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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-03-2009, 01:46 PM   #21
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

In my experience, trainees will learn the clean, front squat, presses, and jerks two or three times quicker when using a weighted PVC pipe or other light bar compared to using an unweighted PVC pipe.

The unweighted PVC pipe is still a good start for the snatch, however.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:52 PM   #22
Joshua Refenes
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

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Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
In my experience, trainees will learn the clean, front squat, presses, and jerks two or three times quicker when using a weighted PVC pipe or other light bar compared to using an unweighted PVC pipe.

The unweighted PVC pipe is still a good start for the snatch, however.
From personal experience as a relative beginner, I agree completely with this. It's very hard for me to really focus on technique and understand the forces/pulling/pushing involved when a PVC pipe is so incredibly light. I much prefer to work on my technique and learn with a 45 lb. Oly bar, or even a lighter 35 or 15 lb bar.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:17 PM   #23
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

The bigger issue is that only the few most flexible trainees will be able to rack an unweighted PVC pipe correctly on the shoulders. The rest will fail, whereas trainees with only modest flexibility can usually rack the bar correctly if it has a little bit of weight. If the trainee isn't putting the bar in the correct position then they aren't learning.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:16 AM   #24
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

Thankyou Barry for asking Greg about jump shrugs as jump shrugs was one of the first exercises I was taught in Olympic WL way back when.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:09 PM   #25
Daniel Gam
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

thanks greg for clarifying the shrug thing - now that you mentioned it
i noticed that when i do heavy power cleans i don't think i shrug at all
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:24 AM   #26
Barry Cooper
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

One follow up: the intent of CrossFit is to increase ACTUAL work capacity, as in physically doing things outside of a gym. A medicine ball clean is not at all a bad approximation of throwing heavy things on a truck. In that case, you can rack things properly either, but the leg AND trap extension both help.

Olympic lifting, as useful as it is, is a sport, with its own specific demands, and it may be that the optimal method of lifting submaximal bulky objects differs slightly from heavier barbells.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:42 AM   #27
Greg Privitera
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

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Originally Posted by Barry Cooper View Post
One follow up: the intent of CrossFit is to increase ACTUAL work capacity, as in physically doing things outside of a gym. A medicine ball clean is not at all a bad approximation of throwing heavy things on a truck. In that case, you can rack things properly either, but the leg AND trap extension both help.

Olympic lifting, as useful as it is, is a sport, with its own specific demands, and it may be that the optimal method of lifting submaximal bulky objects differs slightly from heavier barbells.
My point, put much more eloquently.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:01 AM   #28
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

What you're missing is the fact that an individual who is able to perform a technically sound barbell clean can pick up anything and clean it very well; and individual who has learned only to clean a medicine ball is largely limited in ability to clean things that look, feel and weigh like a medicine ball. This is not very useful.

Again - pay attention to why a technically proficient lifter is effective at moving a barbell - the reliance on hip and leg power rather than arms/shoulders/whatever. It doesn't matter what you're trying to pick up - if it's actually heavy enough to warrant a clean-type motion (which a 20lb ball is not, incidentally), the more you can rely on that hip/leg power, the more effective you'll be. Just because you can't necessarily perform the movement precisely the same as with a barbell based on limitations of ROM arising from the object's position/shape doesn't mean you can't maximize that ability rather than shrug and row whatever it is up.

You can try to relegate weightlifters to this specialized sport of fancy rules and equipment all you want, but I challenge you to line them up against CFers in "cleaning" odd objects and see what happens.


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Originally Posted by Barry Cooper View Post
One follow up: the intent of CrossFit is to increase ACTUAL work capacity, as in physically doing things outside of a gym. A medicine ball clean is not at all a bad approximation of throwing heavy things on a truck. In that case, you can rack things properly either, but the leg AND trap extension both help.

Olympic lifting, as useful as it is, is a sport, with its own specific demands, and it may be that the optimal method of lifting submaximal bulky objects differs slightly from heavier barbells.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:31 AM   #29
Doug Blankenship
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

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One follow up: the intent of CrossFit is to increase ACTUAL work capacity, as in physically doing things outside of a gym.

So, a power lifter or O'lifter have zero ACTUAL work capacity outside of a gym?
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #30
Barry Cooper
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Re: Medicine Ball Cleans

The traps are some of the strongest muscles in the body. They can handle prodigious loads. Does it seem reasonable to suppose they should be ignored entirely?

And for the critics in general of medicine ball cleans, how many of you are over 55 and out of shape?

It may not be the best movement, but it is not an unsound or unsafe movement, and arguments can be made for it.

And OF COURSE elite weightlifters will do well in picking up odd objects. The discussion pertains to very normal people who will never be all that good at anything.

I will add, actually, that I pick up heavy things all the time, like spools of wire that are somewhere around 50-70 pounds. I use both my legs AND a shrug. It works for me. The primary argument you are making against the shrug, as I understand it, is that it can delay the third pull, with the result that the elevation and acceleration on the barbell has diminished prior to you getting under it, and you miss the lift.

This argument would not hold for a Power Clean, unless I'm missing something, particularly for one with very little to no foot movement (which I know is technically wrong). My normal clean is from the ground to my trunk, or occassionally roof. I really feel the shrug helps with that.
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Last edited by Barry Cooper : 12-12-2009 at 02:08 PM.
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