Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Drill

The CrossFit Journal today has an article on "Learning How to do Full Cleans." Bill Starr writes,
Full cleans are one of the very best exercises for any strength athlete. They are beneficial because they involve so many of the large muscles of the body in a dynamic fashion. When performed correctly, full cleans work the hips, legs, back, shoulders and arms. And while these groups can be strengthened with other exercises, none do so in the same manner. Primarily, full cleans force the nervous system to work much harder than any other exercise—except for full snatches.

I know in order for me to clean more than 125 lbs I need to work ALL parts of the clean. My new goal is 140lbs by January 16th. Below is The Drill from Bill Starr. It consists of 3 parts performed in succession.

#1- Perform a power clean quickly followed by a front squat.

#2- Perform a hang clean immediately followed by a deep front squat.
  • This is really the most important step in learning how to do full cleans. Lower the bar to just above your knees and clean it. As soon as it’s racked on your shoulders, lower into the bottom of a front squat. It needs to be done in a fluid motion, not with hesitation at any phase. Fluid motion isn’t going to happen right away.
  • IMPORTANT: When you give a nice pop to the top of the pull, it’s much easier to slip under the bar. With the short stroke of the hang clean, you are forced to move fast in order to rack the weight and get to the bottom of the squat. That’s exactly the point. When you attempt to clean a maximum poundage, the final snap at the top of the pull has to be strong so the bar jumps, allowing you the time to drive to the bottom and rack the weight.
#3- Place the bar on the floor, pull it as high as you normally do in power cleaning, then drive to
the bottom once again. By starting from the floor, you’re going to have a much stronger pull than you did from the hang, and this gives you more time to jump to the bottom and rack the weight. aka: full clean

Note: The weight used on the Drill has to be light enough so the various moves can be learned, yet heavy enough so that the athlete has to extend him/herself fully.

What is your goal for a full clean?

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