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-   -   clean critique (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2785)

garrett stack 07-30-2008 11:59 AM

clean critique

Hi Folks
I've been out of practice for a while , have had an ongoing knee issue that I've spent 5-6 months trying to improve and i've let my Oly Lifting slide a bit.
Anyway clean is 75kg max at the moment is probably 80-85 so this is heavy enough at the moment.

Any and all comments much appreciated, great site and resource.


Derek Maffett 07-30-2008 12:45 PM

How did my message get deleted in mid-writing? :mad:

Early arm pull and incomplete extension.

Starting position is lost quickly after starting the pull - you shift forward very quickly making it into more of a deadlift start than a clean. You also shift forward during the front squat, which is not good.

Receiving stance is wide, seemingly preventing full depth.

You do this really weird thing with your hands where they're correctly outside shoulder width during the pull but then crushed between the bar and your shoulders in the front squat - shouldn't happen.

Greg Everett 07-30-2008 01:24 PM

As Derek said (he's been paying attention!), your start and 1st pull are whacky - get the bar over the base of your toes and your arms approx. vertical in the start. Off the floor, keep your chest up - don't let your hips rise more than a couple inches more than your shoulders. Right now, you're basically driving your knees back into almost full extension before the bar moves at all, making your first pull a stiff-legged deadlift. Actually looking again, the position you initially set is pretty good - but as you get ready to go, you rock forward. Just maintain that initial set position and pull from there, sweeping everything back to get the weight toward your heels as the bar leaves the platform.

That hip-leading shifts your weight forward on the feet as you rise, which makes the bar start swinging forward, which pulls you forward even more. You end up chasing after the bar instead of pulling it back into your hips as you should.

Relax your arms - allow the weight of the bar to stretch them straight rather than tensing them up, which will often result in early arm bend like you're getting (and which also encourages the bar to swing forward during the 3rd pull as it does). When you turn your elbows out during the pull, make sure to keep your shoulder position neutral rather than rounding forward.

Also as Derek said, don't let your hands slide in as you pull under - keep them a few inches wider than your shoulders.

Really sit those hips in when you receiev - let the knees come forward and sit your ass on your heels to keep your torso upright and drive the elbows up to help you out of the bottom. You're stopping short of full depth, which just makes your life harder because it's a tougher position to maintain and you're losing some of the potenial drive from the bounce out of the bottom. Make sure to lead with the chest/elbows as you recover, not the hips.

garrett stack 07-30-2008 01:41 PM

ok Derek and Greg , thanks a lot
I knew it wasnt good
I'll start at the start and try and work on pulling back first .
Thanks again guys

Derek Maffett 07-31-2008 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by Greg Everett (Post 35767)
When you turn your elbows out during the pull, make sure to keep your shoulder position neutral rather than rounding forward.

That's what I've been missing! I've been rounding my shoulders forward while pulling them back - that may have been the reason for my shoulder pain recently. Thanks for the reminder!

garrett stack 09-07-2008 11:45 AM


clean and Jerk this time. Looking at it I am still whacky on the first pull and stiff legging it but I am hoping its at least slightly improved on the last time.
Any comments much appreciated.
Greg does this fall under the leading with the hips description in your book ?


Greg Everett 09-07-2008 08:31 PM

Garrett -

Yes. You set a great position, but then when you get ready to go you raise your hips and set a new starting position (you'll see a distinct forward shift, like you rocked your whole body forward.

When you leave the ground, your knees drive back too fast without concurrent shoulder elevation - pause the video when the bar is ~ in front of your knees and you can see a) your hips are super high and b) the bar is nowhere near your legs. These two things nearly always go together.

Set that initial start position and from there, think of leading with your chest - lift your shoulders as you leave the floor - and sweep the bar back into your body. If you have a hard time pulling the bar in close, you're leaning too far over. Really it will take care of itself if your back angle is good because your arms will be about vertical as it reaches the knees.

Jerk -

Keep the torso vertical - you push your hips back and let your chest drop as you dip. Think of a vertical line through the bar, your hip and your ankle and keep them always along that line.

That pushes the bar a bit forward, and you don't split quite long enough - that's why the weight was pulling you forward a bit when you received it. Get that dip straight, think of driving the bar slightly backward, and pick up that front foot and drive the heel forward.

garrett stack 09-08-2008 12:01 AM

much appreciated

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