Exercise Library

Clean Pull-Down



AKA Chinese clean pull, clean fast pull, panda clean pull
 
The clean pull-down is a variation of the clean pull or clean high-pull in which the athlete pulls his or her body down after extending upward.  
 
 
Execution
 
The clean pull-down is identical to the clean high-pull with the exception that rather than pulling with the arms to continue lifting the bar upward after the extension of the body, the athlete pulls with the arms to move his or her body down toward the bar after the extension of the legs and hips.
 
Set your clean starting position tightly and initiate the lift by pushing with the legs against the floor. Shift your weight back slightly more toward the heels as the bar separates from the floor, 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 hips. The movement should be directly vertically with a focus on extending the body upward, although to maintain balance, it will be leaned back slightly. As the legs and hips reach full extension, pull the elbows up and to the sides, keeping the bar in immediate proximity to the body, but stop pushing against the floor with the legs, so this action of the arms moves your body down toward the bar. Keep the trunk upright as you move down rather than leaning the chest down toward the bar. The feet can remain in contact with the floor, or they can be picked up and transitioned into the squat position as the pull down is initiated. It’s important that full extension of the legs and hips is achieved before the athlete moves down.
 
 
Notes
 
This is not a recommended exercise for lifters who have the habit of cutting their extension short in the clean, as it’s difficult to perform correctly with full extension, and if done incorrectly, will further reinforce the bad habit of not finishing the pull. It’s also important that the athlete maintains proper balance and an upright posture when pulling down to prevent the creation of bad habits in the actual clean. 
 
 
Purpose
 
The clean pull-down is an exercise for training strength, speed, power, posture and balance in the extension of the clean in the same way the clean pull does, but with the added training of the mechanics and strength of the arms that will be used in the third pull like the clean high-pull does, and additionally trains the timing and mechanics of the movement of the body down under the bar.
 
 
Programming
 
Generally the clean pull-down should be done for 2-5 reps per set anywhere from 80%-110% of the lifter’s best clean. 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.
 
 
Variations
 
The clean pull-down can be performed with or without movement of the feet from the pulling to receiving position, standing on a riser, from blocks, 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.






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