The clean high-pull is identical to the clean pull with the exception of a continued maximal upward pull of the bar with the arms following the extension of the body.
Set the clean starting position tightly and push with the legs through the whole foot against the floor similarly to a squat. Maintain even balance over the whole foot and actively keep the bar as close to the legs as possible, and maintain approximately the same back angle until the bar is past the knees. Once at lower to mid-thigh, open the hips explosively while driving vertically with the legs even harder to accelerate maximally.
Extend the entire body approximately vertically—don’t try to mimic the hyperextension of the hips we would have in an actual clean. As the legs and hips finish extending, shrug up and back and continue immediately and fluidly into pulling the elbows up and out toward the sides, keeping the bar against the body—never let the bar move away. Focus on lifting the elbows rather than the bar in order to ensure proper movement and proximity. Depending on the weight, the elbows may not actually reach maximal height, but that is always the goal to ensure proper motion and effort.
Keep the entire body tight and continue pushing against the floor until the bar stops moving up, then follow it down by dropping to flat feet. Try to keep the trunk vertical at the top rather than allowing the pull of the arms to cause you to lean forward over the bar.
The clean high-pull is an exercise for training strength, speed, power, posture and balance in the extension of the clean in the same way the clean pull does, but with the added training of the mechanics and strength of the arms that will be used in the third pull, and the timing of the transition between the effort of the lower and upper body. Because of the continued upward pull to maximal height, the clean high-pull also helps reinforce more aggressive, complete and vertically-oriented extension.
Generally the clean high-pull should be done for 2-5 reps per set anywhere from 70%-90% of the lifter’s best clean. The same percentage of loading in a clean high-pull will typically not allow the lifter to elevate the elbows as much as they can in a snatch high-pull because of the limit on shoulder mobility, but the effort should be the same. High-pulls can still be prescribed with heavier weights as long as true maximal elbow height is not desired. As a strength exercise, it should be placed toward the end of a workout, but because it also involves some speed and technique, it’s generally best placed before more basic strength work like squats.
The clean high-pull can be performed standing on a riser, from blocks, with either a static start or dynamic start, with or without straps, with pauses on the way up, maintaining flat feet, and with prescribed concentric and/or eccentric speeds. Slower eccentric speeds in particular will increase the strengthening of pulling posture and back arch strength.