4 Tips for a better clean
The idea of the clean is to get the bar from the floor to the front rack position. Here are a few quick tips that we may not have covered lately:
1. Keep the bar close. Get your knees back and out of the way, while your hips and shoulders elevate at the same rate so as not to change the angle of your back. We want the knees out of the way in order to give the bar a straight path. If the bar has to travel around your knees, the bar path is diverted away from your body which leads to less control, a more difficult catch, and less power transferred to the bar.
2. Stay connected to the bar. Instead of “flinging” the bar and attempting to catch it with your shoulders, keep tension on the bar as it elevates and use that tension to pull your body under the barbell for the catch.
3. Meet the bar where it’s at. For a smooth transition and catch, don’t drop so far below the bar that it comes crashing down on you. The crashing force of the bar coming down will make it difficult to maintain proper form and posture (rounding of the back and dropping of the elbows). Instead, transition under the bar with good elbow speed catching the bar where it’s at, letting your legs act as shock absorbers to cushion the load.
4. Loosen your grip. Once your elbows have passed under the bar, loosening your grip will allow your elbows to get out in front of the bar, protecting the wrists and collar bone from extra stress and impact. Catch the bar as close to your neck as possible and get your elbows up in front of the bar.