View Full Version : can't increase power clean

07-16-2003, 08:45 PM
i would say i'm farily strong and such and recently incorporated power/hang cleans and jerks into my routine

the problem with increasing the weight is not with my legs or traps, but my wrists. i'm a computer guy and have always had ****ty wrists but when power cleaning they get really bad. maybe my form is bad?

i shrug/throw the weight up when it reaches mid-thigh, do about a quarter squat, and catch it with my wrists parallel to the ceiling and my elbows perpindicular to the floor. my wrists are holding it up -- not my shoulders or chest, is this right? even when front squatting, i need to do this, as i can't seem to get the bar to sit on my shoulders in front.

is this proper form? i did a 135lb hang clean today and for my legs it was pretty easy, but my wrists didn't agree. is this a common newbie problem or what?

07-16-2003, 10:12 PM
Get your elbows higher, and work on total body flexibility.

07-17-2003, 07:22 AM
i don't think my elbows CAN go any higher :\ even when i try bending them back right now they don't want to budge without my wrists travelling back behind my neck... i'm short (5'7") so maybe that has something to do with it

would stretching before lifting help out a lot though? i never really stretched before but figured my youth would allow me not to :)

07-17-2003, 09:33 AM
You probably want to concentrate on 'racking' the weight onto your shoulders/upper chest.

One thing that really helped me was doing front squats but holding the weight as if I had just caught it doing a clean. Really helped with my wrist flexibility.

Just my humble 2 cents

07-17-2003, 04:52 PM
where does it sit?

i know on back squats there is a little groove in my traps where i rest the bar. is there something similar for the front that i just haven't found yet?

paty boy
07-17-2003, 07:20 PM
When I rack the bar, it rests on my shoulders and collar bone.
My fingertips are usually the only part of my hand touching the bar
until I jerk it.

Just curious but how much do you front squat?

07-17-2003, 07:59 PM
can't even do 135 cause of the wrist problem, though i'm sure my legs can do far more (i back squat 300+). if my wrists were in order i'm sure it would be like 150-200, not too sure though

so on the collarbone is good? i'll try it out tomorrow morning

07-17-2003, 08:01 PM
yeah, that's what I do too, I let the bar rest on my shoulders and cross my arms in front of me to keep tha bar stable

07-17-2003, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by EdgarMex
I let the bar rest on my shoulders and cross my arms in front of me to keep tha bar stable

you can't do that if you're going to follow up with a split jerk or push press though :)

07-20-2003, 05:47 PM
Bar should land on your front delts and butt up against your throat, you can leave your hands open so only the finger tips are under the bar.

07-20-2003, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by Blitzforce
Bar should land on your front delts and butt up against your throat, you can leave your hands open so only the finger tips are under the bar.

i tried that today (did increase the weight actually)

now my problem is jerking the weight. if just my fingertips are on the bar, i can't jerk it properly (and such is the reason that my left rotator cuff hurts now :))

should i re-adjust my grip after i clean it and before i jerk it? (ha ha ha!)

07-21-2003, 08:36 AM
Yup, it sounds like you're not getting your elbows up high enough...your upper arm (elbow to shoulder) should be parallel with the floor or higher with the bar sitting on the "shelf" made by the top of the shoulder and the upper arm, with the fingertips just holding it in place. This DOES take a lot of wrist flexibility as your hand/fingers are basically bent way back towards your forearm.

Also, you may be doing more of a reverse curl on the second pull (after the shrug) instead of an explosive high pull and then dropping/rotating the elbows under the bar. The first pull/shrug should be explosive/quick enough that you even sort of release your grip on the bar as you drop under it. Most untrained lifters or people who do cleans w/o a coach end up doing the reverse curl thing instead.

And in the end, the limiting factor in power cleans (like all Oly lifts) is technique, technique, technique! Even experienced lifters have someone continually watching them and critiquing their form to keep those little inconsistencies/lapses to a minimum. It's a humbling process to get it right and you have to be willing to let go of the ego and stick with a manageable weight for a long time while you hone the right form. Otherwise, you'll get into bad habits and by continuing, you'll just be training the bad habits, which will then be harder to break later on down the line.

Do you have someone that can work with you/coach you?

07-21-2003, 08:52 AM
i used to be doing the reverse curl thing but now i'm definitely shrugging/pulling it up correctly and getting underneath it

as of yesterday and today i started racking it correctly up against my throat, i think i'm starting to get it up there the right way and high enough. there's a trainer there i could ask to check my form and i'm pretty sure he could point out any faults

thanks for the advice everyone :)

07-21-2003, 08:19 PM
Well you don't need to hold the bar to jerk it - I don't, since the legs do most of the intial work, you can garb the bar once its past your chin :)

07-21-2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Blitzforce
Well you don't need to hold the bar to jerk it

i think you're right as far as split jerk goes, but my form for split jerk is laughable

for push press, i think you need to be holding it, because you don't drop down as far as with a split jerk

good advice though, thanks :)

07-22-2003, 05:29 AM
Well I do powerjerks actually :)

and it's normal for your wrists to hurt a bit when you first start doing olylifts, but after a few months it will go.

07-31-2003, 10:40 PM
Maybe you could try powersnatchs instead?