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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-02-2009, 10:16 PM   #11
Gant Grimes
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

I am proud to say I don't personally know anyone who has done one of these. If I ever witnessed a friend performing this, the next move he would perform would be catching a medicine ball with his face. I would keep throwing them until he got the point.

Medicine ball cleans are so worthless that Hitler won't even bother to make a video hating on them. And there's something wrong if you can't teach a clean progression that doesn't have your trainees worrying about hitting themselves in the throat with the bar.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:26 PM   #12
Barry Cooper
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

Greg,

I'm glad you commented. Frankly, I'm perfectly willing to listen to your entire chain of reasoning on this issue.

Do you think the shrug affects the outcome in any meaningful way? I would have thought yes, it affects both the 2nd and 3rd pulls, but I am open to alternative ideas on that.

If it is soley the 3rd pull, is it the case in your opinion that the shoulders get shrugged solely by following the path of the bar as it travels upward, and are then optimally primed to sling under the bar faster than gravity?

I am quite open to an informed opinion on this.

One question I will pose is if you think jump shrugs are an effective excercise for the Olympic lifts, and why or why not.

To be clear, I don't doubt your knowledge on these issues. What you think is valuable.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:40 PM   #13
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

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Originally Posted by Greg Everett View Post
What I go back and forth on is teaching snatch/clean pulls with a shrug. In some cases, it's helpful to create a connection/transition/timing - in others, it encourages attempting to shrug the bar/ball/whatever UP - which shouldn't happen, irrespective of the weight. In most cases, I teach the movement with zero shrug at all, and in more and more cases, i never even mention a shrug
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Originally Posted by Barry Cooper View Post
Greg,

One question I will pose is if you think jump shrugs are an effective excercise for the Olympic lifts, and why or why not.
Along these lines, does this mean that doing the Burgener warmup with PVC or an unloaded bar develops bad habits by emphasizing the shrug? Or am I overthinking things and confusing myself?
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:47 PM   #14
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

My opinions regarding the med ball clean are detailed in this article - http://www.cathletics.com/articles/i...ty&shortyID=58 (wfs for the most part - maybe a bit of profanity).

The shrug affects lifts with heavy weights in a very meaningful way - if all else is done correctly, it delays the lifter's transition under the bar, which, with heavy weights, must be immediate upon leg/hip extension. ANY delay will limit what the athlete can get to the shoulders or overhead.

More commonly, though, everything else is not done correctly. Planning on shrugging the bar up nearly invariably causes the athlete to quit early on leg/hip extension, stay leaned over the bar, tighten up the arms and pull early with them. They quite literally try to replace the pop of the hips/legs at the end of the second pull with a pop from the shrug (which will work from a practical standpoint with light weights - which is why so many get away with it for so long).

I sometimes teach the shrug as an intentional movement itself, but now only in rare cases. More recently I've had more success keeping its role as secondary. Try doing an upright row without shrugging - tough, and very unnatural. An upright row or high pull motion (exactly what should be happening in the initial phase of the 3rd pull) naturally and largely unavoidably involves a shrug. It will not be a complete shrug like we can do just standing there, but that's totally unnecessary, and again, focus on this is misplaced.

The shrug is basically a transition from lifting the bar up to pulling the body down. That is, you'll start to see the shoulders rising at the very last moment of the 2nd pull in most lifters, but the bulk of it occurs as a part of the third pull (when the lift is performed correctly, that is). But again - more and more I'm finding it far more effective to emphasize the arms' effort to pull under than the shrug.

[ryan kyle of sandusky weightlifting made a great point in article of his I published in the performance menu as well - he considers the shrug a reaction of the traps being released from the stretch they've undergone during the second pull; that is, they're rebounding up as the downward tension is released]

I never have anyone do a jump shrug (assuming we're thinking of the same drill) unless it's during an early teaching/learning phase and that athlete has demonstrated trouble in continuing to drive with the legs against the ground until hip extension is complete. And even then, I just do a jump - i don't tell them to shrug. A little shrug will tend to occur naturally if the arms are relaxed as they should be.

I do have lifters perform snatch/clean pulls of various types, most of the time involving a shrug at the top. However, these are technically sound lifters who know what should be doing what. And they are constantly reminded to focus on leg/hip extension, and consider the shrug as a follow through, largely just as a way to guide the bar's continued momentum rather than letting it swing forward (it has to go somewhere).

When/how to teach the shrug is something I addressed in more detail in the second edition of my Oly book because I realized what a confusing topic it was, and in there, I readily admit it presents somewhat of a dilemma with respect to teaching progressions.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:50 PM   #15
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

Eric -

No, the BWU is spot on - the problem is that most people perform it incorrectly by pausing in the extended position searching for some epic degree of shrug and ankle extension. It should be performed with an immediate rebound back down from that extended position. The lifts can be taught very effectively with that shrug at the top - it just needs to be made clear that later it will occur after the legs have stopped pushing against the floor, and that any pause or hesitation in that extended position (shrugging or not) is disastrous for heavy snatches/cleans.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:05 PM   #16
Andrew Wilson
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

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Originally Posted by Greg Everett View Post

The shrug affects lifts with heavy weights in a very meaningful way - if all else is done correctly, it delays the lifter's transition under the bar, which, with heavy weights, must be immediate upon leg/hip extension. ANY delay will limit what the athlete can get to the shoulders or overhead.

More commonly, though, everything else is not done correctly. Planning on shrugging the bar up nearly invariably causes the athlete to quit early on leg/hip extension, stay leaned over the bar, tighten up the arms and pull early with them. They quite literally try to replace the pop of the hips/legs at the end of the second pull with a pop from the shrug (which will work from a practical standpoint with light weights - which is why so many get away with it for so long).
Great point
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:00 AM   #17
Joshua Murphy
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

Another nice one Barry. Despite "apropos" this is borderline and you know it. This thread will stay open as long as it is civil and on topic.

Greg E, thanks for chiming in, very informative.

Gant, I'm sure you know at least one or two people who have done them. And I'm sure the Hitler Video Crew will get around to making a video sooner or later.

Greg P, I'm in Philly next week and will stop by.

Lincoln, good point.

Thanks,

Josh
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:46 AM   #18
Jonathan Yoon
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

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Originally Posted by Greg Privitera View Post
It's a different enough movement that you can get good at both. I don't use or coach the mes ball clean, but use sandbag cleans all the tine. Totally different, and an athlete should be able to clean an object other than a bar. The know-how will transfer to odd-object lifts from day to day.

I honestly Can think of a few times in the past month where I have instinctively and rather loosely used some of the foundational mechanics of a sandbag clean. A med ball clean is similar, but just way too light.

We use sandbags for every lift except for snatches and deadlifts, but use barbell versions just as much.
Spot on about the med ball weight. There are higher weighing med balls out there, but they don't bounce and the weight of these things start to approach atlas stone size (and to a degree, feel). With how odd-shaped and in-your-face those larger med balls are, you might as well just go with a barbell (or a sandbag if you want an odd-object and you're that afraid of the bar) for clean work.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:22 AM   #19
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

I completely agree with Greg E on the problem with hanging out at the top of the second pull. With either a med ball or a barbell, the transition between second and third pull should be taught as "Pop and Drop". If the coach overemphasizes the shrug and has the trainee pose for a still picture at the top of the second pull, the transition between the second and third pull can suffer.

While I have slightly differing opinions on the shrug than Greg, in general I find weak correlation between a big shrug and ultimate success in the lift. However I find a strong correlation between an overly long second pull and poor results. A lot of lifters at the very top levels have a short range of motion with their shrug, but none of them have anything less than a lightning fast transition between the second and third pulls.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:40 PM   #20
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

There are differing opinions on which Olympic lift to start teaching, but Greg's book recommends starting with the snatch. Practicing the clean with anything less than a scary barbell doesn't work too well for most (guys), as a proper rack position is unattainable for all but the most flexible.

In contrast, the snatch can easily be taught with PVC pipe. Ideally (or if necessary), there is a progression from PVC to the bar via intermediate weights, such as rebar-stuffed PVC or kid's/women's bars. Thus, a 15 lb. bar does have utility in learning and practicing the snatch, setting up the trainee for better motor patterns in both (or all three) lifts.

If these intermediate bars should be in place anyway to allow for and enforce good technique, maybe the med ball clean should be dropped?
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