Originally Posted by Jan Bester
I tend to "catch" the bar with my elboms pointing almost totally down.. is this a bad thing?
I'm going to guess that you must be powercleaning instead of squat cleaning, otherwise a pair of broken wrists would have answered your own question!
If the elbows are straight down in either a squat clean or a front squat, they'll likely hit the knees resulting in a nasty wrist injury.
It's also an indication that the bar is not being racked properly. Rack the bar on the shoulders instead of the hands. Let the bar roll onto the fingertips if necessary.