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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:36 PM   #1
Arden Cogar Jr.
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hello all,
I had hoped to be in my home gym and actually videoing some of my oly lifts for critique, but we're about six to eight weeks removed from that date. In the interium, I wanted to ask some questions about grips for the clean.

I have a very serious problem of getting my elbows high for the clean. Normally, I grip the bar at the ring. With my pinkys being at the ring.

I have no problem going into a full squat and having my calves on my hamstrings - my problem is with my elbows.

I simply can't "bottom out" with the catch because, in order to stay in position, my elbows are where my knees want to be.

From this, I tried a little wider grip today. Seemed to work alright, but by elbows were still in the way.

What sort of grip do most people use? Or is this probably a flexibility issue? I would like to say it's due to my massive musclarture, but we all know better than that.

Thanks in advance for any help and again, i apologize for not being able to provide some video. I should be able to do that shortly.

all the best,
Arden
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:01 PM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
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I assume you are using a hook grip? In any case, un-hook right before you rack the bar, push the delts forward and let the bar move back onto your fingertips.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:55 PM   #3
Andy Shirley
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Arden,
I would guess in your case it a flexibility issue. It is for me, from too many years of powerlifting type workouts, too much bench, shoulder reconstruction.

I've been working on it, but still am woefully pitiful at squat cleans and thrusters.

I have also found a little wider grip helps, but only a little.

Anyone have any good stretches for this.
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:56 AM   #4
Brian Reckdenwald
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Put weight on the bar and pick it up off a shoulder high rack like you are about to do a thruster. Put as many fingers on the bar as you can with your elbows up, hold it for a few seconds, then set it down. If you do this enough your flexibility should increase and hopefully you will be able to get the elbows higher over a few weeks.

Unfortunately I don't know if this will help you Andy because of your shoulder, it might be the limiting factor. Personally I would love to have a legitimate excuse to not be able to do thrusters.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:25 AM   #5
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Lincoln, Andy and Brian,
Thanks a million. When I get my elbows high, I've got my middle and index fingers on the Bar.

Lincoln, I normally use a hooked grip (I think, if I'm understanding the terminology right). Would you suggest an open grip for the entire movement? I don't know if I bring my thumbs back quickly enough, but I can try and see what happens. I've often gotten fearful of whacking myself in the throat with the bar doing this, but what the heck?

I like Brian's suggetion. Good idea. i'm going to do that.

Andy - lots of powerlifting in my background. Never a powerful pusher though. Always a better puller and squatter.

thanks everyone.

all the best,
Arden
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:20 AM   #6
Lincoln Brigham
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Would you suggest an open grip for the entire movement?

No. Unhook your grip as the bar passes the chest. A little bit of practice and you'll be good to go.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:16 AM   #7
Travis Loest
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I'm good with the hook grip on the non-dynamic moves like deadlift. Not ready to try it on cleans, or heavens ta' betsy, the snatch. I've found that if I "flare" my lats, my elbows will go up a bit higher. When I catch the bar in a clean I don't catch it in my hands. I always try to catch it on my shoulders with my hands keeping it in place, I may only have two fingers under the bar when I catch it. As I stand up I'll pop it up a little bit to reposition my hands if I need to. And I usually have my hands a little wider than shoulder width to start the clean and as I catch it my hands will slide out just a bit.
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Old 11-22-2006, 07:38 AM   #8
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Travis,
Make sense. I've just never had the balls to let go of the bar that way. Time to lose the fear.

Thanks Lincoln.

did what Brian recommended this morning. Man, did I ever get a forearm stretch. I'm going to work it every day I can until I get more flexibility. Thanks again.

All the best,
Arden
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