Exercise Library

Slow Pull Clean



The slow pull clean is a variation of the clean used to train certain technique and physical elements such as timing and aggressiveness.   
 
 
Execution
 
The slow pull clean is simply a clean in which the athlete performs the first pull at a lower than natural speed. Perform the lift identically in terms of position, but slow the movement of the bar to the mid- to upper-thigh so that it takes 2-3 seconds to reach that point. As the bar reaches that point, without slowing down, 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 thigh.
 
Once you have extended the body completely, pick up and move your feet into your squat stance as you pull your elbows up and to the sides aggressively to begin moving yourself down into a squat under the bar. Turn the elbows over quickly into the clean rack position as you sit into the squat. Use the rebound in the bottom of the squat to stand immediately and aggressively. Once you’ve stood completely with the bar in control, you can return it to the floor.
 
 
Purpose
 
The slow pull clean can be used as a remedial or technique exercise to train the athlete to properly time the initiation of the second pull and to maintain the proper position over the bar until that point. As a training exercise, the slower speed will produce somewhat greater strengthening of the pulling posture, and because the second pull is being initiated with less existing upward momentum of the bar, it will force great power production and aggressiveness in both the final extension and the pull under the bar.  
 
 
Programming
 
The slow pull clean should be done for 1-3 reps per set with weights that allow the proper timing and position. It can be done with light weights before cleans as a technique primer, or it can be used as its own training exercise with more difficult weights (70-80% generally).
 
 
Variations
 
The slow pull clean can be done without moving the feet from the floor, standing on a riser, or in a complex, followed by a clean at regular speed. Clean pulls can also be done with this reduced initial pull speed.






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