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View Full Version : Power Clean Help - Please, Greg?


Frank Needham
08-24-2008, 09:05 AM
Here it is and I warn anyone with a weak stomach, it is ugly! But, I sure would like to clean it up and make advances so getting some help with that would be nice. Thanks.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3QrlhmeKkk

Derek Maffett
08-24-2008, 12:18 PM
Really, really, really, really early arm pull. Keep your arms straight until your hips, knees, and ankles are fully extended.

Grip is kind of narrow - widen it a little.

Elbows should come up much faster. Don't wait to finish the lift before raising your elbows.

Get bumper plates if possible.

I really suggest that you look at these videos. http://performancemenu.com/resources/exercises/index.php?show=section&sectionID=2 wfs

Do the drills and post new videos... your power clean right now is pretty far off from what it should be and it'll need a lot of work.

Frank Needham
08-24-2008, 01:04 PM
Thanks, but which of the video drills are you pointing at? I've looked at the pmenu pc video if that is what you mean. If there are specific drills on the resources page that apply I'd like to know. I've got some bumpers but I'd like to get technique with lighter weight first.

Derek Maffett
08-25-2008, 12:04 AM
Clean pulls with emphasis on no arm bend, tall cleans with emphasis on getting the elbows around the bar quickly, and pretty much any other of the drills with "clean" in the name. Even if you aren't aiming to do squat cleans and snatches, your power clean will become much, much better when you master the full lifts. One common problem I'll see in regards to power cleans is that people will catch them in a position that pretty much makes the full squat pretty hard to imagine. Wouldn't happen if the receiving position were the same as for the full clean... the power versions allow more errors than the more technical full lifts.

Leo Soubbotine
08-25-2008, 04:11 AM
Frank - do this for warmup every time you're about to do cleans:

http://crossfitevolution.com/blog/?p=7

Frank Needham
08-25-2008, 05:28 AM
At some point I would like to become proficient at olifts so I point taken. I'll take the comments and the video and put them to work on the clean. Thanks!

Allen Yeh
08-25-2008, 05:54 AM
Thanks, but which of the video drills are you pointing at? I've looked at the pmenu pc video if that is what you mean. If there are specific drills on the resources page that apply I'd like to know. I've got some bumpers but I'd like to get technique with lighter weight first.

Good stuff so far I wanted to add one thing about the bumpers. I think what Derek was saying about the bumpers was so that you are pulling from the "right" height. A way to improvise this would be pulling from boxes. Because the 25's are lower to the ground your start position when you use a regularly sized plate will be different.

On getting into the rack position, one drill that I liked from Greg E's seminars is the quick elbows drill.

1. Using a clean grip, bring the empty bar to sternum height
2. Now with a slight dip of the knees whip your elbows under the bar into the rack position.

I apologize with the crappy tutorial but I can't find a vid on this.

Frank Needham
08-25-2008, 07:01 AM
In my case all genuine pointers are useful and none are "crappy" ;) On my "light" workout days during the week I'll begin working these suggestions and drills in, probably with just a bar at first to get things down solidly. Now, I wish I had built those pulling blocks that were on my mind this past weekend instead of hiding in the house coz of the heat.

Greg Everett
08-25-2008, 09:31 AM
Sorry, just saw this thread. Didn't read other responses, so forgive me if I repeat anything that's already been said.

Your primary goal at this point is to learn how to use your legs and hips to elevate the bar rather than your arms. Deadlift the bar to the top, slowly lower it to the mid-thigh position, and then JUMP as high as you can - just let the bar do what it wants. I literally want a jump at this point, not a fake one with a shrug (i.e. don't try to do something you think I want eventually - just jump).

Repeat and actively pull the bar toward your body with your lats and shoulders (NOT with elbow bending) so it doesn't swing or bounce during that jump.

Repeat again and shrug your shoulders up at the top of the jump.

Now do that last thing but only let yourself leave the ground a fraction of an inch.

THAT is the power clean, the clean, the power snatch, and the snatch in its essence - THAT is the important part, that's overwhelmingly the movement that delivers the benefits, and until that movement is in order, the rest doesn't matter.

Once you have that down and feel comfortable, then you can worry about actually racking the bar. I'd break it all down as much as I do when teaching from the very beginning - for now, Leo's progression is a good place to start - but again, your primary focus needs to be the above jumping movement. I'd keep you cleaning from the mid-hang position until that was fully dialed in.

Frank Needham
08-25-2008, 10:06 AM
Now do that last thing but only let yourself leave the ground a fraction of an inch.

THAT is the power clean, the clean, the power snatch, and the snatch in its essence - THAT is the important part, that's overwhelmingly the movement that delivers the benefits, and until that movement is in order, the rest doesn't matter.

Once you have that down and feel comfortable, then you can worry about actually racking the bar. I'd break it all down as much as I do when teaching from the very beginning - for now, Leo's progression is a good place to start - but again, your primary focus needs to be the above jumping movement. I'd keep you cleaning from the mid-hang position until that was fully dialed in.

If I understand correctly, the PC boils down to a controlled jump in the sense that you won't want to waste effort on generating force to get higher off the ground, but instead to jump (eventually) a short elevation with lots of weight? It makes sense to me since power generation is what you are after in the movement and lifting more weight (applying more force, doing more work) in a shorter time = the fundamental definition of power.

Thanks for helping me to understand the key points, definitely helpful!

michael cooley
08-25-2008, 10:26 AM
If I understand correctly, the PC boils down to a controlled jump in the sense that you won't want to waste effort on generating force to get higher off the ground, but instead to jump (eventually) a short elevation with lots of weight?

You've got it, Toyota. Once you have the technique dialed in, the fact that you're getting more significant air time right now just means you'll be able to (i) increase the weight or (ii) pull harder (which has the same effect). With lighter weights right now, you'll have to pull "less hard" to only come the requisite "fraction of an inch" off the ground. Once you start adding weight, the heavier weight will take care of that for you pretty quickly. ;)

Thinking about the second pull as nothing more than jumping with a barbell in your hands is probably the single best mental cue you can use.

Greg Everett
08-25-2008, 10:31 AM
What Michael said.

The thing to keep in mind is that the mechanics of that second pull really are no different than a vertical jump. The reason you don't leave the ground as much is that 1) you have a bar weighing you down and 2) you're pulling yourself down under the bar as soon as you reach full extension of the body.

#2 is really the key and that's what will keep your technique sound regardless of weight.

Frank Needham
08-25-2008, 12:12 PM
Got it, I'll post a new vid after some practice.