because I don’t learn very well from watching videos or reading books. I need someone to yell at me. Then again I’m not really looking to become an elite weight lifter either, as I mainly just want to be able to do these exercises well enough that they’ll benefit my martial arts training, not replace it.

Ask Carl Darby in the “world record assault” thread in the over 35’s section

Don’t have time to look at the video right now, but Dr. Manhattan is more qualified than me anyway. Listen to what he says.

When you set up, look down and make sure the bar is over where the toes meet the foot.

Agreed hips were too low and this also causes the hips to be too close to the bar. Your shoulders should be in front of the bar, elbows pointed to the sides.

First pull - should be straight knee extension with no change in the angle of a straight line running from your shoulders through your hips.

Second pull - hips forward, many guys bump the bar with their thighs a little.

You are definitely reverse curling the bar at the end, instead of power shrugging and getting under the bar.

To help with the catch practice front squats, but more importantly, hold the bar, shrug your shoulders and stand on your toes. Then quickly pull yourself under the bar. You will end up lower than usual, but it helps with not reverse curling it.

An easy way to set your starting position is start from the hang, push your hips back until the bar is at the knee, then bend your knees until the bar is on the ground.

If you keep the back angle that establishes, you won’t have a problem either hitting your knees or shins, and if you do, you know your first pull is off.

Wow, this lift is infinitely more technical than I previously thought. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

theuofh, I’ll try your advice on the starting position next time I do them, I think that’ll help.

danjo, thanks for breaking down the phases in more detail, that helps. I guess I’m just afraid of falling back with the bar on top of me when I go to get under it, and thats kinda why Im naturally drawn to this reverse curl bullshit at the top.

Man, hips too low, back not straight, and bar being curled–I suck shit, haha.

Not to suggest that I don’t want to learn the lift anymore, but, as a practical matter, do you guys think I should keep power cleaning without a coach or just do more plyos instead? All I’m really out to do here is improve my explosiveness. Some swear by oly lifts for it, other say they’re not necessary. What do you guys say?

I’m surprised no one mentioned it - part of the issue with your setup is that since you’re not using bumper plates (full size, less weight), the bar is too close to the ground. It’s like you’re doing powercleans from a deficit. IMO, if you’re gonna do this in the future do it out of the hang unless you can get the proper equipment.

Overall, you’re probably better off dropping this lift for now, working on strength and doing plyos and related movements for explosiveness (try reading WS4SB for ideas).

yeah, I’m actually using 35lb plates in that because I don’t have 45lbers, so the bar is lower than normal to the ground. As for dropping the lift, its what I usually do anyway, haha. That’s part of the reason I work out in the grass, so I can drop the weight without repercussions.

Thanks.

From your photobucket account I assume you want to get better at jumping, right? If that’s the case I’d be inclined to agree with bulldog24 and suggest you don’t worry about the PC for a while until you can get a little bit of coaching, and instead focus on getting your squatting strength up, alongside actual jump work and med ball throws. Whilst the PC and PS do help with explosiveness, they’re not the only ways to skin that particular cat.

By all means continue to work on your PC, just don’t make it the focus of your training at the moment. Maybe have a look at one of the combined plyo/strength programs in Kelly Baggett’s book.

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:
sig805 wrote:
As far as your shins are concerned thats exactely how they should look you can always some hang cleans if you want to give them a break.

That is absolutely not correct. Cutting your shins is indicative of a form problem - it means either your starting hip position is too low or you are pulling with your back too early.

If you are performing the first pull properly by extending the legs and not the hips and are still cutting you shins, your stance might need to change to being a bit wider or turning your toes out slightly to allow your knees to get out of the way.

In the case of the OP, it looks like your hips are a bit low (as is evidenced by the fact that your hips rise before the bar leaves the ground). You also need to do work on some flexibility as your back is far from even being flat during your pull.[/quote]

I agree, You need to learn to keep your back at least straight if not with a slight lordic curve [arched towards your stomach]. Get that chest out [figuratively] and those shoulder blades tight [not shrugged though]. if you make that torso rigid then you can maintain more force through it. If you let it bend in the least you reduce the force greatly.

also, make sure the slack in your arms is taken up before you do the first pull on the bar. That’s not saying to pull with the arms at all. Just make sure that your start position has your arms nice and straight from the bar to your shoulders.

If you begin pulling with your arms bent you lose more force as the slack is taken up. the force does not transfer directly from your legs/hips into the bar as it would if your arms were taunt. To say simply you are “jerking” at the bar one the first pull.

Also, get some shoes. the amount of force that you should be putting back into the ground after you change “directions” to catch the bar could bruise your heel [as in the bones]. I saw a guy get a mad heel bruise from what was a great clean in really old [super old] chucks. He now wears lifting shoes. even some doo-wins will do and you can get them for a song.

For vert training dont forget your split jerks. That shit ups your vert like a mo fuck. But you really cant do them right with shoes.

Just incase you forgot:

BACK STRAIGHT!!!

-chris

[quote]BetterAthlete wrote:
Wow, this lift is infinitely more technical than I previously thought. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

theuofh, I’ll try your advice on the starting position next time I do them, I think that’ll help.

danjo, thanks for breaking down the phases in more detail, that helps. I guess I’m just afraid of falling back with the bar on top of me when I go to get under it, and thats kinda why Im naturally drawn to this reverse curl bullshit at the top.

Man, hips too low, back not straight, and bar being curled–I suck shit, haha.

Not to suggest that I don’t want to learn the lift anymore, but, as a practical matter, do you guys think I should keep power cleaning without a coach or just do more plyos instead? All I’m really out to do here is improve my explosiveness. Some swear by oly lifts for it, other say they’re not necessary. What do you guys say?

[/quote]

It’s not bad, you are getting there. USA Weightlifting recommends learning the clean from the mid thigh, then progress to above the knee, then below the knee and lastly from the floor.

Chris, thanks for all the detail. I practiced again tonight and took a couple videos. I did them from the hang. My form is still not good but I at least got my elbows up a little more.

Explore Fuckarw Assha

Explore Fuckarw Assha

I only used 65-95lbs for these. Not much weight I know, but have to let the ego go I guess. The second pull is so confusing to me. This is what I feel like’s happening when I do it:

Tonight I found at the end of my WO that keeping my shoulders in front of the bar when lowering into the RDL for the 2nd pull helped me stay over the bar more and feel less like I’m falling behind it.

[quote]BetterAthlete wrote:
Chris, thanks for all the detail. I practiced again tonight and took a couple videos. I did them from the hang. My form is still not good but I at least got my elbows up a little more.

Explore Fuckarw Assha

Explore Fuckarw Assha

I only used 65-95lbs for these. Not much weight I know, but have to let the ego go I guess. The second pull is so confusing to me. This is what I feel like’s happening when I do it:

Tonight I found at the end of my WO that keeping my shoulders in front of the bar when lowering into the RDL for the 2nd pull helped me stay over the bar more and feel less like I’m falling behind it. [/quote]

those are much better cleans. Your back is reproducing much more force. Also doing the clean from the hang/thigh/above-knee will work out way better for you till you get a coach.

The “gay back posture” is good stuff if you mean a lordic curve. It will help you keep those less than perfect squat-cleans from bailing at the bottom of the Fr Squat.

Also I would stick to power cleans from the hang for at least 50% of your clean training same with snatch. power from the hang will make sure you learn the value in extension. Beginners and self-taught’s [as i was once] tend to cut the extension.

As such i’d say do the power cleans and combos like power clean + front squat [as in finish the clean then begin and finish the squat. Feel free to add in jerks or push press as well. both are integral to getting a nice fast jump.

Keep those shoulders and elbows up dude.

-chris

chris, thanks a lot man, thats encouraging. ive been thinking about this lift obsessively for the last week. tonight I’m gonna practice with a broom stick.

if you or anyone else can help me with one more question, how high should the bar typically rise at its peak after the second pull?

When I watch GOOD guys lift, the bar doesn’t seem to rise that high at all (half a foot or so) but they drop down so low and so fast it doesn’t even matter. Is this how I should be looking to clean?

Also, is ALL the power simply coming from the hip extension and shrug, or are there some small details I’m missing?

Thanks, all the best

[quote]BetterAthlete wrote:
chris, thanks a lot man, thats encouraging. ive been thinking about this lift obsessively for the last week. tonight I’m gonna practice with a broom stick.

if you or anyone else can help me with one more question, how high should the bar typically rise at its peak after the second pull?

When I watch GOOD guys lift, the bar doesn’t seem to rise that high at all (half a foot or so) but they drop down so low and so fast it doesn’t even matter. Is this how I should be looking to clean?

Also, is ALL the power simply coming from the hip extension and shrug, or are there some small details I’m missing?

Thanks, all the best[/quote]

Yeah those cats are doing a “Squat clean” as in going down into a squat. For your purposes I’d stick with “power clean’s” for now. they will teach you to extend your hips and pull with the shoulders.

The bar goes as high as you can pull it. For power cleans I pretty much say that if you can pull it to your nipples you can power clean it. Any time you catch it high enough not to go past parallel it’s power clean. Keep it there and you will get good vert jump results out of this.

And the whoel pull comes from hip extension and shoulder pull. Later on your learn to “pull under” but you dont need that now.

-chris