The Cleans

The Clean 

1. The start position:

  • Feet – at least hip width apart. This may have to be adjusted slightly depending on the limb lengths of the upper and lower leg. The bar should not be too tight against the shins, in general the taller the lifter the greater the gap.
  • Knees – the angle at the back of the knee joint depends upon the lifter’s lower limb lengths. This also influences the position of the hips.
  • Hips – should be slightly higher than the knees but will depend upon the lower limb lengths as well as the length of back.
  • Back – should be fixed such that the natural curvature of the spine is maintained not only in this position but throughout the lift.
  • Shoulders – these should be in advance of the bar.
  • Chest – expanded and remains so throughout the lift.
  • Head – The head should be in a natural position and not forced upwards.
  • Arms – should be straight and not tense, including the wrists, with the elbows rotated outwards. The legs do all the work in the next phase

2. Bar at Knee height:

Before moving onto this next position, it’s important to consider the movement of the lifter and the bar between the start and the bar at knee height. This initial movement is very important. The legs must be the prime movers with the angle of the back maintained at virtually the same angle as the start.

  • Shoulders – are over the bar.
  • Arms – are still straight and not tense. 
  • Back – still maintained flat and strong. 
  • Head – should still be in a natural position.

3. Explosive extension:

This phase like the snatch, occurs very quickly. If not, then the lifter will have great difficulty in getting under thew bar.
The hips are driven dynamically upwards to the barbell.
The bar brushes the thighs, during the hip drive, with some lifters slightly lower than in a snatch due to a narrower grip.

4. The Drop

As maximum extension is reached, the lifter has to change direction. Fortunately, the force of gravity plays a big part. At the point of maximum extension, as the bar weight becomes relatively weightless, the feet will lose contact with the ground and under this condition, very little upwards force can be applied to the bar. Due to the upward momentum created by the explosive hip drive and finish of the pull is how this weightlessness or floating zone is reached.

The extended position of the trunk attained at the top of the pull should be maintained during the drop under the bar

As the drop continues, the arms begin a rotation around the bar, this is very important as the arms rotate around the bar stays close to the body.

5. The receiving position:

The lifter must receive the barbell in a front rack position with the elbows up and high, feet in a wider stance in preparation for a squat, the body must be in a strong and stable position underneath the bar.

6. The recovery:

The squatting position in the clean is not a drastic as the snatch because the combined centre of gravity will not be high.
Nevertheless, care is needed to recover so that the least amount of energy used – in readiness for the jerk.

On standing the feet can be moved back to position which the lifter prefers for the jerk

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