Exercise Library
Clean Pull On Riser

AKA Riser clean pull, deficit clean pull, clean pull from deficit
The clean pull on riser is a clean pull with an extended range of motion.  
The clean pull on riser is identical to the clean pull with the exception that the lifter is standing on a riser or platform. Set the starting position the same way you would on the floor, but with more flexion of the knees and hips—that is, the angle of the back and arms and the balance over the feet will be the same, but the shoulders and hips will be lower relative to the feet because of the riser. It’s also important to initiate the lift in the same way—by pushing with the legs against the floor, which because of the riser, will feel more similar to a squat.
Keep your weight balanced over the whole foot, and maintain approximately the same back angle until the bar is at mid-thigh. At mid- to upper-thigh, your shoulders should be at least slightly in front of the bar. Accelerate the bar aggressively with violent leg and hip extension, keeping the bar close to the body and allowing it to contact at the upper thighs. The movement should be directed vertically with a focus on extending the body upward, although to maintain balance, it will be leaned back slightly. The arms are not engaged in the movement, but remain relaxed in extension. The shoulders should be shrugged up somewhat after the completion of leg and hip extension to continue the bar’s upward path and allow it to stay against the body. The aggressiveness of the push against the ground should result in the lifter’s heels rising off the floor as the extension is completed. Return the bar to the floor under control.
Riser heights can be anywhere from ½” to 4” depending on the athlete’s ability (based on height and mobility) or the degree of challenge desired. The athlete can also stand on bumper plates or any other hard, flat, stable surface. Riser heights should not exceed what allows the lifter to set a proper starting position.
The clean pull on riser serves the same purposes as the clean pull, but the addition of the riser will further strengthen the legs for the pull from the floor. They can also be used simply for variety, and as a way to introduce more demand from the lift earlier in a training cycle that can then be reduced over time by reducing the riser height and/or eliminating the riser.
Generally the clean pull on riser should be done for 2-5 reps per set anywhere from 80%-110% of the lifter’s best clean depending on the lifter and how it fits into the program. In any case, the weight should not exceed what the lifter can do with reasonably proper positioning and speed in the final extension, and in particular what he or she can set and maintain proper pulling posture with. As a strength exercise, it should be placed toward the end of a workout, but because it also involves some speed and technique, it’s generally best place before more basic strength work like squats.
The clean pull on riser can be performed with different riser heights, with either a static start or dynamic start, with or without straps, with pauses on the way up, maintaining flat feet, and with prescribed concentric and/or eccentric speeds. Slower eccentric speeds in particular will increase the strengthening of pulling posture and back arch strength. The lift can also be done without allowing the bar to touch the floor after the first rep, turning it into a floating clean pull on riser.

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