T Nation

Squat Clean


#1

Christian (or anyone who can help),
I have always power cleaned for sports or even just for lifting. However, now, I am trying to teach myself to Squat clean and Squat Snatch just in case they ever come up in a competition.

The snatch I find I'm picking up rather quickly but I SUCK at the squat clean. It's like I chicken out or can't get into the receiving position once the weight gets over about 185 lbs. I can power clean 275 lbs. and front squat between 275-300 lbs. I'm not sure if you have any tips for a guy trying to make the transfer from power clean to squat clean but if you do I'd love to try them. Anything at this point has to help.
Thank you for your time and help.


#2

[quote]Scottish 190 wrote:
Christian (or anyone who can help),
I have always power cleaned for sports or even just for lifting. However, now, I am trying to teach myself to Squat clean and Squat Snatch just in case they ever come up in a competition.

The snatch I find I’m picking up rather quickly but I SUCK at the squat clean. It’s like I chicken out or can’t get into the receiving position once the weight gets over about 185 lbs. I can power clean 275 lbs. and front squat between 275-300 lbs. I’m not sure if you have any tips for a guy trying to make the transfer from power clean to squat clean but if you do I’d love to try them. Anything at this point has to help.
Thank you for your time and help.[/quote]

The first thing is to get your front squat up significantly. With a 275-300 front squat you will not be able to squat clean more than you power clean.

With a 275lbs power clean you have the pulling strength to squat clean 315, but to do that (besides a lot of technique work) you will need AT LEAST a 330-340 front squat WITH PERFECT FORM; ideally 330-340 for 3 reps. otherwise it will be of not use to go under the bar if you can’t stand up with the weight.

As far as technique drills to learn the squat snatch, I’d need to see your power clean and a squat clean attempt to recommend a good learning strategy. But i’ll film a couple of drills tomorrow that you can use and will explain what is their purpose.


#3

Thank you much! I had a hunch you’d tell me to get my front squat up :slight_smile: I’ve always been a hamstring and ass dominant lifter.
I’ll put a focus on my front squat and get them up.

I greatly appreciate the help and the videos.


#4

[quote]Scottish 190 wrote:
Thank you much! I had a hunch you’d tell me to get my front squat up :slight_smile: I’ve always been a hamstring and ass dominant lifter.
I’ll put a focus on my front squat and get them up.

.[/quote]

Well, in a squat clean you must not only do a front squat to stand up with the weight but receive a heavy falling barbell in the front squat position, absorb its energy and reverse the motion without losing position. Except for some rare exceptions to clean big weights you need an ample strength reserve in the front squat.


#5

Ok, the thing you have to understand is that a squat clean and a power clean are two different lift. In the power clean you are trying to create as much upward movement of the barbell as possible, whereas in the squat clean the goal is to pull the bar just high enough to receive it in the low position.

The thing is that if you do a squat clean you can’t pull as high as you can and then squat down under it, the bar will just travel too high and crash on you.

But you can’t “underpull” either otherwise you will lack power and the bar will be too far forward.

You still need to fully extend but learn to give it just enough power to catch it in the low squat position.

The best weightlifters aren’t those who pull the highest, it’s those who are the fastest and most precise moving under the bar.

Here is a drill sequence to learn to do that.

DRILL 1 - DROP CLEAN

Here simply go up on your toes and shrug your traps then from there move under the barbell as fast as possible, DO NOT do a pull once you reach the full extension, just move under. TIP: when going under do not think about squatting down, think about punching the hips back as fast as possible. The position of this drill is how high you need to pull a bar to clean it.

DRILL 2 - TALL CLEAN

Same as drill 1 but you do not pause at the top of the extension. Do not give yourself a swing to lift the bar, just do the body extension.

DRILL 3 - HIP CONTACT CLEAN

Same as above but you create some separation between the hips and bar and bring them together rapidly, as soon as you feel the contact it’s the signal to extend.

DRILL 4 - MEDLEY LEADING TO HANG CLEAN

Same as above but the last rep is a hang clean. Lower the bar toward the knees and stand up, when the bar contacts the hips/upper thigh it’s the signal to extend.

IMPORTANT: you don’t jump up! You extend your body up and when you reach full extension you quickly punch the hips back to go under. If the feet move (and hit the floor) it’s because of the super fast movement of the hips NOT jumping up.

NOTE that both guys can clean in the mid-300 and they can still do a full extension with baby weights without overpulling. That’s what you need to be good at squat cleans: being able to pull every weight seemingly the exact same way while always bringing it directly to the shoulders, not having the bar launched in the air and crashing down on your from 1 foot above.


#6

Thank you! Very much! Your explanation of the extension without the purpose of pulling the bar as high as possible but only as high as needed to get under it turned on a light bulb.
And the videos are supremely helpful. Usually if I can see it, I can do it. We’ll see if that’s the case with these :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for all of your time and guidance on this. I will report back with results.


#7

[quote]Scottish 190 wrote:
Thank you! Very much! Your explanation of the extension without the purpose of pulling the bar as high as possible but only as high as needed to get under it turned on a light bulb.
And the videos are supremely helpful. Usually if I can see it, I can do it. We’ll see if that’s the case with these :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for all of your time and guidance on this. I will report back with results.[/quote]

My pleasure… how many coaches would take the time to go film something in response to a online question :wink:

Seriously though, the point I want to emphasis is if you want to go fast DO NOT think about squatting under; think about punching the hips back as fast as you can as soon as you reach full extension… watch how Felix does it (2nd guy).


#8

thank you coach, here helps me a lot too.

I watch a lot of video on the clean and snatch, but still difficult to see the subtleties of movement.

the drill 1, gives me a good start, hoping to fix this bad technical moves.


#9

[quote]SWAT06 wrote:
thank you coach, here helps me a lot too.

I watch a lot of video on the clean and snatch, but still difficult to see the subtleties of movement.

the drill 1, gives me a good start, hoping to fix this bad technical moves.

[/quote]

One hint, watch how the hips move to go under.


#10

ONE IMPORTANT THING

You DON’T have to do all the drills in one session. DO NOT move on to the next drill until you are super efficient at the one you are doing.


#11

yes coach
all your advice are applied and never disappointed.


#12

CT, you said the athletes here use the dumbell power clean… Compared to a barbell power clean do they also train your back and explosiveness? You only mentioned them for shoulder health. That they are very different to a barbell is clear to me, but maybe in the “effect” similar?


#13

[quote]Akidara wrote:
CT, you said the athletes here use the dumbell power clean… Compared to a barbell power clean do they also train your back and explosiveness? You only mentioned them for shoulder health. That they are very different to a barbell is clear to me, but maybe in the “effect” similar? [/quote]

The dumbbell clean & press has nothing to do with the power clean. As I mentioned earlier I don’t like the name. While it CAN be done for power https://www.t-nation.com/training/olympic-lifts-and-dumbbells or strength https://www.t-nation.com/training/biggest-exercise-in-bodybuilding the version I was referring to is the seated one used by Westside guys which is more like a swing to the shoulders and press overhead in one continuous motion. This is for shoulder health and development while the two versions I mentioned above can have some of the benefits of the barbell Olympic lifts.


#14

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Akidara wrote:
CT, you said the athletes here use the dumbell power clean… Compared to a barbell power clean do they also train your back and explosiveness? You only mentioned them for shoulder health. That they are very different to a barbell is clear to me, but maybe in the “effect” similar? [/quote]

The dumbbell clean & press has nothing to do with the power clean. As I mentioned earlier I don’t like the name. While it CAN be done for power (https://www.T-Nation.com/training/olympic-lifts-and-dumbbells) or strength (https://www.T-Nation.com/training/biggest-exercise-in-bodybuilding) the version I was referring to is the seated one used by Westside guys which is more like a swing to the shoulders and press overhead in one continuous motion. This is for shoulder health and development while the two versions I mentioned above can have some of the benefits of the barbell Olympic lifts.[/quote]

Now I fully understand. I asked it because I have started to read all the westside articles and was curious about the “dumbell swing continues press clean” :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you much ! :slight_smile: