Quit Pushing Your Cleans Away with Your Thighs
Greg Everett

A lot of you find your bars running away at the top of your cleans, resulting in the bar crashing into the rack position, you collapsing forward, and if not missing entirely, struggling more than you should to recover.

As weights get heavier, it will be more and more likely for you to begin your second pull too early—that is, to begin opening the hips and bringing your trunk upright—because you're not strong or confident enough to stay over the bar longer. This means that your knees begin moving forward (scoop or double knee bend) when the bar is relatively low on your thighs, which are also moving forward since they're attached to your knees. This pushes the bar forward, creating distance between you and it, and shifting your weight forward (it also causes the bar to drag on the thighs, slowing it down).

One of the key tricks for a good clean is waiting until the bar is higher on the thigh to explode. This can be tough—you need to have not only the strength to maintain that posture to that level, but also the confidence and discipline to wait.

Try halting clean deadlifts and segment deadlifts for strength, segment cleans and slow-pull cleans for confidence and timing, and high-hang cleans to improve explosiveness.

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Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, coach of the USA Weightlifting National Champion team Catalyst Athletics, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting, co-host of the Weightlifting Life Podcast, and publisher of The Performance Menu journal. He is an Olympic Trials coach, coach of over 30 senior national level or higher lifters, including national medalists, national champion and national record holder; as an athlete, he is a fifth-place finisher at the USAW National Championships, masters national champion, masters American Open champion, and masters American record holder in the clean & jerk. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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