View Full Version : Long femurs in the clean

Emily Mattes
01-24-2011, 10:20 PM
I've developed some timing issues in the clean, partly in relation to my extra-long femurs in relation to the rest of my body. I changed my set-up in the past couple months as I realized I was compensating for my poor hip/ham strength and long legs by starting with my back almost parallel and letting my hips shoot up. Now I'm trying to keep them down and pull off the floor properly, but my legs are getting in the way. I'm able to compensate in the snatch by taking a wider stance, turning my feet out, and letting my knees flare to the side, but I can't do something similar with the clean as my knees run into my arms.

Are there any recommendations for adapting to these proportions? Do I need to strengthen my hams even further so I can push my hips back far enough to get my knees out of the way? I'll try to post a video soon.

Brian DeGennaro
01-25-2011, 05:02 AM
Have you tried starting the barbell further forward of your midfoot (maybe over your toes) at the start? Sometimes lifters with long femurs or tibias will benefit from that, it allows them more room for clearance.

Emily Mattes
01-25-2011, 02:09 PM
I'll give that a shot. Would you have any videos or pictures of long-femured people doing cleans so I can see how this is supposed to work?

Unrelated to my first pull problems, I've found trying to turn my knees out during the second pull (as well at the jerk, FWIW) keeps me in better position for the third.

Brian DeGennaro
01-25-2011, 02:21 PM

Check that one out.

Spencer Mackay
01-26-2011, 05:26 AM
Maybe focus on the driving of your heels into the ground on your first pull, focusing on moving your toes while you do it. This should keep your weight back, regardless of femur length and should help the bar clear your knee easier. With long legs, any forward movement will inevitably cause problems.

Liza Gonzalez
01-26-2011, 12:12 PM
Emily, I am so glad you posted this because I have the exact same problem! I also find turning the knees out help. I am guessing that is what is meant buy "squeezing" the knees back. I am playing with a wider clean grip to compensate for the knee turn out.

Liza Gonzalez
01-27-2011, 09:14 AM
Is the double knee bend less likely to occur in those with long femurs? I didn't see Urik having a pronounced double knee bend. In my videos where I have correct my pull I have noticed when my hips rise with my shoulders the double knee bend went away. I assume hips rising w/ shoulders is more important though.

Brian DeGennaro
01-27-2011, 11:40 AM
The double knee bend ought to not be a very large movement at all. If you look at the best of the best, the knee bend is more like a twitch.