View Full Version : Clean Form Check
04-07-2010, 10:01 PM
Here are a couple cleans from today's workout, I worked up to a decently heavy single (haven't weighed myself in a while but bodyweight ~155-160 lbs):
Things I see: I set up the first two pulls with my hips too low, and you can see my back angle change a bit before the bar leaves the ground. I think my rack is pretty good (giggity) and quick. I think I failed on the second pull just because I wasn't there mentally and the bar was just a bit forward. The last two reps look pretty good to my eye, I'm just a bit weak on the front squat and I don't practice it much so it looks a little shaky - I think my upper back gets a little soft on the last clean but the plates obscure the view. Anyway, what do you guys think about the direction of my gaze at the top of the pull? I think I'm looking straight ahead (or even a little down) instead of up, and when I see videos of Olympians/people who know what they're doing, they seem to look upwards at the top of their pull. I think looking down/straight ahead makes the top of my pull look a little wiggly, for lack of a better word - what do you guys think? Thoughts in general?
04-08-2010, 01:55 PM
Your cleans look pretty good. You are correct in that your start position is not quite right. Get your hips slightly higher and your shoulders in front of the bar instead of directly over it. Oly coaches will vigorously disagree with that previous statement, however. Everything else looks good. Good extension, speed, rack, and head position.
I think looking down/straight ahead makes the top of my pull look a little wiggly
Play with this if you like, but I would not spend a hell of a lot of time concerned about what the top of your pull looks like. Your efforts would be best spent getting as strong as possible and putting on a good deal of muscular bodyweight. That will drive your clean upwards far more than obsessing over technical minutiae at this stage.
04-08-2010, 02:11 PM
Good job, python.
Your efforts would be best spent getting as strong as possible and putting on a good deal of muscular bodyweight. That will drive your clean upwards far more than obsessing over technical minutiae at this stage.
Tom, I agree with you about him getting stronger and adding muscular bodyweight, but I strongly disagree with you regarding your point about the so-called "technical minutiae." If he's going to be doing these regularly, he'd better be damned sure that he's getting them right from the beginning because any technical inadequacies he programs in at this stage will be all that much tougher to unlearn later. Imagine saying what you said to him only with regard to his squats instead of the cleans. My suspicion is that you wouldn't.
04-08-2010, 02:55 PM
Thanks Tom and Stacey. So Stacey just to get a little clarification, do you think my gaze direction is not an example of "technical minutiae," i.e. is it something worth focusing on at this point? Not to put words in anyone's mouth but I would guess what Tom was trying to say is whatever is making the top of my pull look a little funky isn't as big a deal as, say, lumbar flexion off the ground or severe early arm bend. Maybe not minutiae, but maybe not a critical, fundamental error. I'm interested in your thoughts.
In addition, I remembered seeing what I consider to be pretty close to perfect Starting Strength prescription cleans in A.C.'s King Kong video on his vimeo page (linked below). His cleans start around the :50 mark, and I can clearly see his scapulae over the bar and hips a bit higher than mine at the beginning, so I plan to play with my starting position a bit and finetune it. But what I noticed was A.C.'s gaze was also down/straight ahead and the top of his pull looks a bit like the top of mine. Now, there are definitely other differences in comparing my cleans to his - he's wearing Chucks and I'm wearing Do-wins, so his front squat looks a little different - but I do see a similarity in our upper bodies/heads at the top of the pull. Anyway I just thought that was interesting and hoped to maybe spur a little more discussion on it assuming it is in fact something worth talking about.
04-08-2010, 07:42 PM
but I strongly disagree with you regarding your point about the so-called "technical minutiae." If he's going to be doing these regularly, he'd better be damned sure that he's getting them right from the beginning because any technical inadequacies he programs in at this stage will be all that much tougher to unlearn later. Imagine saying what you said to him only with regard to his squats instead of the cleans. My suspicion is that you wouldn't.
Fair enough, although he was asking about being wiggly at the top of his pull. Did you notice that? I can't see it, although I'm not a dedicated Oly guy. While I certainly don't advocate being sloppy on any of the lifts, the idea that putting a magnifying glass on any part of what is an awfully good looking, but fairly light, clean just strikes me as unnecessary at this point. He's got the basics and he's executing well. Now all that is needed is bigger weights. That was my intended point, not that technique is unimportant.
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