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Thread: Front Squat and Power Clean Rack Technique Issues

  1. #1
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    Raleighwood, NC

    Front Squat and Power Clean Rack Technique Issues

    It seems I have a problem getting correct front squat/power clean rack position. When trying to get my elbows high, my wrists and forearms hurt pretty bad. Widening my grip helps slightly, but it seems to affect my overall technique negatively.

    I am guessing the problem is two fold... lack of flexibility and long forearms.

    Does anyone have any recommend ideas or solutions to help increase flexibility, technique and position?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I used to have the same problem. It went away over time though, just by constantly doing power cleans and front squats often. I was given the advice to stretch a lot, but I never really did that. I just simply adapted to the exercises by doing them a lot. For front squats, one thing I do is only have 3 fingers on the bar, and have my pinkies hanging off. I'm not sure if I catch my power cleans that way or not though. I never really paid attention.
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  3. #3
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Besides Bri's answer make sure you are upright and tight with correct posture.

  4. #4
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    So. Cal.
    I have the same problem, it's not flexibility, it's that my biceps are so huge.....

    Any way, my arms just do not bend far enough, try to force them and they'd break. I do Zercher squats with a slightly modified hold and they work well for me.
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  5. #5
    Resolute -JM-'s Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    I agree with the pinkies off. Just doing that lets you get into a much less painful rack position.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Make sure that you are rolling the bar back onto your hands, if you watch my right hand on the second set in this video you can see what I mean:

    Here is another one:

    As you can see I use a thumbless and fairly wide grip. It is not uncommon for a finger or two to pop off if I am doing a higher rep set.

    Front squats are one of those movements that is awkward at first but gets more comfortable with repetition.
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  7. #7
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Hey Tom...That's impressive...I thought I was the only guy using wood clamps for bar collars

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    At a slight angle to the universe
    I broke my left wrist when I was 16 and it's never really recovered. I am disposed to tendinitis in it and anything that bends the wrist back hurts. I do a reasonable amount of stretching but that doesn't entirely fix it. I rarely do front squats and power cleans but when I do I usually grip with just two fingers and that makes a big difference. It should still be fairly stable.

    One thing which I picked up from yoga is a way of releasing tension from the wrist and hand. You may or may not find it useful. Squeeze your hand into a ball as tight as you can so the knuckles go white and hold for five seconds, then spread all the fingers as wide as possible and hold for five seconds. Do this a couple of times, then let your hands go completely loose and shake them off as if you're flicking water from them. By tensing and releasing them a few times the muscles should relax a little bit.

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