T Nation

Power Clean - The Catch


#1

I'm having trouble 'catching' the weight in a power clean. I'm very new to training, and I can't get my elbows parallel to the ground in the catch position. A friend says I need to work on the flexibility of my arms, but is there anything specific I should do? My forearms and biceps wind up perpendicular to the ground, not parallel. Any thoughts?


#2

i think you will need a video. not that i could help you anyway. i clean using dumbells and i am perfecting the movement everytime. it is fun


#3

Just takes practice, practice, and more practice. I was in the same situation you are in when I first started power cleaning.

Stretch your wrists (pulling back on your fingers) before power cleaning. Something else that also helped me is that I would catch the bar low (on the clavicles) and roll the bar up towards my throat, so that the arms go up naturally. After doing this a few times with the bar, it becomes natural that your elbows become parallel with the floor. You just don't have the flexibility yet, but keep at it and you'll get it in no time.


#4

I have the same problem. I try to stretch before i train, after i warm up good, i stretch a lil bit. And i stretch before bed. Another thing i do is rack a weight like im doing front squats, and hold a really heavy weight in the recovery position for a count of 20 or so. I do 4 or 5 sets of this before i clean.

My flexibility and tech. seemeed to get better once i started doing more front squats with my arms under the bar, rather than folded on top. Just keep it up man. Im at the same place you are. Its just work work work! good luck


#5

Can you rack the bar on your shoulders properly for front squats?

You have to learn to trust yourself and relax the death grip you probably have on the bar so the bar can roll onto your fingers.


#6

people always say this, practise to get something right. If he keeps practising he may hurt himself by the sounds of how he's doing it. Proper practise to get it right, sorry for being anal, but I felt like pointing that out.


#7

depending on your build it may not be practical for your forearms to be parallel to the ground. my forearms are perpindicular to the ground when i catch...and (maybe because i have not seen anyone other than myself doing them in a gym in the last 5 years) i've never actually seen anyone whose forearms are parallel on the catch. it is unnecessary...go watch a video and practise with light weight just doing a hang clean. in the catch position the bar should be resting on your chest and hands not necessarily being held up by your arms


#8

Point taken.

To the OP: PROPER practice will make it better


#9

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4c4v_5jsoJ0&feature=related

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVpsiAtVx7s&feature=related


#10

i know olympic lifts are tricky because of the heavy weight, but they are supposed to be very natural movements. you have to move your body in the only way that will get the weight up


#11

Try this.

http://orgs.jmu.edu/strength/Exercise_Technique/power_clean.htm

TNT


#12

that was a great video, i do it from a hang position, i will go lower now


#13

had the same problem when I first started. after practicing with just the bar i was able to rack the bar and hold onto it with just 1 or 2 fingers in each hand. after practicing the movement, i can now use all 4 fingers under the bar but 2-3 is still more confrontable. To work on your flexibility, try keeping the bar on the power rack and lifting it into the "rack position".

Each time you goto the gym try to strech your wrist doing this until the bar sits on the thick part of your shoulders with at least 1 finger underneath it. It just takes practice but i remember thinking that there may be something wrong with me but I can do it fine now.


#14

Thanks guys for all the advice. I'm still working on my technique. I actually started a program developed by Doug Hepburn. I've been having success with that, and I'm ready to move back to the power clean for some gain...


#15

One thing that I'd like to mention is to work on stretching your pecs, and work on the mobility of your T-spine.


#16

what in the hel are you saying?

Anyone can get the flexibility for the catch/rack.

Just get in the front squat position and work your wrists a bit every day. they will get used to it in a few weeks at most.

Do not do this catching it with your elbow down shit.

Make sure you can catch/rack it with your elbows up and the bar on the delts/shoulders before you power clean. until then do high pulls for the same effect minus the catch. The flexibility will come in no time though if you put the time in during your warm up.

-chris


#17

what in the hel are you saying?

Anyone can get the flexibility for the catch/rack.

Just get in the front squat position and work your wrists a bit every day. they will get used to it in a few weeks at most.

Do not do this catching it with your elbow down shit.

Make sure you can catch/rack it with your elbows up and the bar on the delts/shoulders before you power clean. until then do high pulls for the same effect minus the catch. The flexibility will come in no time though if you put the time in during your warm up.

-chris


#18

Clean-grip front squats will really help you get comfortable racking the bar in the right position.


#19

There is good advice in the links. But I read this a couple times and I think you might be having trouble flipping you're hips on the pull...I learned pretty young, so the movement was always pretty natural for me...But when the bar get's about mid thigh you flip you're hips forward and the momentum helps you turn you're wrist's over...I think the big thing is to keep the weight light and the movement explosive until you get the feel...Like I said, the links and advice here are good...I just thought this might be more specific to you're problem...Be careful with this movement though.