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Dax Steele 03-26-2014 08:32 PM

Hang cleans

Been working on strength and olympic lifting lately, background is mostly crossfit.

Having trouble on 2nd pull with cleans, feels awkward and not fluid. People telling me not getting full extention , starting arm pull too early. Any thoughts? Here is a video doing hang power clean + hang squat clean at 195.

Javier Sanjuan 03-28-2014 06:20 AM


I'm on my cell phone, so I'll make this quick but (hopefully) informative and helpful.

You're pulling with your arms instead of trusting your legs. Think about pushing through the ground and keeping your arms loose. Some clean pulls will help. Also, think about staying on your feet longer - you come up on your toes too soon. Additionally, you need to keep your back real tight before you initiate the movement - you look kind of soft because the weight is "comfortable" (inferred by the fact that you powered the clean).

Some remedial exercises would be dip cleans, hang work above and below the knee, and some block work. Get tight and stay as explosive as possible throughout the movement. Hope this helps.


Keith Miller 03-29-2014 11:19 AM

Looks like you're letting your shoulders round forward as you dip for both of the lifts. Keep that upper back tighter and shoulder blades pinched together more.

Patrick Steele 04-12-2014 08:12 AM

Think about keeping your arms straighter for longer... don't initiate the movement with a bend of the arms trying to muscle the weight up. Let the power come from your hip extension and start bending your elbows when the weight starts to feel light

Chad Lammert 04-19-2014 02:19 PM

I think you've chosen a good complex to practice the 2nd pull. I'm interested in how often you are training this complex and if you've seen improvement since you've started it.

A couple recommendations - I'd change the complex just slightly to a clean from the floor + a clean from the knee (and maybe a front squat at the end) -- no powers. Maybe 1+2(+1) for 2-3 weeks, then drop to 1+1(+1) for another 3-4 weeks. I'd make this change for a couple reasons.

First, for beginner and intermediate lifters, I think its very important to keep constant exposure to the lifts from the ground. Getting good from position two is great, but you don't want to lose familiarity with the pull from the floor -- there's a rhythm to the pull and it will always take some time to get it back if you stop practicing it.

Second, the lift from the knee is definitely going to help the 2nd pull. The more you do it, the better you're going to get. This is why I think you made a good choice with this complex.

The front squat at the end, if you choose to do it, is only going to strengthen you're bottom position and help build a strong back to stand up with more cleans later down the road. This isn't a fix for the 2nd pull, just an additional way to help build more strength while practicing your 2nd pull.

Also, I think breaking it up into 3-4 week blocks where you have more reps in the first block and less reps in the second will help you in a couple ways. In the first block you'll build consistency and some endurance from position two -- and you're going to build some muscle. Push it to a max effort and then a drop set or two and always try to beat the previous week's numbers. You might even try to throw in a pause at the knee. In the second block you're going to get stronger, there will be less time under tension, so you should see heavier weights and more efficiency given the practice from the prior block.

I'd do that once a week for cleans and once a week for snatches, making sure to hit both of the competition lifts (or a variation of them) at least one other time during the week outside of this.

If you want to take the 2nd pull practice to another level, you could try throwing in block work from the knee or higher after your drop sets in the complex. If your gym doesn't have blocks, you can stack up a few plates until the bar is either just above or just below the knee. Take that up to a max effort then drop 20 lbs for 3-6 drop set reps after the complex above and you'll have a pretty good workout there.

I bet in 6-8 weeks you'll see notable improvement in not only your second pull, but your overall strength and endurance. You'll get PRs in the complex and from the blocks, and if you're lucky you'll get PRs in the competition lifts as well.

Let me know if you try it, I'd be interested to see your progress.

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