Clean Turnover Precision | Weightlifting Technique Primer
If your pull under your cleans looks like someone knocked over a bucket of spare body parts, the tall muscle clean is a good technique primer to use before your clean sessions. Do a few sets of 5 reps with an empty bar.
Stand tall with the bar at arms’ length and the arms internally rotated to point the elbows to the sides as much as you can without moving the shoulder blades from a neutral position.
Pull the elbows up and out first—this will naturally be accompanied by a shrug, but actively squeeze the shoulder blades back along with it.
As the elbows are nearing shoulder height, squeeze the arms back to bring the bar up and back toward the shoulders and spin the elbows around the bar.
The key here is that the elbows need to pivot around the bar, not the bar around the elbows, which means the bar needs to be as near the rack position as possible—you need to actively bring the bar up and back as you begin turning the arms over.
Keep a full grip around the bar for as long as possible, even when releasing the hook by sliding the thumbs out.
The goal is to make the connection of the bar and shoulders as smooth and precise as possible—stay connected and guide it in rather than simply flipping it up there.
You can begin with a relatively slow movement to ensure you’re hitting the ideal positions and connecting smoothly, but work to eventually turn the bar over as quickly as possible.