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Hold Your Grip Longer for Better Clean Turnovers
Greg Everett

If your cleans tend to crash onto your shoulders, even with lighter weights, you can smooth out the turnover and stay better connected to the bar by holding a full grip longer (If you keep a full grip in the clean already, you have other problems to work on if the bar is crashing on you).

If you release your grip in order to rack the bar with only the fingers under it, releasing too soon creates disconnection and makes it easier for your shoulders and the bar to become separated more than necessary. Try to delay opening your hands until the elbows have come around under the bar and are beginning to move up into their final position—the longer you can wait, the better. At this point, the bar and shoulders will be in contact (or very close to it) and the grip is no longer needed to control the bar—gravity will continue guiding it down onto the shoulders.

Practice with tall muscle cleans (a muscle clean in a standing position with no leg or hip extension to elevate the bar), muscle cleans and tall cleans to get some practice and confidence.

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Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, coach of the USA Weightlifting National Champion team Catalyst Athletics, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting, co-host of the Weightlifting Life Podcast, and publisher of The Performance Menu journal. He is an Olympic Trials coach, coach of over 30 senior national level or higher lifters, including national medalists, national champion and national record holder; as an athlete, he is a fifth-place finisher at the USAW National Championships, masters national champion, masters American Open champion, and masters American record holder in the clean & jerk. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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