Catching Cleans


Catching Cleans



“Okay, since we talked about the turnover phase of the snatch in the last article, why don’t we take a look at the clean? Actually, now that I think about it, many of the lifters I coach tend to have more difficulty catching cleans on their shoulders than catching snatches over their heads. Ever thought about that?

Much of it is flexibility-related, which we all know. If an athlete is tight in the wrists, shoulders, elbows, and upper back, receiving cleans on the shoulders can be a real bugger. You start to see two big problems:

  1. They have to open their hands and let the bar roll back on their fingers when they catch it on their shoulders, often letting their pinky fingers (and maybe even their ring fingers) pop off the bar. Men usually have more trouble with this than women.
  2. They don’t catch the bar at the top of the shoulders, tucked into that “notch” we all see when expert lifters turn over their cleans. Instead, the bar lands on a forward area of their deltoid, possibly even down on the sternum.

I’ll bet I just described about half of you.

These two problems lead to…more problems. One or both hands popping completely off the bar during the catch phase. Dangerous misses where the bar lurches forward and jams the wrists or, even worse, dumps off the shoulders into the lifter’s lap. Timing issues, long-term pain increases, etc. One way or another, you simply have to fix these glitches.” Continued…