September 13, 2010
September 17, 2010

Hang-ing Out

Nice to see another full house Tuesday night. The order of the evening: Hang Power Cleans. There was great work all around, especially by some of the newer CFDC athletes who aren’t as familiar with the Olympic lifts.

A quick review (blatantly lifting from Mike Choi’s tips and pointers for the clean:

Start with the the bar just above the knees. To begin the movement, squeeze your glutes and push the hips forward while pulling with STRAIGHT arms;

Keeping your arms straight will require you to shrug your shoulders to get the bar moving. Imagine driving your shoulders through the ceiling. Get a full extension with your whole body. The rise of the bar and a straight bar path comes from the smooth transfer of force from the legs through the shoulders;

As the bar begins to rise, draw your elbows up (like a scarecrow) while keeping the bar as close to your body as possible, and then pull yourself under the bar at a faster rate than the bar is falling;

Whip your elbows around the bar; make sure your elbows are quick, and finish pointing by at the wall you’re facing. This will put the bar over your body’s center of gravity.

It was said last night, but it’s worth saying again: Don’t Get Frustrated! The Snatch and the Clean & Jerk are complex movements, and it’s extremely rare for some one to grasp the entire movement right away (and even for those who get most of it, there’s alway’s lots room for improvement). Keep working at it, and it will come, I promise.

After all that complexity, it was time for a little simplicity.
Finisher: 3 rounds of 1 min DB thrusters, 1 min 15 push-ups & 15 sit-ups, 1 min box jumps, and 1 min rest.

Feel free to post loads for the cleans in comments. More importantly, post any thoughts, questions, helpful hints, etc. about the cleans – especially if you struggled a bit with the movement; if you left last night and still couldn’t figure out why something wasn’t working, this is a great place to ask.



  1. Steph says:

    Like the progression of pictures to fit the text! Glad to see good forms from new folks in those pictures! Well done every one!

  2. SBV says:

    Salty or Tom: Could you guys do some sort of tutorial on the blog about how to properly tape wrists for olympic lifting? I want to see if taping my wrists relieves some of the pain shooting up my arms.

  3. SaltyHat says:

    Consider it done. We are currently in the process of doing some topic-specific articles for posting, and something specifically geared towards wrist support for lifts (as well as stretching and strengthening) would be an excellent starting point.

  4. Tom Brose says:

    Like Chris said, we’ll get that up soon. I think the long term solution is to improve the wrist flexibility and bar position. In the short term, avoid doing things that create shooting pain. Seriously, there is something not right there, and we don’t want to make it worse, so we need to figure how to avoid that feeling.

    Lets look at the pics, and what sticks out. In the photo of Tom A, we can see he has pulled the bar into a good position for the second pull (the explosive part). His elbows are locked and turned out. His back is still arched, and head is up.

    Dawn was missing a few cleans, where she was easily pulling the weight high enough. She was shortchanging her hip extension, and I asked her to really extend. She did, as seen here, and made the lifts (and I think some subsequent heavier cleans). Getting that full extension is key!

    Maiko has actually overpowered her lift, so the bar may crash into her a little. That means she is getting great power, just needs some fine tuning. She is a better full (squat) cleaner, which is a good thing, so working the HPC will really help her get that second pull powerful.

    Ethan has improved his position a lot in the last few weeks. He came in strong, but is now getting the bar into a much better position. Here the bar is sitting high across the shoulders, just needs to get the elbows up a little more.

    The last clean pic shows newcomer Lesley, who is starting off great, with straight arms!