Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting


Clean Rack Position

See also: The goal of the clean rack position is to establish a secure connection of the bar to the trunk, and allow a solid receipt of the bar in a strong and balanced squat position.

Start with your grip half a fist to fist-width outside your shoulders.

With the bar on your shoulders, pressurize your trunk with air, extend your upper back, and push your shoulders forward as far as you can and slightly up.

Note that protracting the shoulder blades does NOT mean rounding your upper back—the upper back needs to remain extended as much as possible.

Position the bar in the channel created between the highest point of your shoulders and your throat.

If the shoulder and bar positions are correct, the bar will remain secure without being held by the hands. The hands and arms provide added security, but should not be doing the primary work of holding the bar in place.

With as full of a grip as you can maintain on the bar, lift the elbows as high as you can without allowing them to move inward excessively.

The bar should be in light contact with your throat but not placing pressure against it, and the slight elevation of the shoulders will keep pressure off of your collarbones and carotid arteries.

If you’re unable to hold a full grip on the bar because of your proportions or immobility, experiment with different grip widths. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, you’ll need to rack the bar with some degree of an open grip.

The priority is the bar’s direct support by the trunk, so a fingertip rack position is preferable to a full grip with the bar not fully supported by the shoulders.

If you do need to rack on the fingertips, just keep in mind that you want to keep a full grip around the bar as long as possible in the turnover to maintain a tight connection and avoid crashing.

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