Bar Patterns Part 10 - Clean Pull

Bar Patterns: Clean Pull [from mid-shin]

Part 10 in the series

Grasp the bar with a clean grip. This is determined by having your fingers just outside of your shoulders while the bar is resting on the front of your shoulders like you are setting up for a front squat (this is also called the “rack position”). Begin with the bar hanging in front of your hips and standing with your feet hip-width apart. This next piece might sound like an optional step, but it is paramount when it comes to performing the Olympic Lifts properly as we progress into explosive lifting. Hold the bar with a ”hook grip”. This is where your fingers wrap around your thumb and the bar having both your thumb and the bar inside your fist. See the picture below:

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Standing tall with your toes pointed straight ahead, tighten your belly. As with all pulling positions in Olympic Lifting, think of the following three steps in order to begin every repetition.

  1. Turn your elbows out [so they point at the weights on the ends of the bar]
  2. Pull your shoulders back [pinching your shoulder blades against your spine]
  3. Turn your knuckles under [so they are pointing at the ground while you hold the bar]

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Keeping your elbows straight and locked throughout this entire pattern, squat down until the bar reaches mid-shin. At this point, your body weight should be closer to your heels. [Even though this pattern normally has points that move explosively when doing a clean, keep the bar patterns always moving slowly to establish perfect positions]. Stay on your heels as you stand back up until the bar is just above your knees, then shift your weight to the middle of your feet and drive your feet into the floor. Finish standing all the way up until the bar reaches the crease [the crease is the point where your upper leg joins together with your torso. The line that is formed here in your hips is the crease] and shrug the bar upwards. Keep your entire foot in contact with the ground, your chin level to the floor, and the bar lightly contacting your body throughout this entire pattern. At the top of the lift, you should be standing tall with your weight balanced through the middle of your feet and your sternum directly over the bar.

Here are 3 key steps to think about while doing the clean pull, from mid-shin:

  1. Set up every repetition by turning your elbows out, pulling your shoulders back, and turning your knuckles under.
  2. Keep your chin level to the floor.
  3. The bar must maintain slight contact with your legs at all times.


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