T Nation

Power Cleans, History of Back Pain?

Are power cleans OK to do if you have a history of back pain?

If not, what would you recommend instead?

It depends. I would imagine if you have been able to back squat, deadlift, romanian deadlift, or do bent over rows with a good amount of weight, this would tell me your back may be strong enough to handle powercleaning. The important thing, is that even if it can handle power cleans it most certaintly cannot handle bad power cleans. I dont say that to be cocky, because mine leave much to be desired, but I wouldnt be doing them if I were you with any less than perfect form.

When did you hurt your back in the past? How long ago and what were you doing?

Are your glutes firing? take it slow and progress at 1/8th the pace that you are capable of.
How do you feel when doing power snatches?

Shadowzz4, I can do all those - except I’m not sure about back squats. They used to make my back feel really tight, so I dropped them in January.

dp_dubya, I hurt it twice: once in the lower back - about 3 years ago. This pain has returned a few times since, but not since last year. This year though I hurt my upper back - which has mostly cleared up now.

Lower injury was bad deadlift technique. Upper was just going to hard on military presses.

I haven’t tried any power snatches - was afraid to. I don’t plan on doing any until about a month after I’m completely over my upper back injury.

How can you tell if your glutes are firing?

How about 1 arm dumbbell snatches?

Also look at dumbbell high pulls. The kettlebell variations might be good also. Even the kettlebell clean.

I would then progress to BB high pulls and then power cleans.

The back squat issue sounds like inflexible glutes or more hamstrings. Upper back, different story. Take it slow, this one might not be a great idea.