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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 10-19-2010, 11:56 AM   #1
Guy Erez
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About front squats, and power clean rack position

When putting the bar on my shoulders, when it doesn't slip, it really goes hard against my neck, and it feels like ****, is it natural and just a matter of flexibility?

Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
Sean Dunston
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

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Originally Posted by Guy Erez View Post
When putting the bar on my shoulders, when it doesn't slip, it really goes hard against my neck, and it feels like ****, is it natural and just a matter of flexibility?

Thanks.
yes - mostly just a matter of flexibility, which should improve with time, as you get some facility with the barbell. it also has to do with your posture. If you are leaning back, then the bar may be just reacting naturally to gravity and rolling into your throat. Be sure that you are standing up straight and that the bar is resting on your shoulders and across your chest, with your finger tips under the bar just to hold it in place - humerus should be parallel to the floor. Ultimately, the rack position will not be choking you, but as a beginner, it frequently does.

I am curious about your "when it doesn't slip" statement though. Can you elaborate on what that means?
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Last edited by Sean Dunston : 10-19-2010 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:35 PM   #3
Nik Nichols
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

The Bar should rest on you shoulders and against your throat. It will be slightle choaking feeling, but that is somethying you get sure to.

Like Sean said. Your elbos should be high and only the tips of your fingets should be touching the bar.

Really you should be able to fron squat it without you handsa on the bar at all. The bar on your shoulders, arms out like Frankensteins monster. You should be able to hold the bar and even squat it.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:45 AM   #4
Guy Erez
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

Thanks guys.

Yah the fingers only touching the bar and all is not the issue, although I do feel some minor stretch on the wrists, flexibility obviously.

Referring to "when it doesn't slip", That is when front squatting (for the first time as far as I can recall, maybe I tried it before, but not likely, and if so with a bad positioning)
So when I front squat, you naturally lean a bit forward, not like the back squat, but a little forward lean, when makes the bar unstable on my shoulders.

But if the neck issue is probably caused by lack of flexibility I think the lack of flexibility is the reason for the rest of the annoyances.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:47 AM   #5
Greg Kemp
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

When in the Rack position you want to make sure your chest and your elbows are up. This should bring your deltoids up and create "the rack" and a space between the bar and your throat. Very often if the bar is on your throat you need to elevate your elbows higher. This can be problematic for many beginners because they lack the flexibility in the wrists to get the elbows high enough to create the proper rack. You want the bar to be resting on your deltoids and sitting in your finger tips and very often it is just 2 finger tips at most on each hand. If you have a tight grip on the bar this can never happen hence the choking effect. Load a bar up with some weight 70 kg is fine and with one hand walk under the bar and let the bar roll into your finger tips while raising the elbow up creating a stretch on the wrist and forearm. The bar stays on the rack during this stretch. Hold that for 30 seconds and do the other wrist. do this 3-5 times on each wrist. This will help with the flexibility needed for front squats.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #6
Sean Dunston
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

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Originally Posted by Guy Erez View Post
Referring to "when it doesn't slip", That is when front squatting (for the first time as far as I can recall, maybe I tried it before, but not likely, and if so with a bad positioning)
So when I front squat, you naturally lean a bit forward, not like the back squat, but a little forward lean, when makes the bar unstable on my shoulders.
okay-
again, this is a matter of technique, that should improve with practice. Even though your body is technically leaning forward, there should not be any downward movement of the elbows during the squat. If the elbows move down, then the bar will follow - slip. If you keep your elbows up -- constantly telling yourself "ELBOWS UP!" and forcing them up throughout the squat, you shouldn't have the "slipping" problems.

Bets of luck.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:49 AM   #7
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

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Originally Posted by Sean Dunston View Post
okay-
again, this is a matter of technique, that should improve with practice. Even though your body is technically leaning forward, there should not be any downward movement of the elbows during the squat. If the elbows move down, then the bar will follow - slip. If you keep your elbows up -- constantly telling yourself "ELBOWS UP!" and forcing them up throughout the squat, you shouldn't have the "slipping" problems.
I want to second this. Thinking "chest up!" is often not enough, as you *think* your chest is up when it isn't. It's easier to see and feel your elbows dropping down. Also, I find that driving my elbows up helps me drive my legs more forcefully, too.

Have you checked out Omry's CF affiliate in Herzliya? I'm sure he could help you. Or, if you get to Jerusalem, feel free to stop by.



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Old 10-20-2010, 11:25 AM   #8
William F. Burgess
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

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Originally Posted by Nik Nichols View Post
The Bar should rest on you shoulders and against your throat. It will be slightle choaking feeling, but that is somethying you get sure to.

Like Sean said. Your elbos should be high and only the tips of your fingers should be touching the bar.

Really you should be able to fron squat it without you handsa on the bar at all. The bar on your shoulders, arms out like Frankensteins monster. You should be able to hold the bar and even squat it.
The first book I read on Olympic Lifting was "Explosive Lifting for Sports" by Harvey Newton. The author specifically discourages this and instructs the trainee to work on flexibility untill one can hold in the rack position with a closed hand.

I have heard a lot of opinions contrary to this, and I have seen footage of many lifters holding the bar how you describe. Anyone with more knowledge care to expand on this?
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:21 PM   #9
Guy Erez
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

Thanks a lot to all of you guys, on my next routine I'm gonna work on it again, till I get it right.

Btw, when lifting my chest and all, I still feel the bar laying on the shoulders alone, I don't feel the bar touching my chest at all, is that a problem?
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:24 PM   #10
Brent Sallee
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Re: About front squats, and power clean rack position

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Originally Posted by William F. Burgess View Post
The first book I read on Olympic Lifting was "Explosive Lifting for Sports" by Harvey Newton. The author specifically discourages this and instructs the trainee to work on flexibility untill one can hold in the rack position with a closed hand.

I have heard a lot of opinions contrary to this, and I have seen footage of many lifters holding the bar how you describe. Anyone with more knowledge care to expand on this?
If you're just front squatting, it takes a lot of strain off of your wrist to let your other fingers out. It's not very functional on a movement like the clean and jerk though since you need to maintain your grip after the clean to complete the jerk. The author, writing in reference specifically to the explosive lifts, is correct because you want to be able to get your elbows high to complete a clean while maintaining your grip for the jerk. If you're just doing reps of front squat, there's no point in stressing your wrists to a great degree (especially for those with sensitive wrists).
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