Bar Contact In The Clean: How To Keep The Bar Close

Because of the narrower grip, the bar in the clean will tend to contact the body on the thighs rather than in the crease of the hips as it does in the snatch.

This makes keeping the bar close to the body during the final extension more difficult because the bar path is more easily disrupted with early contact by the thighs as they move forward during the scoop.

Often this results in athletes rowing the bar up with the arms to try to make contact at the hips. While this can be successful in some cases, it’s more often used unnecessarily rather than improving pull technique.

Here’s how to improve contact and proximity:

Pull with a more upright posture rather than allowing your shoulders to move significantly in front of the bar. This naturally moves the contact point higher toward the hips and makes it easier to control bar proximity.

Wait until the bar is higher on the thighs to initiate the second pull. This will move the bar farther up and more out of the way as the thighs move forward in the scoop.

Finally, be patient with the extension and remember that you need to continue extending upward and moving the bar toward your body after its initial contact.

Use halting clean deadlifts to mid-thigh to practice and strengthen the correct motion and positions, and combine it in a complex with a clean for further technique work.

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