View Full Version : Clean Form Critique Please

Ben Kimmerle
07-01-2007, 08:26 PM
I've just started (about 2-3 weeks ago) doing cleans and will hopefully start working on snatches too. I've started doing the ME Black Box, and want these two lifts to be my whole body lifts for the Box. I've read a ton and watched the Crossfit demo videos a bunch, and I've posted 2 videos here of me doing cleans with only 125 lbs. because I want to make sure I've got the basics down with lighter weights before I move to heavier weights and get hurt. Oh, and sorry about the sideways videos, that's the only way I could get a good shot of the exercise, and I don't know anything about video editing so I don't know how to fix that. Thanks in advance for any suggestions/criticisms.


(both wsfs)

Lincoln Brigham
07-01-2007, 11:34 PM
You need to bring the bar in closer to touch your thighs. Right now your pulling motion is "grip and rip" from the ground. The bar should brush the legs nearly all the way up; right now it's about 8" away from your thighs.

Practice a lot of lifts from the hang positition.

Ben Kimmerle
07-02-2007, 01:07 PM
Besides doing hang cleans, how else can I fix this problem?

Lincoln Brigham
07-02-2007, 07:32 PM
Beatings come to mind... :pokey000:

Luke Hope
07-02-2007, 08:16 PM
I do this, 3x10 with the empty bar, as part of my warmup (replacing back extensions, not that that matters...):

Power clean from mid-shin, making sure the bar brushes my upper thigh on the way past. Return the bar by lowering my hips and sliding the bar down to my knees, then straightening my knees to get the bar around them, then lowering my knees to slide the bar down to mid-shin. That part of the motion is the same be it clean or power clean.

The above is following the power clean instructions as per Rip's Starting Strength. My problem if anything is stepping back after the clean, the opposite of yours. :-)

Good luck!

Peter Terry Haas
07-03-2007, 11:18 AM
This is a problem I have been working on recently (going around the knees and keeping the bar away from your body).

Try pulling from pins/blocks. Set the pins so that the empty bar is just below your knees when you set up. Focus on pushing the knees back and actively using your lats to have the bar touch mid thigh as you pull. Don't do a full clean, just pull to mid thigh and go back down. Once you are good w/ this, you can do this starting at the floor. Again, just pull do mid thigh and go back down.

Basically you are just working on finishing your first pull and not doing your second pull. Don't stand all the way up (deadlift), just pull to midthigh.

Once you are comfortable, focus on keeping the bar close and doing full cleans.

Hope this helps (and made sense).

Ben Kimmerle
07-03-2007, 04:25 PM
Luke: I'll definitely start doing that in my CFWU, I think a big part of it is just beating the proper technique into my muscle memory (kinda what Lincoln said, but I think he had something else in mind, haha)

Peter: sounds like you're talking about clean pulls? Maybe not, but I know I've seen/read about them, and it sounds like you're talking about doing them without pulling past the waist, so like a modified clean pull.

All: thanks for the help, I'll incorporate what you've suggested for a week or two, then repost another video and see what progress I've made (and probably what new thing I have to work on!)

Peter Terry Haas
07-04-2007, 10:36 AM
Ben, here is a w/f safe link to pictures of what I am talking about.


They are more like an unfinished deadlift than a clean pull.

If you watch the bar path in your video, you travel around your knees and keep the bar away from your body. The bar travels in a straight line all the way. If you watch the bar path in the sequence of pics, it swings inward slightly as it comes up.

At the top of this sequence is where you would initiate the clean itself and your second pull.

Ben Kimmerle
07-04-2007, 03:50 PM
Ohhh, a picture's certainly worth a thousand words; makes sense now. Thanks Peter.

Am I correct to say that the first pull from the floor is a little bit slower (more like a deadlift) than the second pull which is more explosive and quicker, or am I way off?

Lincoln Brigham
07-04-2007, 07:37 PM
That's exactly it. The first pull is squeezed off the ground. Speed is not critical; proper bar positioning is the primary objective of the first pull.