Solutions to 4 Power Clean Problems

December 11, 2022 3 min read

Solutions to 4 Power Clean Problems

Solutions to Four Power Clean Problems

When performing the power clean it is easy to develop technical errors that can both limit the weight a trainee can lift but also increase the risk of injury. The longer this continues, the more difficult t becomes to correct these errors. Weightlifting historians have for years speculated whether US weightlifter Mario Martinez lost out on the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics because he had developed the habit of pulling with bent arms. Having never corrected his form, it has been suggested that this flaw left him unable to lift the remaining 5 pounds needed for victory. These tips should be useful to allow you to continue to lift heavier weights in this exercises without a weightlifting coach. 

Problem One: Starting with your hips too high

It is common for individuals to struggle to position their hips into the proper starting positions which is usually a consequence of tight calf muscles. In order to resolve this issue, stretch the calves every day, it is also suggested that a pair of weigh lighting shoes be invested as they have elevated heels which allow the shins to be more inclined. Yet, if you are unable to afford a pair of these shoes, the same effect can also be achieved by using a rubber heel lift inside your training shoes, which are often cheap and easy to find. 

Problem Two: Pulling with bent arms or bending arms too soon 

This issue is usually corrected by thinking about keeping your arms loose and long, and so locking your arms should be prevented. As well as rolling your shoulders at the beginning of the pull, this can help you to stop yourself from swinging the weight in front of you. 

Additionally, practising lifting from top to bottom will enable you to get the feel of having your arms straight at the midpoint of the lift. Begin with the weight resting on your mid thighs, lower the bar to the floor and when the bar touches the floor, immediately perform the lift in the usual way. As you are completely the lift immediately the pattern remains in your mind and this will lead to you being able to lift properly without the deadlift style approach. 

Problem Three: Trouble securing the barbell on the shoulders

When athletes are unable to secure this, many compensate by holding the bar on their upper chest with their elbows down which places a significant amount of stress on both the elbows and the wrists that will result in an injury. Many believe that not being able to life the barbell properly is due to a lack of flexibility in the wrist however the problem is often tightness evident in the upper back muscles. In order to improve this, it is recommended to perform squats with lifting straps because the straps places less stress on the wrists. This is because the upper ams then do not have to bend back as far as they would regularly in a normal front squat. To achieve this, hook the stars around the bar at shoulder width or alternatively in the position which is used regularly when completing a front squat. This will enable the elbows to be kept high during the exercise whilst preventing stress on both the elbows and wrists. It may be necessary to use lighter weights for the first few workouts using this method to perfect the technique as you should practise catching the bar on your fingertips. Eventually, you will notice that your hands are able to move closer to the bar and thus transition into regular front squats. As a result enabling you to perform the power clean in optimal form. 

Problem Four: Jumping too far forwards or backwards 

If you find yourself either jumping backward or forward when performing a power clean, adjusting your starting position can help to fix the problem. Firstly, if you are jumping forward than you may be standing too close to the bar whereas if you are jumping backward then you probably are standing too far away from the bar. Thus, alter your position to prevent this. 

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